Shaker Bench

Shaker Bench

We’ve been working on the kitchen, slowly perfecting it to match our every day habits. The first big change was a new fridge, a small SMEG fridge that is a foot and a half shorter than our old one and completely opens up the space. The second big change was building a new coat rack and shelf in the entry so we could remove the old coat rack which made opening the door a challenge and hampered the entry sequence. As part of that effort we changed the storage and wanted to consolidate our boot and shoe storage. We bought a small rack to put our boots on, and our shoes fit nicely underneath, but we wanted that to fit under a nice bench in the entryway. Our current bench was too small, so we made a new one.

The bench is extremely simple. One eight foot 1×4 and one eight foot 1×12 and 11 cuts, a little glue and a few nails. The trick is using the dato blade, a blade that fits into a standard table saw and can rout out slots easily so that you can create pieces that lock tightly together. The sketch below shows the basic assembly, two legs, two side pieces and a top.


The side pieces are 1×4’s, cut to 39″ for our needs. With the dato blade we notched the edge so it would fit nicely against the top.


Our table saw isn’t that wide, and our chop saw can only cut up to 9″, so we had to gerry-rig a guide and use our circular saw to cut the 1×12 to make the top and legs. We used our jigsaw to notch out the legs, mainly so it would sit a little flatter on our uneven floor.


After cutting the top surfaces we set the guard on the table saw to 3″ and used the dato blade to cut a notch 3″ in from each end of the side boards and 3″ in from each end of the top. This slot allows the legs to nicely fit into the top and lock into the sides, holding everything nicely at 90 degrees and giving the bench a lot of stability.


 A little glue and some finish nails just to hold it together and it is ready to go. We are planning on painting it, but if we were going to leave it unfinished we could have skipped the nails and just used a few dowels to keep it altogether.