Introduction: No Seats, No Storage, No Problem!
Ever get frustrated on board game night with the lack of seating around the table, especially with little ones? We live in a small house with four little boys who love to play board games and also fight for the best seat at the table, this banquette seating has eliminated this fight and has also added a nice clean area to store all their games and much more.
I managed to accomplish this project with a lot of left over pieces of lumber so my cost was minimal, you could technically find all that you need for free.
- Table saw - to rip the plywood lids (could substitute with skill saw it's just more difficult to get nice clean cuts)
- Radial arm saw - to cut all the 2x4's / 1x3' (you could substitute this saw with many other kinds just find something to cut the lumber with)
- Cordless drill
- Drill Bits
- Kreg Jig - USED FOR EVERYTHING (This tool has been some of the best spent money in a while, will save you hours in work, save you lot's of head aches. If your not sure what I'm talking about google it, then go buy one)
- Kreg Screws 2.5" - Lots Wood Screws 2.5" 1/2" wood screws
- Wood Glue
- 2x4"s- The amount will be decided by how large you will make your banquette, the 2x4's will make your main frame and support.
- 1x3"s - These are used to frame out the front and finish it up making this look a lot more expensive than it is.
- 4x8's sheet of plywood - used for the lid Long hinges the length of the lids, these aren't all that expensive about $5-$7 a piece and they can be cut down to size.
- Paneling - I had some from a demo we did I was going to use it in the garage but i was not a fan, so when put in backwards it has a nice wood color and it's great to paint over. You can find this for free very often, and the people getting rid of it are usually more then happy when someone takes it off their hands.
Step 1: Build Your Frame
So to start off with you want to make up a rough draft of your bench dimensions such as your height, width and length. Once you know this then you can start estimating your material needs and costs, I'm not posting up ours because not all your lengths will be the same but a for the depth and height I measured one of our current chairs and got 18" height and depth so that's what I used.
Once you figured out your length that will be the cut measurement for your top and bottom beams, your support posts in between the two will be the difference of the combined thickness of the two long pieces.
(So in my case I want a total height of 18", the 2x4's measure 3.5" ea. So I take 7" off the 18" which leaves me with 11" long supports giving us an assembled height of 18".)
As to figure out how many support pieces to put in I went with every 12 - 16", which gave me two on the long box and one on the short box. Also you may be wondering why I placed my lumber upright and that was to give me some more surface to nail into while hanging the paneling and the reduce lost width inside the box for storage
To assemble the frame I pre drill every 11" support piece with two Kreg Jig holes at each end and I put the whole thing together with the Kreg Screws and wood glue, which makes for a very strong bond.
You'll want a front and a back frame for each box you're making, so for my "L" shape banquette I made two boxes which gave me 4 frames.
Now let's go onto the next step to finish these frames!
Step 2: To Give It Depth and Frame Completion
Now we want to measure the thickness of our two frame and take the difference for our 18" depth we're trying to achieve. (In my case the 2x4's are 1" thick so my support beams will have to be 16"ea)
Again with two Kreg holes in each end secure the two frames together with screws and glue, spacing the supports apart same as the other frame. (12-16" apart)
This will give you the physical box frame, in the next step we're going to be leveling and mounting it to it's new home.
Step 3: Level and Mount
Now that we have our boxes built we're going to have to secure them to the wall. You may chose not to do this step and leave them mobile that's up to you, but for my goal of not having the kids bringing chairs everywhere in the house they we're getting mounted to the wall.
First you need to find your wall studs, once you locate them put your level across and make sure she's even. Then screw it tight to the studs, on the top and bottom supports. Do the same with the other box and even drive a few screws were the boxes meet to secure them together.
Next comes the tops!
Step 4: Let's Top It Off!
Ok! Now for some lids, what you want to do is measure your total width of the seat and with your table saw rip the 4x8' plywood sheet to that width in my case this turned out two 18" boards.
Then take the two boards you just made and cut them to the length of your bench, now you're going to have to rip these pieces one more time to make the lids hinged.
This time take the two boards that are now cut to length and width, and take cut a piece off them the with of the back 2x4.
Then comes the fun part of screwing all the small screws in the hinges, I found it easier to screw them all in both pieces of plywood starting with the small strip first. Good thing I had a helper for this part and yes we actually used one of his toy clamps to hold the piece upright.
If your hinges are too long you can cut them to size, I used a pair of tin metal snips but you can use a hack saw or Dremel tool with a cutting bit.
Now that your all hinged up time to secure these to the back 2x4 with some standard wood screws and WHAM! you got a lid, that's also the sound they make crashing shut and usually followed by crying which is why I left a small space to put some of that weather stripping foam to help protect little fingers.
Let's move along now to the boarding up and finishing.
Step 5: Closing It Up
Now that we're framed up and topped off we shall be moving onto the enclosing of our storage seating.
First measure up the height on each face and rip the piece of paneling to that height with the table saw, then measure the length of each face and cut them to fit.
Mount the boards to the frame with finishing nails, don't be shy with the nails just don't get them to long so they stick out on the inside. When putting these up you may notice the corners aren't perfectly square that's fine this shall get fixed in the next step, which involves the framing and finishing of the bench.
Step 6: Frame Your Top and Bottom
We now get to frame in the top and bottom of our seating with the 1x3's to finish off the look, first we shall do the top.
What you want to do is to put the 1x3 even with the lid so that it has a nice finish, this is also when you need to decide on what ends to show with the 1x3. I went with the butt ends showing up on the inside of the table, if your handy or want a cleaner look you could cut the ends at 45 degree angles so they meet up like baseboard trims.
Secure the pieces once you get them to where you would like them and with finishing nails,
Step 7: Putting in Your Upright Pieces Aaaannnddd Done!
All that we have left to do is measure up the distance between the top and bottom 1x3's, that will give us the length for the small 1x3 pieces we're going to put in between to finish off the box look.
Once you get your pieces cut start by putting in the corner ones that way you get to make a nice finish and maybe cover up some un-square paneling you hung up previously like you see on the corner of the first picture in this step.
With your corners and end pieces in your going to want to measure out the distance and divide that number by however many squares you want, there is nothing structural about these at all they are just for show!
This completes the wood working portion of our benches, once we paint the paneling white we will be painting these benches white with black borders.
CONGRATULATIONS!!! you just completed your new solid corner bench seat and gained a lot of storage space!
Let me know what you think in the comment section, if you have any questions don't hesitate to message me and I'll gladly answer as best as I can.
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