we stained the bench with water based walnut stain

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 for the wooden dowels into the pine wood panels
The holes are drilled in the pine wood panel
we drilled the 8mm holes after we draw the lines of the shoe shelves
The 8 mm holes for the dowel joints

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 used a wooden jig in order to drill the holes into the ends of the square pine wood strips
Drilling the holes into the ends by using a custom drill jig
all the square pine wood strips of the wooden hallway bench were drilled in the ends by using the custom drill jig
The square pine wood strips are drilled in the ends
we used some veneer pieces to drill the holes into the ends of the pine wood plan
The pieces of beech wood veneer used to drill the stiffening board
this pine wood board was used for stiffening the wooden hallway bench
The pine wood board used for stiffening the bench is drilled

We glued the wood strips and the stiffening board by using 8 mm wooden dowels.

we used 8 mm dowel jigs to build the two shelves for shoes
8 mm wooden dowel
the wooden dowels are glued up into the position
The wooden dowels used to hold the wood sticks

We checked the position of the wooden strips before the glue had dried.

we glued up the pine wood strips for the shoe racks
Checking the position of the pine wood strips

For a better tightening, we also used F clamps.

we used F clamps to tighten better the two sides of the wooden hallway bench
Using F clamps for a better tightening
the wooden hallway bench is very strength even if we didn't assemble the seat
This is the pine wood hallway bench before positioning the seat

After the glue has dried, we marked the places where we had to drill the holes to fit the panel for the seat.

we marked the places to drill the holes for the seat of the wooden hallway bench
Marking the places to drill the holes to assemble the seat of the bench
we marked the drilling places for the dowel joints between the bench and its seat
The marks drawn on the wooden panel used for the seat of the bench

We drilled the necessary holes and we fitted the panel. This was the step when the bench started to look like a real one.

this is our wooden hallway bench, before finishing
The unfinished version of the shoe rack

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:

we stained the bench with water based walnut stain
The wooden hallway bench stained with water-based walnut stain
a perfect pine wood shoe rack for a small entrance hallway
The entryway wooden bench fits into a small hallway

This shoe rack matches the pinewood hall stand with wooden hooks and a storage shelf:

the pine wood hallway furniture set
The complete hallway set consists of a bench, a hanger with wooden hooks and a shelf

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