Instructables
Picture of Mudbench (Step 1 of 4)
This is the 1st of 4 articles that I'm going to be posting on how to build your own mudbench.  Hopefully it is clear enough.  For each of the four posts I'll put up a PDF with the prints.  Please forgive there sparseness, I'm not going to bother GD&T them.   

Here's the breakdown
 -  Bench Seat
 -  Bench Body
 -  Vertical Edge forms
 -  Locker Body

I built this cabinet as a gift for my wife for Christmas.  Our hall closet is bursting with stuff for the kids (puzzles, art supplies, etc) and all of their outer gear.  We put wicker baskets in the top and bottom for shoe and coat storage respectively.
 
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Step 1: Bench Seat

Picture of Bench Seat
Page1_EdgeCut.bmp
Bill of Materials:
  - 3x 8' Premium 1"x4" pine board
  - Some Miscellaneous scrap wood
  -  Wood Glue
  -  3x Wood Clamps (At least 1-48"+ long)
  -  8 oz can of Stain
  -  8 oz can clear polyurethane 
  -  Foam Brush
   - Table saw (Dado blade is nice to have)
   - Miter Saw

1.  When purchasing your boards make sure you check them for flatness, be picky.  Your best bet is always to look about two boards up from the bottom of the stack.  All boards have some memory, if they dry out unsupported they could twice or bow.

2.  Set your table saw up to cut the boards down to 3 7/16" ([11+3/4]/4) - Do this with all of the boards.  You'll cut the lip pieces down slightly later.

3.  Rough out your board cuts.  Don't actually cut the 45 degree ends yet.  Be sure to take note of: which edges need the grove - not all boards need both sides.

4.  Hopefully you have some scrap wood that is greater than 0.20" x 0.40" rectangular.  Now is a good time to cut it to size.  Make it as uniform as possible but it doesn't need to e perfect.  I have a bin of scrap pieces from previous projects that work great for this.

5.  Setup your Dado blade if you have one, but if not no problem.  A saw blade is 1/8" thick, so if you run your board through twice, on it's edge, per side, you'll have a perfectly centered slot for the tongue.  Check your tongue width against your grove.  It should slide easily up and down the whole length but now so tight that it bows the wood out.

Jobar0076 months ago

I've made small boxes for my wife before. I like this project and I know that she will do. I do have one recommendation though: use a wood that is the color you want the bench to be. When I've priced wood to build her a new jewelry box, I've looked at pine and walnut. The cost of pine, plus stain sealer, plus stain to make it look like walnut was more expensive than the cost of walnut. Walnut is much more durable and dent resistant than pine, plus if it gets scratched, it is less visible once resealed. Beware false economies.

floeter (author)  Jobar0076 months ago

Thanks Jobar, that a good point. Pine is very soft which is good and bad for building. It sands and cuts easily, however that also means it splinters easier if you blade begins to get dull. Using walnut or oak especially on the seat will give it a much better lifespan. I ended up not glue or nailing it to the bench/locker in case I do need to touch it up (replace) in the future.

Jobar007 floeter6 months ago

I didn't think about not securing it. If it is loose, you can replace as needed easily. Good thinking!