U.S.B: Ultimate Storage Bench

Introduction: U.S.B: Ultimate Storage Bench

About: Tinkerer with a garage, tools, and time to kill...

Hey y'all! Thanks for checking this instructable out! I'm really happy with how this project came together and hopefully you can get inspired to re-create it (or make your very own version).

LET'S GET INTO IT THEN!

At the beginning of the year I moved into a new home and while we love its '50's appeal, we have been struggling with the home's distinct lack of storage space. My wife and I decided that we needed to do something about that. I'm all about solving multiple problems at once so I came up with a design that would do the following:

  1. Give tons of additional storage space
  2. Give us more sitting room
  3. Be a place where impromptu sleeping areas could be made for the occasional house guest

My wife also wanted to make sure the design was minimalist and simple so as not to compete with the aesthetic of the front room.

So with all that in mind I turned to my FAVORITE building material (plywood) and set about creating my own unique design that would do all that (and as an extra bonus: include charging stations for electronics!)

I give you THE ULTIMATE STORAGE BENCH!

This build is pretty involved, and I will do my best to explain the build process, but I also prepared a quick 5 minute overview video that will help to show the steps I took to build the storage bench. So if you want some more clarification on how it came together, go ahead and check it out! (of course, I am more than willing to answer any questions you might have -- just leave me a comment!)

OK let's get into this build.

Supplies

NOTE: The dimensions called out here are for a 12ft long bench that I designed to go wall-to-wall in my front room, so dimensions given here are specific to that. Your dimensions will inevitably be different based on the layout of your build area but these numbers will, at least, give a relative idea of the amounts of each type of wood required.

Materials:

CUT LIST:

2x4:

· 24.75 (8x)

· 18.25 (8x)

Total: ~17ft (buy two 10’ pieces)

2x2:

· 18.25 (4x)

Total: ~6.5ft (buy an 8’ piece)

1x4:

· 143 (3x)

· 40.5 (3x)

Total: ~46ft (buy three 8’ pieces and three 10’)

Plywood (3/4” thick)

· 39x27 (3x)

· 18.25 x 27 (6x)

· 44 x 19 (3x)

· 44 x 22.5 (3x)

· 6 x 44 (3x)

· 6 x 29 (2x)

· 6 x 19 (2x)

· 8.5 x 27 (2x)

· 40.5 x 3.5 (3x)

Total ~= 99 square feet of plywood

(buy four minimum 4x8 boards)

Tools:

Circular Saw

Table Saw

Miter Saw

Router

Power Drill

Sander

Plug cutting set

Cabinet hinge installation tooling

Clamps

Mallet

Hand Chisel

Scroll Saw

Step 1: Fusion 360 Saves the Day...

My personal issue as a builder is to way over-design things...call it overkill wood-working... and this is especially apparent in large builds. I really wanted to steer away from that this time around so that I could achieve the minimalist feel I was going for. I did this by reducing the framing for the build and relying on the exterior pieces of plywood to also act as part of the structure of the build.

To make this work, however, each piece became like a puzzle piece and everything had to fit together just right. Sometimes, issues with one assembled piece wouldn't even become apparent until much later due to the specific order that everything needed to be assembled in so I needed a way to track all the dimensions ahead of time and ensure I understood how each component interacted with the ones around it.

Overall I had to build and assemble dozens of pieces and I simply couldn't have done it without the help of a 3D model. I used Fusion 360 and referenced the model I built of the bench many times during the project. In fact It was there the whole build, sitting on a table with the model open for me to look at if I ever ran into issues.

So I would strongly suggest using a solid modelling software to help you out if you set out to make the Ultimate Storage Bench.

Step 2: Buiding the Frame: Making Wall Runners

The build starts out simple... by placing two wall runners: 1x4 strips of wood that run the length of the bench. Each is screwed to the wall, with the top one being placed to represent the top surface of the bench while the other just needs to be sure to clear the baseboard on the wall.

I put the first one on at 29" off the ground and the second around 9" off the ground. While the placement is simple, it is critical that these pieces go on straight. Measure the height of the runners at several spots along the length to make sure it is right. Letting these pieces go on crooked will cause headaches later in the build.

