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

Ryn0nTX (not verified)

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 20:19

Hi Ana... (and everyone else).

I just wanted to point something really silly out....but may save another "rookie" from making the same mistake. When you buy a 1" x 4" board....guess what? ...it is only 3/4" x 3 1/2" !!! Really! After I set my Kreg to 1" thick stock! Well that just sucked after shooting screws through the legs. All ROOKIES (like myself)...take note.

Also, I never needed the 2 1/2" screws? What are they for?

Thanks for a great how-to on a cool looking bench.

-Ryan

fusionmom (not verified)

Fri, 07/20/2012 - 00:14

I can't wait to make this bench. The red color is fantastic. The directions look easy enough that even I can do it. I hope so. Maybe my family will believe in me and not think that I am such a

MelanieCS (not verified)

Wed, 11/14/2012 - 13:48

What is the 1x4 for??

In reply to by MelanieCS (not verified)

hhoward

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 11:53

I think that is why she suggests reading all the instructions first. I didn't, and I bought the 1 x 4. It is not needed, must just be a mistake. I was even able to get by with only (1) 1 x 3 and I made mine a few inches longer. I used the 1 x 4 and additional 1 x 3 to make a food tray to go along with it. The 1 x 4 wasn't long enough to do the bottom for this tray, so I substituted in 4 cuts of 1 x 3 instead.

http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2012/04/diy-casserole-tray.html

Alexandra Pflug

Sun, 01/13/2013 - 15:36

My husband, father, and I made 8 of these benches in varying lengths for Christmas gifts this year. It was a lot of fun, and once we put jigs in place to keep everything consistent it was a breeze. I made a brag post, but it isn't showing up on my computer. Have fun with this plan. It is simple to follow and makes a beautiful, versatile little bench.

wendykeeler

Mon, 08/05/2013 - 16:54

LOVE this bench! Made a trial run and will post it soon. But I want to make the bench 40" long for a table. Will it be strong enough to hold 2 adults/3 kids? I'm thinking yes, but..... I saw you have a double x bench, but 54" is way too long.
thanks.... junkerhouston@mac.com