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Shorten an Oversized Kitchen Bench Unit

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I have wanted to get rid of our kitchen table and chairs for a while, but the bench unit that I wanted from the big-box store wouldn't fit. Last week the table was on sale so I was more willing to cut apart the brand new furniture than if I paid full price. I looked at the display unit and thought there was a way I could cut down the short bench and make it fit in my kitchen.

The visible pieces are mostly solid pine, but the hidden pieces seem to be glued-up panels of smaller strips of pine.
 
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Step 1: Mod

Picture of Mod
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My plan was pretty simple, I just had to remove 7 inches from the end of all of the pieces except the seat-back and drill new holes for the hardware. The seat-back would be a little more difficult, since there was a "panel" detail routed into the surface.

I thought the best way to handle that was to find the center of the panel, and measure 3.5" out from that point on each side. Then I could re-join the halves back together and the pattern would match up almost like before.

Step 2: Cutting

Picture of Cutting
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I added a long piece of scrap wood to the miter gauge that came with my table saw to make it more like a cross-cut sled. This way I can make more exact, truer cuts than I can make with my compound miter saw. I lined up all of the marks I drew on the painter's tape with the kerf on the "sled" and cut the 7 inches off the end of each piece. I repeated this process for the seat support rails, the seat bottom, the bottom of the storage bin under the seat, and the seat back cap.

For the seat back, I set my fence to 3.5" less than half the length of the panel. I made one cut, then turned the board around and ran it through on the other side. I intentionally left more material on the end pieces so I could fine tune the fit.
chris_e63 months ago
Excellent job!
ProfMuggs (author)  chris_e63 months ago

Thanks, I am really pleased with how it came out.

SSsuperdave3 months ago
Did the exact same thing to mine about a year ago. Custom all the way. Good write up.
ProfMuggs (author)  SSsuperdave3 months ago

Thanks, do you have a pic of yours?

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