Also, as a note, my car isn't able to carry 12 ft pieces of wood, so instead I used 8 ft pieces and used a lap joint to splice an additional 4 ft to get the necessary 12. (you can see the joint in the last image)

Step 3: Building the Frame: Making and Installing Hoops

The next part of building the frame was making hoops from some pre-cut 2x4 segments. Each of these hoops define the "skeleton" of the bench as well as mark the division between each of the 3 cubbies/storage areas.

The 2x4 segments that make up the hoops are cut to connect (think puzzle piece!) into the runners previously installed. You'll also notice that I cut out 2 additional groves in the hoops: one to accommodate a 3rd runner that is placed on the floor (but NOT screwed down to it) and a second to fit around the baseboard on the wall. I cut each of these grooves with the help of a router (the cutout for the baseboard I used a jigsaw to cut out). All the grooves are sized to fit around a 1x4 (.75" x 3.5") and the groove for the baseboard was cut after I traced the shape of the baseboard onto the 2x4.

Each cubby is 44 inches wide, and it is important that they are centered along the length of the bench-- so when placing the hoops I marked the middle of the runners and then started measuring the placement of each of the hoops relative to that mark. The centerline of each of the middle hoops is placed 22" from the center mark of the bench, and the outer hoops were placed up against the walls.

The hoops snap into place on the runners and then are screwed down.

You may notice in the images that the top of the hoop comes shy of the top of the top runner. This was done on purpose as it accounts for the thickness of the 3/4" plywood that would be placed on top of the frame hoops.

Step 4: Making the Interior Cubby Dividers

Ok let's step away from assembly talk for a moment to discuss some of the prep-work that lead up to the build

Each hoop that was installed has a plywood divider attached to it to hide the frame (and define the interior wall of the storage cubbies). Before I get into how I made them tho, I want to dedicate a little blurb here about something that might not be immediately obvious: WOOD GRAIN DIRECTION.

When I was cutting each piece of plywood from the 4x8 sheets, I took time to consider the orientation of the wood grain. I decided ahead of time that I wanted the wood grain on the outer faces to flow into each other. So the front faces would have their wood grain oriented from the ground up to the top of the bench and the lids would have their wood grain going from the front of the bench to the wall. Likewise the interior surfaces have consistency in the directions their wood grain is oriented. The dividers, for instance, are cut so that the grain flows from the top of the bench down to the ground where it intersects the floor piece. From there the wood grain flows from left to right (one cubby wall to the other). Having a consistent flow with the wood grain goes a long way to capturing a clean overall look.

OK back to prepping the dividers.

Each divider must be cut with the same grooves that were in the hoop in order to accommodate the placement of the 2 wall runners, baseboard, and floor runner.

The dividers have 2 additional grooves in them: one for a 2nd floor runner and another for a piece that will be used to mount the hinge hardware. The groove for the runner is simple and is a straight copy of the other runner grooves. The hinge mount groove is a vertical cut, .75" wide and 3.5" long, that must be placed exactly 6" from the wall. As this slot will become a critical alignment feature for the the hinge, I made a special routing jig to ensure consistency. The jig is a guide that, once clamped in place, ensured reliable and accurate groove cuts for the router. I used a router bit with a guide bearing that followed the contour of the cut guide as I cut into the cubby dividers.

All other groves were cut into the plywood using a jigsaw. (I made a total of 6 cubby divider pieces)

Before installing the plywood pieces, I had to treat them (light sanding and surface finish). Let's discuss that a bit more in the next step before getting back to discussing the assembly of the storage bench.

Step 5: Prepping and Finishing the Wood for the Build

This project used a lot of plywood and therefore, there was a lot of time dedicated to cutting out and prepping each of the pieces. I won't go into too much detail of how I cut out each piece (as most of them were just rectangular pieces of plywood) but I did want to touch on a few notes that could be helpful and discuss the steps taken to prepare each piece for install.

Cutting up a large piece of plywood can be difficult, and that is especially true when you only have a small portable table saw like I do. This is why I LOVE my kreg-jig cutting track and circular saw adapter tools. This setup uses a customizable "sled" to attach a circular saw to an aluminum track that serves as a cutting guide for achieving table-saw like precision on long cuts. (you can see the cutting track I used in the first image)

I had a long cut list of every cut I needed to make and then labelled each piece with its dimensions on their edges as I cut them out (see 2nd image)

Once all the wood was cut out, there was minimal sanding to do -- mostly just sanding the edges of the plywood pieces to smooth them. I invested in cabinet-grade plywood which came with a pre-sanded outer veneer so there was no need to sand all the faces of the plywood (thank goodness ;) )

As a cosmetic touch, I used a 30deg chamfer bit in my router to pass over each of the edges of the plywood. That wasn't necessary for the build, but I liked the look of it.

