How to Build Kitchen Banquette Seating
Tools and Materials:
router and a 1/4” straight cutting router bit
4-foot bar clamps
Brad nailer and a finish nailer
notched trowel, grout float and sponges
circular saw, power miter saw and a table saw
eight pieces of 1x6x6 red oak
four pieces of 1x3x6 red oak
1/2” birch plywood
1x3 poplar trim
1-3/4” oak plywood
10 linear feet of sheet oak bed molding
box of wood joint biscuits
1. The bench is a simple, recessed panel box. Determine the size of your bench. Our bench is 35-1/2 tall and 22” deep. The seat is 17” deep with the backrest gradually sloping up to a 2-1/2” flat top. This fits perfectly into the space where we tore out some cabinets.
2. Using a table saw, rip a piece of 1/2” plywood to size for the seat. Cut pieces for the front, sides and back of the bench. Depending on the length, you may have to cut an extra support piece for the middle. If so, cut a piece the same dimensions as your side pieces. Nail the bench together. Apply 1x3 poplar trim to the bench, nailing from the inside to avoid nail holes. We fastened our old cabinet doors to the front of the bench for a more decorative look. Cut the top to fit and nail trim around the edge.
3. Paint or stain the bench and allow it to dry completely. Install the bench by setting it in place and tacking it to the wall.
4. For the tabletop, lay out the 1x6 red oak boards to a slightly bigger size than your finished size, it can be cut to its final size after it’s glued up. Using the plate jointer, make slots on both sides of the boards except for the outer boards (slots on the inner sides only). Run a line of wood glue along the edges of each board and inside the slots. Insert the pre-cut biscuits into the slots then join the boards together. Clamp the boards together and let the glue dry.
5. After the glue sets up, cut the top to its final dimensions. Use a router to get a smooth edge and avoid over sanding later on.
6. Prep the batten boards (1x3 red oak) by cutting slots into the sides of the boards using a router. The slots will be used to screw the battens to the tabletop. Screw the battens to the underside of the tabletop using pan-head screws. Screw through the middle of the slot to allow for expansion and contraction.
7. To make the pedestal feet, cut out a 1’ x 3’ rectangle out of the 3/4-inch plywood. Find the center of the rectangle. Use a pencil to mark out 3/4-inch wide by about 2-foot long rectangle centered inside the plywood rectangle. Use a routed or jig saw to cut out the shape. This will be feet of the pedestal; you will cut it in half later.
8. Make some half laps, again using your jig saw or router, make 3/4-inch slots so that the 3/4-inch plywood can slide into them to make the pedestal. On one side of your rectangle starting at the center, make three 3/4-inch slots starting at the center and the other two slots about three inches away on each side. On the other side, copy the two outer 3/4 inch slots you made, but, DO NOT copy the one in the middle. The center one gets copied in the middle of the inner rectangle you routed out earlier (click + to expand image).
9. Now that all the half laps are cut, round out the corners of the rectangle to get rid of the rough edges and give it a smooth look.
10. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise giving you two very similar looking pieces. One half should have three teeth on top and the other half should have two teeth on top and one in the middle on the bottom. You should now be able to slide the middle slots together creating a cross or X pattern. Use a little glue and a nail gun to join the pieces together.
11. Determine how tall you want the pedestal. Average height for a table is 4 feet, remember to include the base of the pedestal and the tabletop in your calculations. Cut four rectangles out of the 3/4-inch plywood. Two of the rectangles should be a 1/2 inch wider so that the pedestal doesn’t end up looking like an ordinary box. We cut two pieces 4 feet x 6 inches and the other two pieces 4 feet x 6-1/2 inches.
12. Cut 3/4-inch half laps in all the pieces on the bottom centers so that they can interlock with the cross-pattern feet. When you interlock the pieces make sure that the same size pieces are across and NOT next to each other. A 1/4 inch of wood should be sticking out on all four corners, this is simply just for style. Use wood glue and finish nails to assemble all pieces.
13. Prime and paint. Stain is not recommended since the tabletop is made of a different type of wood, for a uniformed stain look use the same wood for all parts of your table.