Picture of One sheet Plywood Bench
This is a cheap way to take 1 sheet of plywood( this one is 1/2" thick) some bottles of gorilla wood glue and a few power tools and
make a cool unique laminated bench.

This is my first instructable so i hope it is up to par, but if not i will work on my technique for the next one.

Might i add the only fasteners used in this project is glue and some wood pegs THAT'S IT.

Well lets get to it.

Step 1: Tools needed/layout

Picture of tools needed/layout
tools you will need:

Table saw or skill saw
tape measure
speed square
  7/8" forsner or spade bit

I think that is all but i will check as this process goes.


For this project your biggest tool is your mind. Take some time to sit down and figure what size you will have to cut everything.
For this particular bench I took a standard sheet of 1/2" plywood and cut it in to 1.75" x 48" strips. The thicker the plywood the wider the strips can be.

You can vary the size based on the width and height of the bench you want to make. Today i will cut portions down to make a bench roughly 36" long by 18" high. On to the hard work
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buck22172 months ago

That is really nice looking

BrentonM6 months ago
Marsh1 year ago

A stronger way to attach the legs would be to cut every other leg strip 1½" shorter than the others, then shift every other seat strip 1½" left or right. The effect would be a big bridal joint on each end and a single glue up for the entire project. Using a roller or credit card to spread your glue would result in less waste and wiping the excess off with a wet cloth before it dries would mean a lot less sanding. I think I'll make one!

DennisR Marsh1 year ago

This was my immediate thought as well. Great idea to begin with, but this minor change would make it several times stronger.

rpjamess13 years ago
A trick to use to prevent the laminate boards from bending at all is to alternate the clamps on top and bottom. This provides an even pressure on both sides of the laminate.
I have a planer, they are a great addition to any workshop, and much faster than a hand-planer.
that means i am sure to go with the design thanks
Brown6041 (author)  shuja.shaher3 years ago
if you want extra security just use longer dowels too.
great design
a doubt as usual
are the dowels holding?
Brown6041 (author)  shuja.shaher3 years ago
been a year lots of jumping on it from kids and fat people and hasnt moved at all.!!
MCUman3 years ago
This is Great project. I would make the following suggestions, though. One good side landing by someone of substance could collapse the legs too easily. May I suggest moving the legs in by 2", cutting a 1/2" deep mortise for them, fill the groove with glue and hold them in place with 3/8"X 6" lag screws with fender washers under the heads in place of the wooden dowels. Place a 2X4 centered between the legs, running the length of the bench to farther reduce sideloading movement and increase strength.
Brown6041 (author)  MCUman3 years ago
you would think it would collapse easy but my dad is 260 and has dropped down on it hard before and nothing it is surprisingly stable those pegs can go as far in as you need and they are hardwood, so not likely to break. the goal was to keep it as simple and sleek as possible but thanks for the advise
Dshach3 years ago
Very nice work!

Tried to figure out what is the missing measure: hight 18", width 36", but what is the depth of the bench? I counted 25 pieces in the photos, which makes total of 12.5". Am I right?

Brown6041 (author)  Dshach3 years ago
yep right around 12.5
leeski3 years ago
great looking project. It was just picked up by apartment therapy. com

mrserious3 years ago
Looks very nice. I am considering doing a similar design for a fireplace mantle front. One thing you may want to consider is to miter the ends of both your bench top and legs, which would minimize the glue line and continue the lines from the plywood lamination along its entire run.
Beauceron3 years ago
Not bad for plywood!
Should use CDX Plywood rated for exterior use.
CDX is "rated" exterior, but that is only as it applies if it gets incidentally wet during construction. In other words, after and certain number of wet/dry cycles, it falls apart, so you better finish your house before that point.

ADX, BDX, CDX, wafer board - they all fall apart the same way.
Brown6041 (author)  Beauceron3 years ago
thanks a bunch, just had to see beyond the plain ole plywood and see what was there. by the way everyone feel free to vote in the make it stick 2
andygreene3 years ago
Cool design and execution. A variation might be to cut half of the strips for the top 3.5" shorter, and half for the legs 1.75 " shorter, then assemble them layering it from the edge. your joint would look like fingers interlaced....

you might need a jig to keep the angles at 90...
don't need to cut them, just stack every other on out the width of the strips.
You'd also need more clamps, since you'd want to laminate the legs and the top together at the same time. Trying to assemble the finger joint after the glue has cured on the three separate pieces would be difficult and likely to chip the plywood.
Brown6041 (author)  jbrecken3 years ago
i may give this a shot with some left over pieces i have to see how it looks/works
Brown6041 (author)  andygreene3 years ago
that is very weird because i was literally just thinking about that crazy.
Questor3 years ago
if you stack the strips so that every other one sticks out the with of the strips then glue them you could make a finger joint where the legs meet the bench.
mahvin3 years ago
Just make a centering jig from a thin sheet of masonite cut the same size as your vertical end, lay it on the top bench edges and mark your drill points.
Nice project and good illustrations.

You fail to mention how you line the legs with the top so the dowels will fit correctly. Since the legs are the same width as the top, there is no room for error. How did you do it?
Brown6041 (author)  technofossil3 years ago
you just have to make sure you measure twice or three times and give yourself a good layout. like they say preparation is 90% of the battle
mikeasaurus3 years ago
Looks great, I love the texture of the stacked wood grain and the finish really makes it pop!
papalindsey3 years ago
I think this thing is absolutely awesome! Great job.
This looks good and turned out better than I would expect with that saw. Congratulations. You could make it a bit stronger by cutting your lengths first, cutting half the full length and half shorter by the width of each ply. When you alternated the glue-up, you could have a finger-joint (simplified dovetail) which could be glued and pinned through the ends.
A bit more work, but a great improvement. It would be stronger and eliminate the need of dowels, along with making it slightly more elegant.
Brown6041 (author) 3 years ago
i want to thank everyone who has looked at my project and for all those you will come in the future. Also thanks a bunch for all the great ideas to make it better, will try these out in the future. If everyone could make sure you VOTE for the make it stick 2 contest. Thanks again
jeffeb33 years ago
You definitely made the right decision sealing this. Generic plywood expands when it gets wet. The glue will help, but I bet a single rain storm, or a spilled soda on an unfinished bench would ruin it.
Brown6041 (author)  jeffeb33 years ago
i totally agree. Thats why i sealed it. The one at my parents stays outside and hasn't changed in over a year.
l8nite3 years ago
great table and a very well done "ible" thank you for sharing
JackME3 years ago
A very good 'ible, looks like a very good project! Now i only need a garden i have an excuse to build one! ha
Brown6041 (author) 3 years ago
built one for my parents and they keep there's outside looks great in nature.

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