Finally, It was important to have a durable finish on the plywood to protect it all from wear. I considered many options but settled on a rub-on polyurethane. I wanted a low-gloss look so I selected a satin finish. That is all up to you on how you want things to look.

To have a good finish, you need several layers of finish, so I applied 4 layers of poly on all surfaces of the plywood pieces of the bench. I didn't worry about putting any on the frame pieces as they would not be exposed to wear or be visible. Rub-on poly is easy to apply: just use a clean rag to rub it on and then wait a few hours for it to dry and do it again. Since I was working with so many pieces though, my whole shop was completely over run with wood being finished for a few days. You can see for yourself in the video I posted.

In total, I used roughly a gallon of polyurethane in order to finish all the plywood pieces.

Step 6: Building the Frame: Installing the Outer Cubby Dividers

With the way I designed this bench, there is a 6" border that goes along the side of the outside lids, and behind each of the hinges. This gave me the room I needed to be able to hide the framing and fit in hardware for hinges and such. So in this step I'm putting down interior cubby dividers that will define the outer edge of the border at either end of the bench.

I used one of the cubby dividers (discussed two steps ago) to connect into the frame pieces. See the 3D models to get a better idea of how this first cubby divider was installed.

One of my goals of this build was to hide all the fasteners so I could preserve the clean, modern look of the build. So it's not quite as simple as just screwing things together -- there is a special order things need to happen in and here is it:

1) screw a 2x2 post into the runners on the wall. This should be placed with a 2.5" gap between the 2x4 hoop of the frame and the post

2) screw the other 2x2 post into the divider (going through the post and into the side of the plywood that faces the 2x4 hoop)

3) place the divider up against the post that was positioned in step 1 and screw through the outside of the plywood and into the post.

Step 3 will result in screws that are visible from the inside of the storage cubby...but if you're careful you can still keep them from being seen

If you look at the last picture I've included on this step, you can see an image I took a little later in the build but which still demos what needs to be done here. You can see in the picture that there are screws behind the vertical groove in the divider as well as on in the bottom near the floor runner.

In later steps, a piece of wood will be placed in the groove so any screws placed behind and above the bottom of that groove will be hidden. Additionally, any screws placed close to the floor runners will be hidden by the piece of plywood that will be used to create the floor of the cubby.

Step 7: Making the Front Pieces of the Bench

Ok let's take a minute to discuss how I made the next pieces that will be going onto the bench: the front face plywood pieces

First, let's recall our earlier discussion about grain direction and having consistent flow in the pieces used. These were all cut so the wood grain direction would go from the floor up to the top of the bench once installed.

Each of these pieces were cut to be 44" wide and 29" tall. Afterwards, the only thing left was to make a recess in the top middle of each piece to make a place to easily grab and lift the lid of the bench. These recesses are roughly 6" wide and 1.5" tall. I traced out the shape on the wood and then cut it out using my jigsaw. Finally, I used an oscillating sander drum to smooth and finish the contours of the cut out.

I angled the edges of the plywood with my router and a 30deg chamfer bit.

Step 8: Installing the Front Face of the Bench.

Now it's time to install the front faces of the bench.

The process is pretty straight-forward -- install the center piece and then each of the outer pieces.

When installing the pieces, I first marked the center line on each of the frame hoops. These hoops should have been placed so that the edges of the front pieces fall on the centerline of the hoops. Once positioned, I clamped the wood and screwed it in place. To keep the screws hidden, I attached the front pieces by screwing through the 2x4 of the hoop and into each piece of plywood.

Step 9: Installing Outer Front Trim Pieces

Now we install the outer front trim pieces.

These 6"x29" pieces are meant to fit tightly between the wall and the front pieces installed in the previous step.

This step is complicated slightly by the need to account for the base board. I did this by using a piece of paper to create a cutting template for the wood.

