How to make D.I.Y. dining table bench seats

James, Team member
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How to make D.I.Y. dining table bench seats

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Project Overview

These dining table bench seats are made from recycled timber and they look great in any modern setting. You could even put them beside a wall or coffee table as a room feature. They’re really easy to make and bring a rustic touch to your home.  Continue to step-by-step instructions
colour code spanners
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How to colour code your spanners

When you’ve got a lot of spanners, it can be hard to tell the difference between the metric and imperial ones. A simple way to do this is to wrap all your metric spanners in one colour tape, and wrap and all your imperial spanners in another colour tape. This will help keep them organised, and save you time as well.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure and cut the bench
2 Plane and sand the bench
3 Wax the bench
4 Cut the legs to size
5 Assemble the legs
6 Sand the legs
7 Stain the legs
8 Measure and mark for the legs
9 Attach the legs
10 Sit back and relax
  • Step 1. Measure and cut the bench

    We made our benches to measure 285mm x 2000mm x 50mm in length but you can make them as long as you like. Use the tape measure and square to mark your benches to length and cut them to size using a circular saw.
  • Step 2. Plane and sand the bench

    Plane the edges of the bench seat to remove any rough edges and splinters. You can then give the top and bottom of the bench a sand. You may like to leave some of the paint and other markings on the timber for character if you like. When you use the belt sander, start with a coarse 36 grit, then move to a finer grit as the timber becomes smoother. Then use the orbital sander with a 240 grit sandpaper for a final finish and to round off the edges.
  • Step 3. Wax the bench

    Wipe any sawdust from the bench seat after you’ve sanded. Now it’s a good idea to apply a natural wax to protect the timber and to highlight the grain. Apply as many coats as needed.
  • Step 4. Cut the legs to size

    Cut the timber for your legs to size. To make this project easier, you can have your timber pre-cut at your local Bunnings. We cut our 90mm x 45mm hardwood to the following lengths: • 365mm lengths x 4 • 268mm lengths x 8 • 175mm lengths x 4
  • Step 5. Assemble the legs

    Lay out the legs for the bench by placing a 365mm length for the floor. To each side of this screw the 268mm pieces in from the top down. From the 268mm side pieces, screw the 175mm length into place on top. Attach them by drilling clearance holes with a 6.5mm bit, then countersinking pilot holes with a 5mm bit. Apply glue to the joins. Use the 100mm bugle screws to secure.
  • Step 6. Sand the legs

    For a nice finish, use 120 grit sandpaper with the belt sander to remove any rough edges.
  • Step 7. Stain the legs

    We’ve chosen to stain our legs Japanese Black. Simply use a rag to apply it, but not too thickly so it highlights the natural grain of the timber. When using the stain always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Work in a well-ventilated area and use the appropriate safety gear.
  • Step 8. Measure and mark for the legs

    Choose the nicest looking side for the top of the bench seat. Then flip the bench to the underside and measure and mark where the legs will go. We attached our 100mm in from each end, and centred 10mm from both edges.
  • Step 9. Attach the legs

    Drill pilot holes with a 5mm bit through the leg and then through the underside of the bench. Flip the bench. Using the pilot holes as a guide, use a 22mm spade bit to countersink for the cup head bolts through the top. Pre-drill with a 10mm bit through the bench top and the legs for the bolts. Once the holes are drilled put the bolts in from the top, attach the legs and tighten the nuts with a ratchet and sprocket set.
  • Step 10. Sit back and relax

    Your dining table bench is now complete and it looks great. It’s time to put it with your dining table, or it would even look great against a wall or near a coffee table.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Belt sander
  • Circular saw
  • Cordless drill
  • Impact driver
  • 5mm bit and 10mm bit
  • 6.5mm countersink
  • 22mm spade bit
  • Countersink
  • Clamps
  • Disposable gloves
  • Drop saw
  • Drop sheet
  • Dust mask
  • Earmuffs
  • Hammer
  • Orbital sander
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Respirator mask
  • Sanding block
  • Safety glasses

Materials

  • 90mm x 45mm x 2.4m hardwood pine x 2
  • 100mm bugle screws
  • 100mm cup head bolts
  • Bugle bolts x 10
  • Natural wax
  • Paint
  • Phillips head screws
  • 36 grit sanding belt
  • 120 grit and 240 grit sanding pads
  • 240, 120 and 80 grit sandpaper
  • Soft cloths
  • Wood stain
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