Wednesday, September 17, 2014
DIY Large bench made with cabinet doors
First off this project started when I wanted for a bench in my entryway. It needed to be large and I didn't want to pay the price for a nice bench from a furniture store. I originally thought of making a bench using a bed headboard as the back but had trouble finding one that suited my likes. So after some thinking and looking around I came up with the idea of using some cabinet doors as the backrest. I love how it turned out, and I have to admit it was only the start of my addiction to using cabinet doors in my projects, as you will see in my other DIY builds.
First step was to build the frame of the bench. Under the seat is a simple rectangle box with cross sections made our of 2x4 boards. I then attached the legs to the project which are 4x4 boards cut to length. I attached the front legs to the inside corners of the 2x4 frame making sure to secure them well. The back legs I made longer so they reached almost up to the top of the backrest of my bench and secured them to the outside back of my frame. I did place these back legs in a way from the edge because I didn't want them at the edge of my backboard. Next I placed some plywood on the top of the frame where the seat would be. I then got some inexpensive unfinished hardwood flooring boards from my local home improvement store and placed these on the plywood as if I was laying a hardwood floor. I made sure to nail down each section of board with an air nailer to keep them tight and secure. Once the seat was complete I finished off the front and sides with a large piece of oak that I had left over from some home projects. I cut the corners at a 45degree angle so they came together nicely.
Now it was time for the cabinet doors. I get my doors from a ReUse store in my town. They get doors donated from a local cabinet maker that are not acceptable for their use. I find them perfect for my projects and there are so many sizes, wood types, and styles to choose from. For this project I purposely choose doors that had different woods and styles. I went with two heights and varied the withs. I played around with different size doors and arrangements until I came up with one that I liked. I did get the doors, arranged, and measured them before I started this project so I could base the seat size accordingly. To mount the doors I layed them out facing down and took a thinner piece of plywood that was cut to cover the entire length of the back but be slightly smaller so that it wouldn't show from the front. I used screws to secure each door to the plywood fastening the screw from the plywood side into the door backs so they wouldn't be seen. Finally I attached the doors to the back legs of the bench using screws that I sunk into the 4x4 about half way.
The final step was a couple coats of clear polyurethane. I love all the different natural wood colors in this project and how all the wood grains show up. I have to say that applying the first coat of poly is my favorite step because it make all the wood come alive.
I didn't add any dimensions to this tutorial because this bench could be made to whatever size best fits your need. For the depth of the bench and seating height I would suggest to look at other seats in your house and find one that you like and take measurements from that. Another suggestion is to keep it simple, sometimes it's OK if a project looks a little DIY and original, don't get disappointed if everything doesn't come together perfectly. Have pride that you made it and I'm sure others will be amazed at what you did.
Thank you for your interest in my bench. Please click on the DIY page (under the blog title) and see my other projects, I hope you like cabinet doors because I sure do.