I trimmed the paper so that it fit cleanly around the baseboard...it took a few iterations until I got a template I was happy with.

Once I had a template, I marked the top of the baseboard on the plywood and then used the paper to trace the shape of the baseboard. I used my jigsaw to cut to the lines and then it was a simple matter of sliding the plywood into place.

To secure the plywood I screwed into the wood from behind (through the frame hoop). Additionally, it's necessary to screw through the front 2x2 post that was installed a few steps ago and into the plywood.

It is a little tricky, but since there is a little gap between the cubby wall divider and the 2x4 hoop, you can slip your hand and a power drill into the opening to use in driving the screws.(see the last image to see me screwing the fasteners in place)

Step 10: Placing the Cubby Dividers and Building Out the Interiors

Ok now we finish placing the rest of the cubby divider pieces

Each divider has grooves cut into them to interface with the wall runners and the front floor runner. These were cut to be a tight fit so it takes a little work to get them fit into place. I used a rubber mallet to drive them in and set them up against the frame hoops. Once in place, I positioned a rear floor runner (one of the 1"x4"x40" sections I had pre-cut) so it fit in the extra grove in the divider. Now that there were effectively 2 floor runners (one continuous and one in segments) the cubby floor can be placed (I'll cover that in a bit)

In order to fasten the dividers in place, I screwed through each into the 2x4 frame hoop. Again, I strategically placed the screws so to be behind the vertical groove in the divider and near the floor runners. This way they will be obscured by pieces to be installed later in the build. (see the attached images for reference)

OK, plugging right along... let's get to the next step.

Step 11: OK HOLD ON ONE SEC!....Don't Forget the Frame Hoop Cap Pieces

Ok so really this and the previous step happen pseudo-simultaneously so before you put on all the dividers you'll have to take a moment to do this.

With the front pieces on and the dividers going on, the only visible piece of the frame hoops will be the top. The goal of this step is to cover that up so there are no longer any of the frame pieces visible.

The pieces that will cover the frame hoops are simple rectangular pieces with .75" grooves that were cut into them to line up with the vertical groove on the cubby dividers. For cap pieces going on the outer hoops, there is only one groove -- while the cap pieces for the middle frame hoops have grooves on both sides.

The cap pieces are cut to be 27" long and 5" wide (for middle hoop caps) and 8" (for outer hoop caps). These caps are placed as to be flush with the top surface of the top wall runner as well as the top of the front piece. The middle caps are installed while there is still at least one side of the frame hoop accessible. They are attached by screwing through the 2x4 from the inside on the hoop and into the cap piece sitting on top. This allows the fasteners to remain hidden.

Installing the outer cap pieces is a little different, since at this point their cubby divider is already installed and there is no way to access the inside of the frame hoop. So instead, secure these pieces by screwing through the plywood and into the frame hoop. Yes, these fasteners will be visible -- but we'll handle that.

In a coming step, 6" wide border pieces will be placed on top of the outer cap pieces. That means that as long as you keep the screws in the area where the other piece of wood will go they'll be covered up later. Just be sure to use flat head screws and countersink the wood so that they don't protrude up above the surface.

Finally, the outer cap pieces will need a screw going into the top of each of the 2x2 posts that were installed a few steps ago. These screws, however, will be visible so we'll have to talk about another method to hide them later. For the mean time, it is important that these particular screws not sit flush with the wood surface, but rather be recessed at between 1/8" to 1/4" below the surface of the plywood. This is done by getting a screw and counter sink that match the diameter of the screw head (no bigger) and then drilling into the wood the correct depth with the screw before countersinking the bottom of the hole.

This is where getting a hole-plugging set will be very useful. We'll get into it in detail in a bit...but a kit like the one in this link really goes a long way.

Plug-Cutter Kit

These plug cutter kits include drills, countersinks, and plug-cutters that are sized to match common wood screw sizes. Basically the point of this kit is to create a hole deep enough to bury a screw in the wood and then cut a plug from matching wood that can be put in place over the top of the screw to hide it. But we'll talk more about that when we get to the finishing steps. For now we just prep for that step by using appropriately-sized holes and countersinks for these 4 fasteners (1 per each 2x2 post) that we'll be needing to hide later.

