Wooden hallway bench with two shelves
A new wooden hallway bench was built in our workshop. This time, we had all the freedom to design it and to choose the proper type of wood to build it.
We built the hallway bench out of fir wood. The most important requirements that it had to fulfill were:
- to be narrow so that it would fit into a small place (because it was going to be placed into a small apartment hallway)
- to have enough storage space to store as many pairs of shoes.
We used 3 pinewood panels, with a thickness of 2 cm:
- one of 72 cm length and 32 cm width (the one for the seat of the bench)
- two of 40 cm length and 32 cm width (for the sides of the bench, which were also the legs of the bench).
We prefer to build the pinewood panels. First of all, because we chose the most beautiful planks for the panels and secondly because they are more strength over time than those bought from the stores. The homemade panels do not bend, the risk of damaging the glue is smaller and they also can have the thickness we want because we are not limited to the size of the bought panels.
If you can not build them it’s ok to use the bought panels, too. The wood is easy to restore: a little bit of wood putty, a new layer of primer, and a layer of varnish will always solve the small problems.
For the shoe shelves, we used 10 square pine strips (5 wood sticks for each shoe shelf) of 2.5 cm by 2.5 cm in section and 68 cm length (the length between the two side panels). We also used a pinewood plank of 10 cm width and 68 cm length to stiffen the bench.
We marked the lines for the shelves on the two sides of the bench (in the mirror). After that we marked the place where we had to drill the holes for the dowel joints, to hold in place the wooden strips. Four of those five wood sticks had to be inline and the fifth one had to be fitted a little higher, so it could be used as a stopper for the shoes. After marking everything, we drilled the holes in the wooden boards.
We drilled the holes in the ends of the pinewood strips using a wooden drilling jig. That jig helped me to drill all the holes straight, centered, and much faster than without using it. We did the same thing for the wider plank, but since that one had a different thickness, we had to use a few pieces of veneer to center it in order to use the same jig. That way we didn’t have to build another jig.
We glued the wood strips and the stiffening board by using 8 mm wooden dowels.
We checked the position of the wooden strips before the glue had dried.
For a better tightening, we also used F clamps.
After the glue has dried, we marked the places where we had to drill the holes to fit the panel for the seat.
We drilled the necessary holes and we fitted the panel. This was the step when the bench started to look like a real one.
The finishing process started with the filling of the small imperfections of the wood with wood putty. We sanded the three panels using the belt sander, and all the edges by hand.
We stained the hallway bench with water-based walnut stain and we applied the primer and the water-based varnish for a nice, smooth, and matte look. This is the result:
This shoe rack matches the pinewood hall stand with wooden hooks and a storage shelf: