HOW TO BUILD THE PB BROOKS TABLE BENCH
(Instructions are based on one 73.5 in. long x 15″ wide; 17.5″ tall bench. If building a different size, be sure to adjust measurements accordingly).
This bench works great with a 7ft table. Although the pictures below are of a longer bench for a 9ft table, bear in mind that this bench tutorial is for a shorter bench (73.5″) to fit a 7ft table.
Adding the center support legs is optional for this bench or any size smaller. The plans below do include adding the center support legs. But this step can be eliminated. It’s truly personal preference based on the look you want.
2x6x8 pine boards (3)
2x6x8 pine boards (2)
APRON & SUPPORTS:
2x4x8 pine boards (2)
GRK Wood Screws 2 1/2″ (any brand wood screw will work; just sharing my favorite here)
Finish (I.E. paint/stain/poly) (If building for an outdoor space, be sure to use exterior poly….As a sidenote: Poly has gotten very expensive and water-based exterior poly is really hard to find. Thankfully, I found this option on Amazon. It checks both boxes: cheaper than the other poly’s and water based for exterior).
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NOTE: If you’ve never used a Kreg Jig, here’s a great tutorial. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend buying one. You will use it all the time in the DIY realm! And it makes builds so much easier!
STEP ONE: (OPTIONAL) Rip your boards
This step is completely optional. I like to get rid of the manufactured edge on all of my 2x’s before starting any project. This extra step gives the furniture piece a more clean, finished look and is very easy, but does require a table saw. I’ll share the widths I take them to and then explain how I do this…
For the bench top, I rip the three 2×6’s to 5″ wide. (2×6’s are actually 5 1/2″ wide)
For the legs, I rip the two 2×6’s to 3.5″ wide.
For the apron & supports, I rip the two 2×4’s to 3″ wide. (2×4’s are actually 3 1/2″ wide)
Now for How I Do This: (Here’s a great post on how I give my boards a finished look)
I’ll use the bench top boards for my example. As noted above, I want my 2×6 bench top boards to be 5″ wide. They are originally 5 1/2″ wide. I simply set my table saw for 5 1/4″ and rip one side of my 2×6. Then I set my table saw to 5″, flip my board over and rip that side of my board. Now I have a 5″ board with straight edges on both sides. Follow these same steps for your other boards, to get rid of that manufactured curved edge and achieve a clean, straight edge look.
STEP TWO: Build the legs
Cut twelve 2×6’s to 16″ long. Glue 2 boards together and clamp to let dry. When finished, you will have 6 legs that look like this…
STEP THREE: Build the frame (apron and supports) (Tip: Read “Note” at the bottom of Step Three BEFORE starting on Step Three)
Cut four 2×4’s to 31.5″ long. (Long part of the apron) Add 2 pocket holes to each end.
Cut three 2×4’s to 9″ long. (Short part of the apron) Add 2 pocket holes to each end.
Attach the 31.5″ 2×4 between 2 of the legs using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws. Inset the 2×4 3/4″. And repeat for each section. It should now look like this….
Then attach short boards (9″) to both ends and in the middle using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws. Again, inset your 9″ boards 3/4″. (Note: For the middle section, I turned the board to lay flat…giving it a little more support). As shown below….
I like to use clamps when drilling my screws in for a tighter fit.
NOTE: 1. Make sure all of the pocket holes are on the inside of the frame.
2. Inset each of your apron boards about 3/4″.
Cut two 2×4’s to fit between the width of the bench frame. These are your supports to keep your bench from bowing with time and wear and tear. Drill 2 1/2″ pocket holes on each end of your 2×4’s. Using 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws, evenly space these boards and attach to the long apron boards. As shown below….
STEP FOUR: Build bench top and attach
Cut three 2×6’s to 73.5″ each. Attach using 2 1/2″ finishing screws. Make sure you are screwing each board into the end supports and the middle support. Your bench should now look like this….
Again, I used clamps while attaching my top boards to get a tighter fit.
STEP FIVE: Sand and Finish
Sand entire bench with a 60-grit and then again with a 220-grit sheet of sandpaper.
Add stain or paint and at least 3 coats of poly (one more for added protection, if placing your table outside). I used MinWax Special Walnut Stain (bottom) and Annie Sloan Graphite Chalk Paint (top); along with Minwax water based exterior poly….
I love how solid and sturdy both the table and bench are. These guys aren’t going anywhere–perfect for the outdoors! And so much cheaper to build your own versus buying one from Pottery Barn and spending well over $2000.
Change up the Bench Plan
There’s another option for this beautiful bench, if you have a shorter dining room table. I would recommend not adding the extra bench legs that give it support. With a shorter bench seat, the extra support of the legs is not needed. With the clean lines and sharp edges, this would give your bench a more modern look.
Where to Add a DIY Modern Bench
This modern design is perfect for a dining room or outdoor table, of course. But what about outdoor spaces? Such as a garden, landscaping, or on a front porch.
It would also be a great addition to a foyer or mudroom. Adding a bench, makes the space more functional while also adding a beautiful design element. A throw pillow or blanket will bring in some texture and warmth to the room.
Who doesn’t need more storage space? Place this simple design at the foot of a bed with baskets underneath….And voila! Now you have a bench with built-in storage.
A bench is a perfect option for a living room. Not only as extra seating, but let’s think outside the box. Build a more compact size bench and use it as a coffee table. Using a piece of furniture for something other than it’s intended use is a great way to elevate a space.
I hope you found these free plans for this great beginner project to be very helpful. I love to offer detailed tutorials for all of my building projects. As always, if you have any questions, comment below and I would love to help you out! I love helping you turn these DIY posts into something tangible. Let’s go beyond the design and build something beautiful. You’ve got this! Until next time,
Happy Building, Friend!!
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