(for those unfamiliar with a plug-cutter --see last image here for reference)

Once all the cap pieces are on, finish installing the rest of the cubby divider pieces and proceed to the next step.

Step 12: Putting in the Bottoms for the Cubbies

At this point, the sides of the cubbies are in place and two 1x4 runners can be seen going along the floor.

We want to cover those up.

This is a pretty straight-forward step with 1 important note that I had to figure out on the fly.

The bottom piece of the cubby is sized to be a tight fit and is little more than a rectangle that is 39" x 27". You position it in the cubby and lower it down into position. It acts as the final puzzle piece in the cubby and covers the fasteners along the floor that were placed to secure the walls.

It is such a close fit, in fact, THAT IT CAN'T BE REMOVED UNLESS YOU ADD A FINGER HOLE.

Ask me how I know.

Anyway, I was able to think on my feet and drill a 3/4" hole in the corner using a spade bit and, thanks to the runners holding the plywood off the floor, I was able to do it without drilling a hole into the the floor boards. whew.

I would suggest avoiding that stress and pre-drilling the hole before lowering the cubby bottoms into place. That way you can remover them later if need arises. There is no need to screw the bottom to the runners underneath, the tight fit will ensure that the bottom stays in place.

Step 13: Now We Install the Cross Beams Where the Hinge Hardware Will Go

I'm running out of creative names for, essentially, rectangular pieces of plywood of various sizes. So I guess I'm just going to have to describe them from now on...

Anyway, these "cross beams" are 40.5" long pieces of plywood that are 3.5" wide. They are installed by sliding them into the grooves in the cubby dividers. This is meant to me a tight fit, so you'll need a soft mallet to hammer them in until they sit flush with the top of the hoop cap pieces you just finished installing.

Now the grooves in the dividers/cubby walls are actually 4.25" long...so there will be a .75" gap between the bottom of the groove and the bottom of the cross-beam piece. This will be handled in a later step when we go back to reinforce/stabilize the cross beam.

This cross beam will be the wood where the hinge hardware is going to be attached for the lids. This is why it'll be important to stabilize the cross beam and minimize deflections in it (as any bending or movement in this piece of wood could result in the hinges getting out of alignment and making the lid bind up).

For now though, the cross beam just needs to be put in place in each of the cubbys...so get to hammering!

Step 14: Add Trim Pieces Along the Back of the U.S.B

Now with the cross beam pieces in place, the next step is to put in the back trim pieces. These trim pieces are placed between the wall and the front edge of the cross beams. Each piece of wood is 6" wide and 44" long and are placed so to line up with the front pieces of the bench. The idea is to make sure the partition in the front bench pieces lines up with the partitions between each of the pieces of trim. It is also important to ensure that the trim pieces are placed so that they are flush with the front face of the cross-beam pieces from the last step. Issues here will affect the performance of the hinges and lids.

These trim pieces are secured by screwing through the plywood and into the cap pieces that were placed to cover the tops of the frame hoops. These screws being used, however, will not be able to be hidden as has been done previously...so it's time to revisit the discussion of the plug cutting kit and how to hide the screw holes.

A quick note first: since this method of hiding the screws isn't perfect, and there will still be signs of the screws once finished, it is important to be consistent in the placement and spacing of the screws. This goes a long way to maintaining the clean, professional, look of the build. So to this end I used a piece of wood that marked the 2 positions across the width of the trim piece where I would be placing screws. I spaced each screw about 3/4" from the partition line between trim pieces and ~4" away from each other.

When I went to place each screw, I used a countersink and drill to create a hole for the screw. Each hole was drilled and counter-sunk so that, once the screw was driven into the hole, it would sit 1/8" to 1/4" below the top surface of the wood. At this point, the plug cutter tool is used to cut a wood plug from a piece of plywood scrap that would match the size of the hole drilled. This plug piece is then glued in place over the top of the screw head and sanded smooth to obscure it a little better. You can see the countersink and plug cutting tool I used in the attached images. However, you may not see at first glance... but there is a spot where I covered a screw head with the plug (to the left of the drill/countersink). You can identify it by the slight mis-match in the grain but from a quick glance it does a good job of hiding the screw.

I went on to use this process of hiding screw heads for each of the screws used to secure each trim piece, as well as for the screws placed a few steps ago to attach the outer cap pieces into the 2x2 posts at either end of the storage bench.

