Bay Window Seat

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Project by brianl posted 02-01-2010 04:56 AM 44870 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As I have mentioned previously, our new house is a little short of space in the kitchen. In order to provide a space for items used less frequently, I got a request to build a window seat with storage under it. My better half decided on the dimensions and I got to work. The front of the piece is 97 inches long, 18 inches high, and 21 inches deep.

I had a lot of scrap plywood left over from previous projects, most of it 3/4” rough and some sanded. I used the sanded for the front panels, some 3/8” rough for the bottoms, and 3/4 rough for the rest. I ran over the rough plywood with my ROS and 80 grit paper to smooth it out some. It helped some but it is nowhere near smooth. Thankfully, that’s the interior.

I first built a carcass with the two main sections, 56 inches in length. I then tried to build the “wings.” Unfortunately, the walls in the bay window are not 45 degrees so that threw me off some. Before finishing I sanded everything down with 80 grit, then 180 grit, then 220 grit.

The top was the last piece constructed so I could scribe it to the non-square wall. It’s basically a two inch wide strip that is screwed to the back wall. It has a piano hinge connecting it to the rest of the lid (approximately 19 inches deep).

In order to get it into the house I had to call a buddy over. There was no way I could transport it myself. There is something to be said for modular assembly. This thing is HUGE.

Now that my piece is done, it’s up to her to sew up a cushion to go on top. It captures the light really well and it should make a nice place to read a book or hang out with the dog.

I pried off the floor moulding and reused it. In retrospect, while this was the cheaper option, it was also the biggest hassle. Trying to cover up all of the joints was a nightmare. I did purchase mullion to make a panel design on the front. Integrating the stiles into the rails certainly made things interesting. Once I got everything assembled the transition from the wall floor moulding is pretty seamless.

The top was fashioned with half-round trim along the edge to make a smooth transition and a nice lip to open it with.

The vast majority of fasteners were Square-X drive screws I got from Rockler. I was very favorably impressed with their quality and performance. A few areas have some liquid nails to help things hold together before the screw got there. I reinfored the lid hinge with liquid nails and then screws to make sure it wasn’t going anywhere. Any small gaps in the seams I filled with a little bit of caulking to present a smooth finish. The top is supported by piano hinges and the two main doors have friction supports so they don’t fall in on you while you’re getting something out.

The front of the piece is done in normal trim paint. Primered and then covered with three coats of Latex semi-gloss. The top was primered and covered with three coats of oil-based white semi-gloss. I still have to go touch it up after I put the final screws into the top to secure it.

Lessons Learned
1. If you’re going to be putting in a LOT of brads (think of all the moulding I did). Go buy a brad gun. Doing those by hand was a nightmare.

2. Finishing is the longest part of any job. Compared to actually building something it takes forever.

3. Buy sanded plywood. It’s worth the money.

4. Drywall is never, ever square.

5. Plan ahead. While I did some simple sketches beforehand, a lot of this project was dreamed up as it came along. I could have saved myself some hassle if I had planned ahead. I got a lot of ideas from these plans from Lowe's.

-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts

5 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5028 days

#1 posted 02-01-2010 05:10 AM

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1560 posts in 5433 days

#2 posted 02-01-2010 05:39 AM

Thanks for sharing, especially all the detail.

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View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5124 days

#3 posted 02-01-2010 05:53 AM

Nice window seat.

View noknot's profile


548 posts in 4893 days

#4 posted 02-01-2010 09:34 AM

Great work all the time you spent was well worth it. Now its time to nag the wife about the cushions :)


View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12854 posts in 4608 days

#5 posted 02-01-2010 09:39 AM

great work on your window seat setup…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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