Introduction: EASY SLAT BENCH
This pine slat bench is easy to make and you can finish in your choice of wood tint and paint colour.
The bench shown here has a slatted seat finished with wood stain in imbuia, finished with Polywax Sealer, and a base painted with Rust-Oleum Chalked paint in aged grey.
The slat bench measures 1200mm in length, but you can easily modify this if you need a shorter or longer bench for an entrance or hallway, or to use with a dining table. We used a Kreg Pockethole Jig to make our bench so that screws are out of sight, but if you don't own a pockethole jig you can join with conventional methods.
There are so many uses for our DIY slat bench. Place at the bottom of a bed as a place to sit while you dress.
YOU WILL NEED:
4 of 32 x 67 x 1200mm pine - seat slats
4 of 32 x 67 x 368mm pine - legs
2 of 32 x 67 x 284mm pine - seat support
2 of 32 x 67 x 230mm pine - side rail
1 of 32 x 67 x 950mm pine - bottom rail
1 of 32 x 67 x 878mm pine - top rail
2 of 22 x 44 x 224mm pine - seat slat cross piece
32mm pocket hole screws
Wood stain, sealer or varnish
Rust-Oleum Chalked ultra matt paint
Drill / Driver plus assorted bits
Kreg pocket hole jig kit (we used a Kreg K4)
Jigsaw or mitre saw
Orbital sander plus 120- and 240-grit sanding pads
Tape measure and pencil
Step 1: MAKE THE SLAT SEAT
Sand all the pieces smooth before assembly.
1. All the pieces that make up the base are joined using pocket hole joints. By using this method, screws are almost invisible or out of sight. Drill pocket holes into the rails, cross pieces and legs.
2. The slats that form the seat have 5mm spacers between each slat and are then joined using the seat slat cross piece. DO NOT glue this in place - see Step 9 below.
GOOD TO KNOW: Before securing the seat slats, apply whatever stain you want for the finished bench. It is far easier to apply this to the slats before they are secure.
Step 2: MAKE THE FRAME
3. Before you assemble the bench you need to cut a few angles on the legs and side rail.
4. Cut a 5-degree angle at the top and bottom of each leg, as shown in the diagram. Also, cut a 5-degree angle on both side rails.
5. Secure the legs to the seat support with wood glue and 32mm pocket hole screws.
6. Measure and mark at 40mm up inside each leg and then attach the side rails with wood glue and pocket hole screws.
GOOD TO KNOW: The side rail should be flush with the outside edge of each leg - on opposing sides. Assemble two sides.
7. Measure and mark the centre of the seat support and side rail in order to mount the top and bottom rails.
8. Use wood glue and pocket hole screws to secure the top and bottom rails to the sides.
9. Place the bench face down on the slats in order to mount the bottom frame to the underside of the seat slats. Push the frame in place between the  seat slat cross pieces. Secure in place with wood glue and pocket hole screws through the seat slat cross piece into the seat support.
Step 3: FINISHING
Sand the assembled bench and round off any sharp edges. Wipe clean.
We originally applied wood stain in traditional teak to the top slats, but then applied imbuia for a darker contrast.
After applying the stain, three coats of polywax sealer were applied to the seat slats.
The bottom frame was painted with Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte in aged grey.
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