I don’t have a huge kitchen, so I have found it fairly important to utilize every square inch. Do you remember the tutorial about the conver-table ? Well, shortly after making a table that was able to serve multiple functions, I decided I needed a bench to match! I really wanted to have a kids eating area, so when we had company they could sit at the “adult table”. I had looked into making a cute little table and chairs for the kiddos, but like I mentioned earlier, I don’t have a huge kitchen. What a conundrum !?
Not only do I have a tutorial below, but Ana White is a rockstar and has drafted up the plans and they are available on her site! Don’t have access to a tablesaw!? She has a solution for that!
- Wood Glue
- 2.5″ Wood Screws
- Wood Plugs
- 2×8 (12′)
- 2×10 (8′)
- Shelf Support Bracket
- Spray Paint
- Miter Saw
- Table Saw
- 18g Nail Gun
- 3/8″ drill bit
- Kreg Jig
- Orbital Sander
4@ 17″ (2 of which requires additional cuts)
2@ 36″(1 of which requires additional cuts)
Begin by taking 2 of the 2×8’s that are cut at 17″. Using a tablesaw cut a notch out of the entire length of the 17″ board. Then repeat the same process on the second board.
Next take the 2×10 cut at 17″ and line it up the with 2×8 that has the notch cut out. Dab a little bit of glue in the joint and then for added precaution I used 16 gauge 2″ finishing nails.
Repeat the the same process on the other notched out board.
For the next step on the legs, use a Kreg Jig System and drill 3 holes on the 2 remaining 2×8″ boards. ( These will become the chair backs)
Again I used a little bit of wood glue on the joint and then reinforced with 2 1/2″ screws via the pocket holes. I then repeated on the remaining leg.
For the top I used (2) 2×8’s. This is where it gets a little tricky. Using a jigsaw I cut out a 9″ section in the center of one of the boards. I needed the slot to be 9 ” and 1 1/2′ deep. ( The table top board will eventually will sit on this cut out.) Using the Kreg Jig again, I drilled pocket holes that would allow me to join both 2×8’s together. For added precaution I used a little bit of wood glue on the seam. I then used 2 1/2″ screws to fasten the two boards together via the pocket holes. ( Again, I used pocket hole plugs to hide the pocket holes.)
I wanted to conceal the screws as much as possible so I used “wood plugs”. In order to use these I simply used a drill bit (determined by the size plug) in this case I used a 3/8″ bit. I drilled only partially through the board with this bit. I then followed up with a much smaller bit to pre- drill . ( This helps prevent the board from splitting.) After the hole is pre-drilled I used 2 1/2″ wood screws to secure the leg to the top. I then added a small amount of wood glue to the wood plugs and put them in the screw holes.
The last part of the bench/ table is the “kids table top” in order to give the table top a more support I opted to use a heavy duty shelf support. I didn’t want the hardware sticking out like a sore thumb so I used an “Oil rubbed bronze” spray paint to help it blend in a little better. After the bracket had completely dried I installed it so that it would be centered.
I also secured the table top on the topside. Again, I repeated the same steps as earlier. I partially drilled with a 3/8″ bit and then pre-drilled with a smaller bit. Secured it in place with 2 1/2″ wood screws, followed with 3/8″ wood plugs.
That completes the structural aspect now, on to the finish work. Bust out the wood filler and fill any and all holes. I normally apply a small amount to the top of all the the wood plugs. It fills in all the small crannies and does a great job camouflaging the wood plugs.
After the wood filler has completely dried, I used an orbital hand sander to smooth out the entire piece, paying special attention to the areas where a wood plug was used.
Now, it is ready for stain and or paint. I opted for Minwax Jacobean stain and then followed up with the “Satin Finish” polyurethane.
A space saving STURDY bench, that when flipped on its side, is an AWESOME kids eating area, complete with two chairs and a table. Booyah!