I had some extra wood and time and decided to make a 4 foot long sitting bench this Labor Day weekend. It's not against the rules to work in your own shop on that day I hope. Please allow me to broaden your imagination and explain a little on how it was put together.
Step 1: Deciding How Large and Design/ Once Done Build the Frame.
Deciding on how large of a piece you want is the first hurdle to cross. Once you decide on size build the frame I used simple butt joints on the corners you can go all out and miter them if you want to, I used 3 inch screws to attach all pieces to include the 18 inch legs.
Lumber I cut was 3, 2x4x4, 2, 2x4x18inches, and 4, 18 inch 4x4
Step 2: Once Frame Is Done Start Adding the Top Boards.
Once the frame is built decide on design I went with a herring bone design. I attached a picture to reflect the first and second board. These are both 90 degree cuts the 1st Imis aligned with the center of short end of the bench end is cut at a 45. 2nd board is butt against the first and runs at a 45 at this point you can tell if your bench is square if not the 45s and 90s will be off, thankfully mine was square. Once 1 and 2 are down is a simple repeating process, I attached them as I went with an air nailer making it nice and easy. After the boards are complete you will have gaps at the top and bottom, I cut some of the same lumber and filled in those corners and areas that needed to be filled in.
Step 3: Once Complete Sand and Decide What Finish You Want.
I started with a 120 belt on my belt sander to hit rough edges and taller peaks and corners. After that I went with a 150 grit on my random orbital sander and also 220 once complete I blew off the piece and wiped it down with a tack cloth. I decided to go with dark tung oil for the finish of this piece because I wanted to showcase the different grains and wood types in the bench and was afraid anything darker might cover it up. All said this project was done in a matter of a few hours, if you are using dimensional lumber for the top it would go faster.