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Not long ago me and the wife topped off the garden area with some bird houses. She likes having the birds around and hopefully with any luck we will get some birds. So, I made three bird houses and mounted them on top of 4"x4" posts. Our garden area is basically hazelnut (off-white), so everything was pre-painted by us before doing this. The houses were easy to build. They just have a 1"x2" frame... Read More

Time to add the finish layer to the bench seat. Normally, I would do this after painting but since this bench has ornate curves, that is difficult to do. Each board has been cut to fit. Otherwise, I would paint then stain the seat are and attach it after the fact. I had some #2 red oak left over from a job from years ago. I always thought oak flooring on a bench or chair would be nice. Well, here... Read More

Next, I'll build the framework for the seat. I'm using 1"x4" pine (It's what I had laying around), although this is what I'd use anyway. Since the front of the bench legs are pointing out slightly, I'll get my width measurement from the back where the legs are attached to the headboard. I can't remember off hand what my measurement was but I'll cut two boards at this length. After stapling the fi... Read More

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Bed To Bench P04 Seat Framework
Bed To Bench P04 Seat Framework

Next, I'll build the framework for the seat. I'm using 1"x4" pine (It's what I had laying around), although this is what I'd use anyway. Since the front of the bench legs are pointing out slightly, I'll get my width measurement from the back where the legs are attached to the headboard.


I can't remember off hand what my measurement was but I'll cut two boards at this length. After stapling the first one one and into position, I'll set the other aside for right now and measure for my deep. Given these legs are a little curved on the ends I'll find a good place for my depth to end. If the legs were square or I was working with flat surfaces, placing this would be easier. For me, it's easy to imagine where this end and how it will look when done. For others, it may not be, so be afraid to hold up some pieces just to see how things will play.


Once I have decided on my depth, I'll take a measurement remembering to subtract 3/4" (width of my front board). After cutting those, I'll attach those making sure they are square to my back board and level to my legs. Next is installing the front board, thus creating a box. I'm still not done, I plan on putting a thin piece of plywood over this but I need something to support that or things may sag over time. So, I'll create some slats that I'll mount at 1/3 and 2/3 my width.


When completed you should end up 3 boxes, everything level and true.



Related Article
Bed To Bench P03 Prep For Build

Now is the fun part, although it's all fun. It's time for the build, Now that everything is stripped and sanded, I can cut the headboard in half and turn the pieces 90° to create our bench.


Since the legs are curved I have to pay attention to where half way is. With square legs it's easy, but since these are curved it's a little different. So, using a couple of squares I'll be able to find the center. After setting up the squares with some clamps to hold them, I'll measure between them to find the center. On each side of my center line, I'll mark 1/8" because my blade is 1/8" wide. If you make a line and cut on either side, you'll find your foot board half is a 1/8" too short. So, to counteract this, Mark a 1/16" on each side of your center line and cut down the center.


Bed To Bench P05 Seat Build

Time to add the finish layer to the bench seat. Normally, I would do this after painting but since this bench has ornate curves, that is difficult to do. Each board has been cut to fit. Otherwise, I would paint then stain the seat are and attach it after the fact.


I had some #2 red oak left over from a job from years ago. I always thought oak flooring on a bench or chair would be nice. Well, here was my chance.


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