Step 15: Installing Hinges and Lids

Next up: Hinges and Lids!

This step involved assembling the hinge hardware and mounting the lids (44"x22.5"). The hinges I used were concealed cabinet hinges and I placed 3 hinges on each of the lids.

To be able to accurately position and cut the holes for the hinges I used the KregJig hinge jig. It is a great and well-designed tool that really simplified the assembly process (if you don't have one, consider looking into getting one: kregJig hinge tool)

Once all the holes for mounting the hardware were drilled, it was time to install the hinges and lids. I had my own way of doing this... which probably isn't the best way to go about it...but it was certainly an entertaining way to do it... so have a laugh with me ;)

The lids are all really big, heavy, and would be VERY painful if they slammed on a finger. So to prevent that I also installed soft-close hinges. I used a set from Morinbo (1 hinge on each side of the lid) to ensure the lids closed nice and easy. They came with easy installation instructions and worked really well, so I would certainly suggest considering them (Morinbo Soft Close hinge).

When selecting a soft-close hinge, it is important to make sure they are adequately sized to handle the mass and overall size of the lid they are intended to support. So make sure you account for that. These lids were around 15 lbs, so I bought ones that were rated to support 13-16 lbs. If the hinges are too stiff then the lid wont fully close, and if they are not stiff enough the lid will still slam. (in fact, I original only used one of these and then I found it still closed too hard so I added a second)

Step 16: Final Trim Pieces and Finishing Details

The last pieces of plywood to be assembled on to the bench are the outer trim pieces. These trim pieces are sized to be 29" x 6" in dimension and slip in between the wall and the outer lid on each side of the bench. I did find myself trimming the width just slightly to make sure the fit between the lid and the trim pieces wasn't so tight... but that is an adjustment you'd have to make on the fly when doing the build.

The trim pieces are secured by screwing through them and into the plywood beneath. Again, as doing this exposes fasteners, a countersink and plug cutting tool are used to drill the hole and create a plywood plug to hide the screw. I used the same spacing that I use when I installed the back trim pieces. I did this to maintain continuity in the build.

This marks the last piece of plywood to be installed... there remain a few final finishing steps but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel now ;)

Step 17: Ultimate POWER... for the Ultimate Bench

Now it's time to power up this build and take this bench to the next level ;)

Yes, time to add power outlets.

I found a power outlet extension on amazon (click here) that included room for 2 plugs and 3 usb connections. I figured it would be a nice touch as the bench was built over two wall outlets and I didn't want to lose access to those. I originally designed the bench to have the outlets placed in the outermost trim sections on the bench (see the CAD images), but I decided to change that to have them be centered on the each of the 2 outer back trim pieces ( the ones that went between the wall and the lids)

To install them I traced out a rectangle that matched the shape of the backside of the outlet and cut them out. Cutting them out was done with a jig saw (I used a drill bit to make a hole to start the cut). Finally, I slid the outlet into place and screwed down the face-plate after plugging in the outlet extension.

Step 18: Securing and Reinforcing the Cross Beam Hinge Mount

Ok, we've reached the final step of the build itself...securing and reinforcing the hinge mount.

At this point the hinges and lids have been installed, however, the cross beam still has a lot of flex in it. This flex causes the hinges to get out of alignment and bind up when the lid is opened or closed. Over time, this would cause excessive wear and lead to the hinges failing prematurely.

Failing hinges would certainly be less than "ultimate"....so here's how I addressed that:

I've prepared a few schematics for increased clarity, so refer to them to better understand how this works...but the process goes like this:

1) I cut .75" thick strips of plywood that were each about 2" long. I then used them as wedges to put upward pressure on the bottom of the cross beam/hinge mount pieces.

  • When the cross beam pieces were installed in their grooves, the grooves were purposefully cut to be slightly deeper than the cross beam pieces were wide.
  • The strips of wood that were cut to act as wedges were hammered into the gap beneath the cross beam and secured with a finishing nail through the wedge and into the bottom of the cross beam piece (nails are represented by black lines in the schematics shown)
  • The wedges create upward force on the cross beam pieces to help lock them in place

2) I placed 2x2 pieces of wood behind the cross beam piece (see the schematic for placement)

  • I screwed the piece of wood into the cubby dividers or back trim piece (consult the schematics to see the placement of screws -- indicated in yellow)

3) I re-drilled the hinges, this time using longer screws so that the screws passed through the cross beam piece and into the 2x2 support on the back side.

