Window Bench with Recycled Molding
A custom window bench is crafted for a Victorian dining room.
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Materials and Tools:
four 4'x8' sheets of 3/4-inch birch plywood
five 2x4s (depending on the size on your bench)
Ace Sensations paint color ceiling white
Ace Sensations paint color Blue Mould
drill and bits
pneumatic nail gun
staple gun and staples
carpenter's square and pencil
X-acto precision knife
two paint brushes and two rollers
For the lid:
six yards fabric
three yards batting
1. Drawing a diagram for your window bench. Measure the dimensions for the space where the window bench will go: width, length and height. Measure half the width of the sheet of birch plywood and draw a straight, level line down the plywood.
Measure 1/2 inch from the outside edge of the plywood and make a mark, then lay the level down to mark out the angle.
2. To create the depth of the window seat, we dissected the angle. To do this, use a carpenter's square and a level to make sure your line is parallel. In this case, we dissected off a 90-degree angle and then measured out 12 inches around the entire piece of plywood to allow enough seating space.
3. To ensure a close fit against the window, we removed the molding below the existing window with a hammer and chisel. We will be reusing this molding later on in this project.
4. Put two 2x4s under the plywood before you start to cut it. They will act as a support. Then cut the plywood along the previously drawn lines with a circular saw. When you reach the corners, use a jigsaw to cut out the angles.
5. Measure and cut 2x4s to create the ledger that will run in an octagonal shape and support the load from the top of the bench. The plywood will sit on top of the ledger. Once pieces are cut, measure and mark a level line where the bench will sit against the wall.
6. Use a stud finder to locate the wall studs, then attach the 2x4 to the wall. We screwed it into the studs from the center so we could make sure the ledger was level before we screwed in all the way onto the wall.
7. Measure and cut the plywood to panel the front and top of the window bench, using a circular saw on an angle. Screw the front of the window bench into place, then screw the top of the bench into place.
8. Measure and cut the old base molding for the front bottom of the window bench. Prime the bench, then glue and nail shoe molding to the top of the window bench. We put a lip on the molding when we put it on the bench to keep the cushion from sliding forward on the bench.(Instead of using a ruler, we used another piece of 1/4-inch molding as a gauge.) When that is flush, affix the molding into place.
9. Paint the window bench and let dry
Window bench cushion
1. Measure and cut plywood into three sections to form the lid. On each plywood section, mark where each of the three pieces of the lid fits.
2. Spray an even coat of adhesive on the plywood. Lay the foam on it, and press down until the adhesive dries. Then cut the extra material off the foam using an X-acto precision knife.
3. Measure the fabric for the bench lid, using the size of the plywood pieces and adding 6 inches on each edge.
4. Lay fabric on the batting evenly, making sure there is 6 inches of overhang on each side. Flip the lid over so you are working on the underside. Keep the fabric taut and in place for a tight fit, but don't pull so tight that the material puckers.
5. Starting on the long sides, fold the raw edge of the fabric under and staple it to the back of the plywood. Keep the staples approximately 1 inch to 2 inches away from the edge and spaced approximately 6 inches apart. Smooth out the fabric after each staple to make sure the fabric does not wrinkle. When you reach the corners, fold the material as if you were wrapping a present, making sure the fabric is taut. Staple it in place.
6. When all the edges have been stapled, flip the lid over and install it on the bench frame.
Have a niche to fill? Build a window seat. It takes less than a weekend and costs less than $100 in materials.