Whichever door that your family ends up using as the main entry, the immediate area around it becomes cluttered with shoes and other things. My sister-in-law commissioned me to build an entryway bench to help with the clutter and give them a place to sit to put on shoes or put down an infant carrier. She found an entryway bench that she liked on Pinterest. After discussing with her what features of the bench were the essence of the design, I began to plan how to execute that vision.
Entryway Bench Planning
She liked the simple look of the Pinterest bench and so I started designing around the seat and legs being connected together like a large box joint. This would make it easy to assemble but the joints would be strong. Initially I was leaning toward using 1×3 material (nominal 3/4″ thick by 2.5″ wide) but as I laid the bench out in Sketchup I decided the look was too busy. The joints looked nice, but there were simply too many boards in the seat. I then modified the pieces to be 2×4 material. I liked the overall look of this design better.
Design and Construction
The design utilizes (4) different sizes of board; (2) sizes are used for the bench seat and (2) sizes are used for the bench legs. The yellow seat pieces are 48″ long while the red seat pieces are 55″ long. The brown 18″ legs set the height of the bench. The 14.5″ leg pieces terminate under the long red bench pieces. It took (11) 2x4x8′ to build this bench.
Assembly consisted of gluing together the legs first. Each leg was glued together with an alternating short and long. A straight edge was used to keep the bottoms of each leg piece in line. After the legs dried, the seat assembly began. This was done by standing the legs up and inserting one of the central long pieces. The center short piece was then clamped to that. Once I checked that the top was flush and ends were even, I screwed the short board to the long board with 2.5″ long screws. Next I put in another long board, checked its alignment, and screwed it to the short board. I kept working my way across the seat. I did not put on the outer boards yet. When I was satisfied with the dry fit, I took the seat off the legs, applied glue to the mating surfaces and put it back together. I drove (2) screws through the last 18″ leg into the 2nd to last 55″ seat piece. The final step was to glue (no screws) the outermost 55″ seat pieces to the legs and rest of the seat.
The entire bench was sanded and then I applied (1) coat of a water based chocolate colored stain. This was a clear base stain that was custom tinted at the paint desk at Lowes. Once dry, I applied (2) light coats of a clear semi-gloss water based polyurethane. Round dome plastic feet were put on the bottom of the legs to prevent them from marring the hardwood floors.
Its New Home
Here is a picture of the entryway bench next to the back door of their home.
It has room for shoes, boots, and other items underneath. It is also a good height for sitting and can be used to load their son in his infant carrier. Here I am sitting on my creation.
I enjoy making these pieces of furniture. I take pride in being able to point at it and say “I made that.” I love that it makes the people I made it for happy.