Storage Bench

front view
front view with seat open
back view
This is a little storage bench based on plans from Blizzard's Garden Woodwork by Richard Blizzard. It's intended to store garden stuff that might be wet when put away, so it has gaps between the boards to allow airflow to the contents. The gaps on the sides are a little wider than the gaps on the front and back since it never occurred to me that lumber yard 1x8's wouldn't all be the same width. Oops.

There's no joinery to speak of, just boards glued and screwed to four legs. The plans called for 1x6 boards and 2x2 legs, but my big galoot butt wouldn't fit on a bench made of a pair of 1x6's, so I scaled it up a bit using 1x8's and 4x4's. The result looks even more like a crate than the original plans, but it doesn't sag when I sit on it, and the storage portion has more space.

This was built in a weekend and a bit. The first day I cut most of the boards to length. The second day I assembled the basic box, and mounted the back. Then in a few more hours over the course of about a week I got the seat put together and installed. There was a problem with the plan for the seat. The rear piece that the hinges screw onto is notched to go around the rear legs which leaves a 1 inch wide by 3-1/2 inch long piece of short grain pine floating out there with nothing much to support it. I figured I'd probably break that off in the course of making the cutouts, so I just cut it off in the first place making the cutouts two easy cuts instead of the three cuts, one of them tricky that Blizzard wanted. This was really just a problem because of my redesign since his original legs were only 2 inches square, the short grain piece was a little sturdier. Though it sure looks like one of them broke off and was screwed back on in the picture in the book ;-)

I mostly used just a crosscut saw and a rip saw to make this, but also used a jack plane and a smoother to even up my rip cuts. I used a coping saw to cut the radius on the seat corners (used a can of WD-40 as a template), then rounded the seat edges over with a few passes with a plane. I used my steel rabbet plane to clean up the angled cut in the back legs that holds the seat back. All the pilot holes for the screws were drilled using a modern countersink bit chucked in a Millers Falls #2 (dual pinion model) eggbeater. I used my proto-bench for some of the work, but most of this was done on a couple of 2x8's clamped to my folding plastic sawhorses on the lawn outside the shop where the light lasts longer. I used a 1 inch chisel for some trimming and to pare away dried glue squeezeout. Also used a marking gage, a rule, a pencil, and a whole bunch of clamps (mostly to hold stuff in place while I drilled pilot holes) The screws are all robertson head (except the ones which came with the hinges (phillips)) which I drove using a power drill robertson bit held (loosely) in a 1/4" socket on a screwdriver handle.

Haven't decided how to finish it yet. Probably either milk paint, or some colored stain, maybe green like used in the book.



This page last updated 7/6/2002
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