  • It should be noted that, as can be seen in the 3rd schematic shown, there is interference between outlet extension that I installed and the central support post. I had the option to re-position the outlet extension to avoid that, but instead I opted to use my router to remove material in those specific posts to eliminate that interference.

4) The final step was to connect some plywood pieces to the front of the cross beams. These pieces acted as hinge supports

  • The hinge supports are placed so that they are flush with the top of the cross beam pieces.
  • The lid is supported on 3 sides by the front bench pieces and the frame hoops, however there is nothing to carry the load of people sitting on the bench a the back of the lids (apart from the hinges) until the hinge supports are installed. If left without hinge supports, the hinges could be bent or the screws mounting them could be torn out of the wood.
  • After screwing through the support pieces and cross beam, the same trick used earlier to hide the fasteners with the plug cutter kit was used to hide these screws

Step 19: Making the Bench....Ultimat-er?

ok ok , I know I just said the build was done, but... one last thing (hey a tinkerer's job is never really done right?)

After I finished the build, I started working with my wife -- an awesome seamstress -- to make cushions for the bench to make it into a day-bed of sorts. This step is still in process as we work to prototype the cushions, but I will share where I am now so you can do likewise on your build if you choose.

I purchased large pieces of foam (30" x 72") to be made into cushions. Here's something useful I learned: foam cuts much like a very large loaf of bread...and can be cut very well with a serrated bead knife. After I got them cut into pieces, my wife helped me make a first version of cushions. We're still working on templates to make a final version...but in the meantime:

The bench is very comfy ;)

Step 20: ENJOY!

There you have it:

A day bed, a BUNCH of storage, a phone charging station, and a lot of seating room

or in other words:

The ULTIMATE STORAGE BENCH :D

Thanks for reading through this instructable and I hope you were able to get inspired ( or at the very least that you enjoyed seeing how my build came together). If you decide to do our own version of the build, I would love to see how it turns out!

Step 21: Update: Snazzy Cushions

So it took some time to get the sewing pattern we liked and get the right fabric, but we finally did get those cushions finished up! Not really anything to say here about the build itself... I just wanted to highlight the awesome work my wife did on these things :)

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    11 Comments

    0
    flywatt
    flywatt

    11 months ago

    I was inspired to build this with some slight modifications. Mainly, I used 1x4 boards instead of plywood for the box. I used a spacer to make the bench "breathable", in case the kids get themselves stuck inside. I also added some borders and made ours 9ft instead of 12. I would recommend 8ft instead of 9,because everything is sold in 8 or 12ft incriments.

    PSX_20201221_161533.jpg
    0
    Garage_Shop_Crafter
    Garage_Shop_Crafter

    Reply 6 months ago

    wow! so cool to see the design being used. I like the slats look...turned out really well

    0
    jdmmedia
    jdmmedia

    12 months ago

    What kind of plywood is this? Oak? Ash? Other? Very nice

    0
    jdmmedia
    jdmmedia

    Reply 9 months ago

    Forgot to ask...Did you stain this at all?

    0
    Garage_Shop_Crafter
    Garage_Shop_Crafter

    Reply 9 months ago

    I personally am not a big fan of wood stain. I prefer showing the true grain color, and i particularly love the look of plywood. So no stain, just a nice clear finish to protect the wood.

    0
    seamster
    seamster

    1 year ago

    Very nicely done. You can never have too much storage space! : )

    0
    nic.bryan.73
    nic.bryan.73

    Reply 12 months ago

    Certainly not in a normal sized house. I'm always finding myself short on space, and that's only going to get worse once I downsize to an RV full-time. (Fortunately, I've found a trick for THAT issue. Underslung toolboxes for flatbeds.Take advantage of all that copious amount of space wasted by exposed frame and streamlined panelling.)

    0
    Garage_Shop_Crafter
    Garage_Shop_Crafter

    Reply 12 months ago

    We plan to build our own tiny house in the coming years, so we're hyper aware of using space efficiently and making sure everything has multiple uses/functions