Splayed Leg X Bench

Submitted by Ana White on Sat, 01/19/2019 - 10:55
Difficulty
Intermediate
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We love this cute bench!  The splayed legs are extra sturdy, and the size is just perfect for moving around the home, to use as you need.  It works as a nightstand, seating, or an entryway or bath bench.

You can easily alter the length by just increasing the aprons and top sizes.

Our free step by step plans include lots of diagrams, shopping list and cut list.

vintage wood bench

 

 

 

Dimensions
small vintage bench plans
Dimensions are shown above.

Preparation

Shopping List
  • 1 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 – 1×4 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 – 1×12 @ 30″ long
  • 2″ and 2 1/2″ screws or pocket hole screws
  • Glue, wood filler, 120 grit sandpaper and finishing supplies
Cut List
  • 4 – 2×2 @ 17 1/4″, end cut parallel to each other at a 5 degree angle off square and a 5 degree bevel
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 7″ (both ends cut 5 degrees off square, NOT parallel to each other, short point to short point)
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 9 1/4″ (Both ends cut at 5 degrees off square, NOT parallel to each other, short point to short point)
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 24″ (both ends cut at 5 degrees off square, NOT parallel to each other, short point to short point)
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 48″ (approximate, just cut your 1×2 in half)
  • 1 – 1×12 @ 30″ (Top)

This list has been updated per reader comments.

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Drill
Miter Saw
Power Sander
Level
Drill Bit Set

Instructions

Step 1

Cut the Legs

Just like yesterday’s Simple Stool Plan, you will need to cut your legs at a double bevel. I highly recommend a compound miter saw set at 5 degrees angle (this would be like rotating your saw so that it makes a pizza shaped cut) and a five degree bevel (this would be like cutting carrots, with the knife blade cutting at an angle away from your hand as you cut diagonal strips) at the same time. The legs are the ONLY pieces that need to be cut at a double bevel. The legs need to be cut at 5 degrees off square (angle) and a 5 degree bevel, 17 1/4″ to 17 1/4″, with the ends parallel to each other (so you would make your first cut, slide your board down 17 1/4″ and make a second cut to have your first leg. Then simply slide your board down and make a third cut to have two legs. Then slide the board again and so on until all four legs are cut. Line your legs us as shown above, and mark the inside corner. This is very important, as with such a slight angle, it will be easy (I’ve done it many times) to get confused as to what direction your legs should be placed at.

Step 2

End Apron and Base

Okay, start by marking the placement of the end boards as shown above. Predrill your holes (I used pocket holes, but you could use countersunk screws and glue). Center the boards on the legs and attach. The boards should be parallel to the ground, not in line with the legs. The top is flush with the top. You will need to make two of these. Remember the placement of the mark on the top of the leg. End pieces are cut at 5 degrees off square, ends NOT parallel to each other, measurement given is short point to short point.

Step 3

Side Aprons

Attach the side aprons to the ends as shown above, same as above. The top aprons are cut at 5 degrees of square, ends NOT parallel to each other, measurement given is short point to short point.

Step 4

Cutting Cross Supports

I wanted to do this step so that you could make your bench longer without trouble. And also, I understand that if you just slightly moved your aprons in or out, it would change your measurements and angles for the cross support. So good old common sense is going to help us out today. Mark the centers of the top and bottom aprons. Flip the bench over. Grab one of the 1x2s cut at 48″ and rest it on the bottom of the top apron and the bottom of the opposite side base board. Use a square or scrap wood piece to mark the angle of the apron and side base board onto the 1×2 as shown in the diagram above. Cut these marks as shown above. Fit, (see fit below) cut again, and fit until you are happy with the fit. You will need to cut two of these. The top and bottom angles ARE NOT THE SAME so you will need to pay attention to the rotation of your cross supports.

