Introduction: Building a Custom Bench in ONE Day With ONE Board!

About: Hi, I’m Sam! Full time psychologist and woodworker! I build things and publish plans. Check out my website and YouTube channel for more project ideas!

I recently finished renovating my small dining room space in my home, but was in desperate need of a custom dining room table to fit the small space and float over my baseboard heater. So, my friend Chris from Cow Dog Craft Works helped me make a bench for the space in one day and with one board! Here's how!


Step 1: Cut the Pieces

First, we cut the project panel into the top, legs, and stretcher pieces using a circular saw and a track. We chose measurements that would fit comfortably over the heater in my dining room. The bench is for a 7 foot long table.

Step 2: Create Jigs

Next, we created router jigs using plywood and Instant Wood Adhesive to create our mortise and tenon joinery in our legs and stretcher (you can see this in action in my YouTube video). I started with a top bearing bit and ran that against the jig and then finished the cut but flipping the leg and using a bottom bearing flush trim bit. This step is totally optional, by the way! While I preferred to use the router, Chris preferred to cut his joinery with a hand saw!

Step 3: Prepping the Top of the Bench

Once the tenons were cut into the legs, we then cut the mortises in the underside of the top of the bench with the router and a few new jigs. 

Step 4: Assembling the Bench

Next, we added the top to the legs and the stretcher using wood glue and clamps.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Last step was to sand and stain the bench!

If you want to see this entire build in action, make sure to check out the YouTube video!