Storage Bench

I’ve been trying to get my wife to allow me to build something to place by our front door for a long time. Mainly, the space next to the door was empty and we needed a good place to keep the things we use for Bob Barker’s walks. So, when she finally warmed up to the idea I knew I had to make it look nice. After a lot of back and forth we decided a bench would be the best option. I could add some drawers for storage and that would give us a good place to sit when we put on our shoes.

I went through a few versions of the design, but eventually we settled on one we liked. We tend to prefer things that with sleek lines and not too much ornate detail. Walnut is one of our favorite wood species, so we decided that would be the material for the bench. My wife wanted to pick the fabric for the bench top herself, so that was one less thing for me to worry about.

I used a couple of 4/4 pieces of walnut to make the entire bench. I initially planned on using some veneered plywood for the panels, but I found a couple good pieces that would work well, so I went with it. I decided to place down the pieces foe the panels some, but unfortunately, I went a little overboard with it. I wanted to use pocket hole screws on the panel and the trim pieces, but since I went a little too thin, they wouldn’t hold the screws well. I think one good option would have been to use some beadlock tenons like I did for the patio furniture set, but some reason, I just didn’t do that. In the end, I should be fine since I was planning to use some ¾ inch plywood for an internal structure to hold the undermount drawer slides. I figured that, along with the glue, should add enough strength to the panels to make up for the smaller amount of screws.

I relied heavily on my cross-cut sled for this build, since it has the most reliable 90-degree angle of any of my equipment.  And that did work out well. Most of the joints came together very nice. There were a couple that weren’t as tight as I wanted, so I used some fine sawdust (form sanding the pieces) mixed with wood glue to use as a putty to fill that in. That worked perfectly.

Speaking of sanding, I splurged and got a new sander just before starting this project. It was such a big difference compared to my old sander that I ruined the first piece I used it on. It just removes so much material so fast, I had to adjust my technique to account for it. Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with the sander though. It is fast, easy to use (once I adjusted my technique), didn’t hurt my hands from excessive vibration, and more importantly, I didn’t have to go take a shower every time I used it like with my old one. I don’t think the expensive tools are necessary, but if its in the budget and you do enough projects, they can make a difference especially in how much time things take – especially for DIYers like me who don’t do this for a living and often take a little longer to get the job done.

I went with the Blum undermount drawer slides. They are definitely better quality and smoother that the ones I normally use, but I’m not sure the price will always be worth it for every project. The install went smooth, and the adjustments on them did help with the inset drawer faces.

For the top, my initial plan was to get some padding and fabric, then staple it on to a piece of plywood I flush trimmed to the bench with my router. But unfortunately, life had a few surprises for us. My time was a bit limited, so the wife decided it would be a good idea to have a local upholstery shop take care of that part. It worked out well since we need some of our regular furniture reupholstered anyway, so this ended up being a good tester to see if we liked their work. They used a 3inch foam and the fabric my wife picked. That ended up costing about $140, but it did turn out really well.

My wife also decided that she wanted to wood to be a bit darker, so we went with Rubio Monocoat Black. I’ve been wanted to give Rubio a try, so this was a good project to do so. I was quite pleased with it. It went on smooth and gave a good result. Also, I accidentally smacked with piece after it was done, and it was very easy to sand the area down and re-apply the Rubio. You cannot tell at all that I did that.

The end product came out looking very nice, and feels quite comfortable. So, even with some bumps in the process, we are pleased with the piece.

Full build video on my YouTube channel:

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Set up blocks:

DEWALT 10-Inch Table Saw (DWE7491RS):

Freud Diablo 10" 50 tooth ATB blade:

Freud flat tooth blade:

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Cordless Router (DCW600B):

Dewalt 20V Max Cordless Drill/combo:

Kreg K4 Pocket hole jig:

Tape Measure:

Mechanical Pencil:

Wood Glue Dispenser:

Safety Ear Muffs:

Festool Sander:

Narex Chisels:


Blum 12-inch undermount drawer slides:

rubber feet:

Finger pulls:

Rubio Monocoat Black:

#diy #woodworking #woodpack