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Five board bench

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 07-04-2017 05:41 PM 2200 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Lately all of my woodworking projects seem to take a long time to wrap up. Last Saturday, I noticed Dave Rutan’s five board bench post, and said to myself, “Hey, I could make one of those pretty quickly!”

I set up my 7” miter saw, dug out an 8’ 2×12 and an 8’ 2×4 and got to work. First two cuts (with a hand saw) were the legs. 20” seemed about the right length. Then a 48” seat left me with an 8” long scrap. The 2×4 got one end chopped off at 45 degrees on the miter saw, then cut to 48” on the long side, and another 48” long chunk of 2×4, which left me with a 6” long piece of scrap.

With my five boards cut, and the miter saw already set to 45 degrees, I cut the wedges out of the bottom of the legs. I made the straight bit 3” wide, with a 6” wide cutout in the middle. I didn’t worry about the depth of the cut, figuring that this is a quick and dirty bench. I also cut the notches in the tops of the legs to put in the 2×4s down the sides of the bench. Again, I didn’t worry about the depth of the cut, figuring that it wouldn’t be too big. I did cut off the notches with a hand-saw so I didn’t have too many stray cuts.

Two cordless drills, one with a drill bit for pilot holes, and the other with a Torx bit, plus a couple dozen deck screws left over from another project and I was into the assembly. The legs and sides went together first. Drill, screw, check for square. Two screws at each corner and things seemed square enough. Drop the seat on top and screw in one corner. Check for square, adjust a little, and drive in the screw diagonally opposite the first one, and things should be good. Four more screws and the seat is on.

Then I sat on the seat, and took a 6tpi rasp to edges, corners and such, rounding things off to make it less likely someone would get a splinter. As I worked, I noticed that there was a little wobble in the bench, so I grabbed the 8” chunk of 2×12, and cut it in half diagonally, then put that between the leg and the seat with four screws holding everything in place. Went to the opposite corner of the bench and did the same with the 2×4 scrap I had (the other half of the 2×12 had a knot that looked like it might be weak, so I tossed it).

Everything together and smoothed, I cut two handles in the top. Two sets of five holes made with a 1” spade bit, then a little rasp work to clean them up, and I had handles (or flatulence slots). Used the bench that afternoon at a neighborhood picnic. It’s nice to do a project that’s usable in a single day!

Sunday I primed the bench. Monday I painted the underside and today I painted the top, and the bench is done.

-- Dave - Santa Fe





11 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32122 posts in 3747 days


#1 posted 07-04-2017 08:53 PM

This is a very nice bench.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5987 posts in 1463 days


#2 posted 07-04-2017 10:23 PM

Thanks, Charles. Quick and easy, too. I’ve already got one friend who covets it.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1982 posts in 3069 days


#3 posted 07-08-2017 12:38 PM

Your corner brace is probably a good idea, depending on who will be using the bench. So far the ones I’ve built to a similar design have survived my using them as a step stool.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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Dave Polaschek

5987 posts in 1463 days


#4 posted 07-08-2017 12:47 PM

Yeah. It racked a little when I was sitting on it and smoothing the edges with a rasp, Dave. Figured it was better to add the brace than pull a deck screw through the relatively soft lumber when I use it as a saw bench. Which I almost certainly will.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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Dave Rutan

1982 posts in 3069 days


#5 posted 07-08-2017 12:54 PM



Yeah. It racked a little when I was sitting on it and smoothing the edges with a rasp, Dave. Figured it was better to add the brace than pull a deck screw through the relatively soft lumber when I use it as a saw bench. Which I almost certainly will.

- Dave Polaschek

These benches are extremely useful as saw benches, low saw horses, and all kinds of things.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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Dave Polaschek

5987 posts in 1463 days


#6 posted 07-08-2017 01:10 PM

They certainly are. I’ve already used it while working on the legs of my roman workbench. I also have a similar stool that I built just about a year ago which is going to need to have the top repainted soon, as I’ve used it so hard.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5987 posts in 1463 days


#7 posted 10-04-2020 03:12 PM

Update: the bench had gotten used as a sawhorse, and generally pretty beat up. Most notably, one of the corners had a deep kerf in it from a circular saw.

We bought a can of paint and my sweetie is going to repaint it, but first I had to neaten it up a little. Used a saw, a drawknife, a spokeshave, and a rasp to round the corners this morning. Next up, she’s going to scuff all the existing paint with some 60 grit. Then I’ll put on a coat or two of shellac to act as a primer, and finally the paint.

Here’s a progress picture of rounding the corners.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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Dave Polaschek

5987 posts in 1463 days


#8 posted 10-05-2020 01:01 AM

First coat on. It’s like a totally different bench.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

7914 posts in 1593 days


#9 posted 10-05-2020 03:28 PM

i like that color :<)))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5987 posts in 1463 days


#10 posted 10-05-2020 04:36 PM

Thanks, Tony! It’s not quite the normal turquoise that everyone uses down here, but we think the greener hue will work better on our portale. We’ll see. The second coat is going on now, and it’ll need a third coat, and then a couple weeks to finish curing before we can start using it (it’s a new water-based enamel, and all the people having bad luck with them seem to be not giving it enough time).

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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Dave Polaschek

5987 posts in 1463 days


#11 posted 10-07-2020 02:49 PM

Here’s a photo of the newly-painted bench sitting in our portale. This is what people will see as they approach our front door.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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