Simple Bench Design

Beginner build time approx 2 hours

We are making the furniture for our new volunteer house right now and have made this beautiful table and benches using the same design for all three. If you follow these techniques you will have a very strong table which has only one bolt holding the legs so it can easily be flat-packed to be moved later on.

First of all, what tools and materials do you need…

  • Drill with a variety of drill bits, screws and screw heads
  • Bolt and spanner
  • Saw (I used an electric circular saw)
  • A square if you want to get really accurate
  • A good work bench makes life easier
  • Pen or pencil to mark where you wood goes
  • Tape measure
  • Sand paper

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So firstly you want to cut your bench surface to size. You are going to be working from under the bench at all times, and everything is fitted to the bottom of the seat of the bench. This was you have no screws showing from above. Below you can see the underside of the bench which is the pink planks. The two length pieces are secured here from below, and you can see a piece in the middle joining the two. You want to fit this middle piece first. We used this middle piece to secure the two planks we were using for the bench. If your bench is just one plank then maybe you dont need this middle bit.

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Next cut your two small end pieces. You can see these below between the legs. As you can see the length and end pieces do not meet each other. Instead they butt up against the legs. This is important for the strength of the table when we fix everything in place. Right now the legs should not be fixed but the lengths and ends should be attached to the pink bench with screws.

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Again, below, the legs are not attached, and are just there to check everything is in its right place. Now you need to cut four of these diagonals. If you have a power saw this will take a few minutes, but will take a bit longer with a hand saw. Make sure the diagonal pieces do not touch the legs, and only connect with the lengths and ends.

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Secure the diagonals in to the lengths and ends with one or two screws.

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Next we attach the legs (which had been cut to 45cm). Make sure you have made a nice square cut as this will affect the stability of your bench or table. Put your leg in place and drill a large hole through the diagonal. The bolt should slide through the diagonal. Drill a smaller hole through the leg as this is where the bolt is going to grip on to. You should notice as you tighten your bolt, the leg is slowly pulled tighter in, and becomes very strong.

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And there you should have a very strong bench. You can make your table with the same method.

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