Introduction: Modern Slatted Shoe Bench

About: My name is Johnny and I am a woodworker in NYC. Check out my Instagram to see what I'm currently working on @jtwoodworks and you can visit my YouTube channel to see videos on these Instructables and other proj…

A great way to improve the entrance to your home is to have a place to sit down and tie your shoes, grab your keys and umbrella (or the reverse if you're coming home). What better way to do that than with a shoe bench? This bench is made using red oak and hardware from Kit n Co. Similar results can be achieved using less expensive lumber like 2x4's or 2x6's.

Kit n Co provides a variety of furniture kits that are a great way to get started in building furniture and also great for the more seasoned woodworker to add a different touch to their projects. Let’s get started!

Hardware kit:

Tools I used in this project:

Sawstop table saw -

Router -

Jointer -

Chisels -

Japanese handsaw -

Drill & driver set -

Spring clamps -

Step 1: Square Ends and Cut to Length

Start by squaring off one end of your board using the circular saw. I thought about using a straight edge to reference my saw off of but I decided to try cutting to the line freehand. Being slow and steady produces great results.

Then measure to cut this board down to its final length of 6 feet, mark square lines, and cut this end just like the other side.

Step 2: Cut Slats

Now start cutting the strips that will make up the bench seat. The red oak that I’m using is an inch and a quarter thick and I’m cutting these strips to 2 inches wide. Ten strips are used for the seat.

Step 3: Cross Supports

While cutting those strips in the previous step, cut an extra one that will be used to tie all the strips together and attach them to the legs. A handsaw makes quick work of cutting two pieces to 18” long. After cutting the first piece, use it to measure and mark for the second piece. That way they are exactly the same length.

Step 4: Route and Sand

Next I added a chamfer to all the long edges of these slats and sand all the pieces to their final grit of 220 grit.

Now’s a good time to arrange the pieces in the way they look best and number them on the end grain to make sure you don’t accidentally mix them up.

Step 5: Attach Cross Supports

Use ½” plywood as spacers to get consistent spacing between all that slats and clamp them together after squaring up the edge.

Measure 12” in the edge and this is where we’ll be attaching my cross supports. Drill and countersink all the holes in both pieces so the screws can sit below the surface on the wood and not interfere with the legs in a future step.

Next use these strips as a guide to drill the holes in the slats in the right place. Start with the two outermost slats and screw the cross support in place so it won’t move. Then drill the rest of the holes and screw down the cross support. Paste wax helps the screws go in easier. Of course this is done on both sides.

Step 6: Attach Legs

Now pre-drill the holes to attach the legs. The longest I can use without coming out the other side between the slats is 1 ¼” screws.

Step 7: Umbrella Bin Long Sides

The umbrella bin is designed to be a continuation of the bench seat so… we’ll need a few more strips. These strips are 1 1/4" x 1/2" x 10"

Next sand these strips to their final grit since they’ll be harder to sand once they are glued up in a panel.

To layout the panel, use the same plywood spacers used for the seat. The making of this panel is almost identical to the bench top but instead of screwing on the cross supports, we are gluing them on. This is the prefect opportunity to use spring clamps to hold the cross support in place until the glue dries. Screws would also be a good option here if you screwed them in from the back so they aren’t visible.

While the glue is drying, this is a good to trim up the over hanging strips.

And of course there are two of these panels.

Step 8: Umbrella Bin Short Sides

Now we can move on to making the short sides of the umbrella bin. Start by resawing a board in half since it doesn’t need to be so thick. After the bandsaw, the cut gets cleaned up in the planer. They can also be sanded with a belt sander to clean up the un even faces if you don't have a planer.

These pieces are 4" x 1/2" x 10"

Step 9: Assembling the Umbrella Bin

These are probably by favorite brackets that are included in this kit. The triangular shape helps prevent racking which is perfect for a bin that will get a ton of use like this one.

To assemble this bin, start by attaching these brackets and making sure they’re flush with the edges. The brackets hold the corners together and the rest of the edge is glued to the side pieces.

Since the brackets are holding this side closed, we only need clamps to hold the other side. However, it’s a good idea to clamp together the bracket side as you’re driving the screws. To make sure the joint is fully closed.

Step 10: Key Tray Assembly

While the glue on the umbrella bin is drying, we can focus on the key tray. Start by attaching the bottom to the front/long side of the tray. With that clamped in place, then attach the shorter side pieces the same way. Leave the back open for now.

There is one more bracket included in this kit and that’s these three way square brackets. I screw them into the corner if the key tray and that’s how we’ll attach it to the rest of the bench. But first cut another strip to size to fit perfectly between the brackets and glue it in place.

Step 11: Final Assembly and Finishing

With the glue on the umbrella bin dry, temporarily clamp it in place on the bench. This helps you align the bracket and pre-drill and screw it in place.

Attaching the key tray was a bit tricky because my impact driver didn’t quite fit in the tray allow me to screw the screws in straight. I came back off camera with a short/stubby screwdriver to address this. A phillips bit in a socket wrench would also be a great choice here. Also, off camera I spray painted the heads of the screws black to better blend in with the rest of the hardware. Feel free to paint them any color you'd like. This is the perfect place to add a pop of color.

Next take everything apart and apply three coats of wipe on poly. Applying finish while everything is assembled is very tricky and it makes it even trickier when you need to sand between coats.

And with that, it’s all done.

Step 12: Enjoy Your New Bench!

If you want to build a bench like this or experiment with these furniture kits, you can click here to get your own! This build was a bit on the complex side but Kit n Co provides cut lists and plans to a variety of cost effective furniture in different styles. If you have any questions about this build, leave them down below and I’d be happy to answer them. Thank you and I hope to see you in the next instructable!

You can watch the video here on how I built this bench.

You can also find me on Youtube

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Facebook and Twitter for behind the scenes shots

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