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).

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Comments

Michelle (not verified)

Thu, 01/20/2011 - 14:23

LOVE this bench! It will be mine (shortly after the laundry basket dresser I'm making for a friend!)

My daughter broke my nose about a year ago... it felt like brain freeze without the ice cream, LOL. It's only very slightly crooked. (((Hugs))) to you, mama!

Neala (not verified)

Thu, 01/20/2011 - 19:35

Ow! My daughter did that too, flinging herself around in midst of a tantrum and cracked my nose which gave me a good black eye! Who knew that 2 year olds have such solid little noggins? You're so used to cradling a soft baby head you don't realize how painful and rock-hard they become! Hope it heals soon!

Wendy (not verified)

Sat, 01/22/2011 - 11:44

I decided to make this little bench today. It is my first project and it is so fun!

I just wanted to write and make a little correction in your shopping list - you need 2 2x2's at 8 feet long, not just one. Or probably more like 1 and a half 2x2's. The first 2x2 for the legs (which leaves about 47 inches leftover) and another 2x2 to cut in half and use as cross supports.

Thanks for all your plans - I have a list of all the things I want to make next...

ps - the whole 5 degree angle and 5 degree bevel turned out to not be as hard as I imagined.

Wendy (not verified)

Sat, 01/22/2011 - 11:51

err - a correction to my correction - :)

1x2's not 2x2's

you need 2 1x2's at 8 feet long- one for the side aprons and another for the criss cross. The aprons take up about a half a 1x2 at 8 feet long, but that doesn't leave quite enough for two criss cross's.

Or maybe the error is that the side aprons should be cut from the 1x3's instead of the 1x2's..... which actually makes more sense.... off to cut some 1x3's!

sorry!

Tracy Smith (not verified)

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 16:06

My daughter just asked me to make her a bench for the piano that we inherited from my Grandmother after she passed. This will be a great starter project and help fill a need in our little house. Thanks so much for posting plans, creating this community and giving some inspiration to a mother of three teenagers who is looking to support her family after brain cancer took her husbands livelihood from him. You are so awesome and at 34, I've finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up - Ana White! LOL Seriously I just want to build and create and you've inspired me to do it! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

Tracy Smith (not verified)

Mon, 02/21/2011 - 18:38

Ya, I got it built tonight... we stain it tomorrow! Such a cute and sturdy bench, however, there is some discrepancy in the wood buy list. If you follow the shopping list, it shows a 1x4x8 but there isn't any cutting instructions in the cut list. There also isn't any 1x2's listed in the shopping list.... So, there need to be some corrections made. We bought the 1x4 but didn't use it at all.

I'm assuming that the shopping list should read as:
1 2x2 @ 8'
1 1x3 @ 8'
1 1x2 @ 8'
1 1X4 @ 8'
1 1X12 @ 30"
Then, in the cut list, the 1x2 @ 24" should actually be the 1x4 @ 24".

We didn't figure this out until we were done building and realized we had a 1x4 that we didn't use. :-) It's cute even without the 1x4. Thanks Ana for the plans and the inspiration, cuz it was a blast to build even with the oops'.

Nichole Hancock (not verified)

Wed, 03/02/2011 - 04:10

We just built two of these great benches. I extended them to 48" long, to fit on the sides of my store bought farmhouse table. They feel super sturdy and should last even with 5 boys on them :). Thanks for the great step by step plans... it made it so easy to do.