Step 5

Step 6

Top

Mark the underside of the top 1 1/2″ in from both ends. Attach to the top (I knew I was painting so I just used 2″ screws through the top) with screws and glue. The side overhangs should be approximately 1/2″ (depends on your 1×12 width).

Comments

Joy (not verified)

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 13:33

Hi Anna,

I'm sorry about your nose. I knock a tooth out of my mom's mouth when I was young.

I wonder is there any way to make the leg cuts with a simple miter was?

I love your site; it's the first one I check each morning. I'm in the process of making the tilt out shoe bin. It's going together well so far.

Thank you for all!

Joy

Gwenevere (not verified)

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 13:54

I've had my nose cracked in that exact same way plus some....watch out for the time when you are helping put pants on your little one and to get them on all the way they do a little wiggle and jump (I do it to). The jump usually happens while you still have a grip on the waistband and are leaning over them - Crack!

Annalea (not verified)

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 18:26

Oh owie! I've been there . . . surprised by pain, and only realizing how much it hurt when I noticed I was crying. Hang in there, and have your FedEx man bring you some homeopathic arnica gel to get rid of the swelling and bruising. (You do have Prime, right? I can't imagine life without it.) That stuff is wonderful. I've used it repeatedly on myself, and toddlers too young to know what it was for, and it's amazing. It'll knock a goose egg flat in less than half an hour.

And I love the bench. I'm not sure where it's going to go yet (still planning the house!), but it's going to be used. I love the crosses!

Sara B (not verified)

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 18:43

Thanks so much for this explanation: "5 degrees angle (this would be like rotating your saw so that it makes a pizza shaped cut) and a five degree bevel (this would be like cutting carrots, with the knife blade cutting at an angle away from your hand as you cut diagonal strips) at the same time." The bevel vs angle thing was confusing me, but no more! :)

SJC (not verified)

Thu, 01/20/2011 - 03:20

I just found a free large frame to make into a giant chalkboard for my daughter and I need a bench to sit under it --- this one is perfect!

Oh, and she gave me a black eye while jumping on the couch in the "family room" at a funeral home about 5 minutes before I was supposed to get up and do the eulogy. So there are worse times to be blindsided by a hard headed toddler!

Lynn in Canada (not verified)

Thu, 01/20/2011 - 04:41

I'm sorry to hear about your nose and I did something similar this past fall but I walked into a 2x4 sticking out at 90 degrees from a fence post (dont' ask, hubbie got the message). It cracked and swelled (and I don't need a bigger nose, thank you) but I was ok in about a week. Hope you will be too - that REALLY REALLY hurts.

Ana and anyone else out there - do you fill all your pocketholes with wood filler? I just got a Kreg jig and I also got the mini-kreg because the holes are so big with the regular size Kreg jig, I was a bit taken aback - takes a lot of wood filler! The mini-Kreg is only good for certain projects and only pan-head screws but it makes such dainty holes - I do prefer them. I must have gone through half my wood filler container filling those pocket-holes - any advice on using wood filler would be appreciated - I never get a clean fill, you can tell there is filler there - is it the brand I'm using? My technique? Even after I paint, you can tell I tried to fill a hole there...

kerry davis (not verified)

Thu, 01/20/2011 - 06:18

Lynn - I use wod filler on my pocket holes too, and you can always tell. I'm super new to this, so would benefit from anyone who has tips to offer you. Maybe it's to fill & sand again? I'm super impatient, so this could be part of my problem....

Tamara Knowles (not verified)

Thu, 01/20/2011 - 07:39

Hey Anna,

Just wanted to say THANKS for all the wonderful plans. I'm currently on my second project and can't wait to start the next, and the next, and the next :) Just thought I'd let you know if you are in need of some sunshine we can help! We live and run a company in the Bahamas for kayaking and sailing expeditions. We have a place you could stay and could show you a good time if you want to come to our little island :) check us out...www.outislandexplorers.com and let me know if you want more info!

Thanks again for all the wonderful projects and encouragement!