Building the base for the bench
If you have a farmhouse style table for your family, you might want a bench to squeeze the little ones onto. An upholstered bench adds a little more cushioning and color!
Woodworkers with beginner to intermediate skills may not be up to the task of making mortise and tenon joints to connect the apron to the legs of the bench. While a Kreg jig can be used to create pocket holes to screw the apron and legs together, the pocket holes alone, or even with glue are less than half as strong as a mortise and tenon joint.
A pre-cut bench base kit is just the thing! Osborne Wood Products offers a bench base kit with most of their bench legs. The kit comes with bench legs, apron boards, corner braces and hardware to assemble the kit. The mortise and tenon joints give maximum strength which makes these kits a piece that can become a family heirloom. And the best part is they will make it any size you want!
Items Needed for the base
- Osborne Bench Base Kit
- Wood Glue
- Wood Clamps
- Electric Screwdriver
- Q-Tips or a small paint brush
First, measure your table to find the perfect bench size. Ideally the bench will be shorter than the inside distance of the table legs.
Then jot down the length and width for your bench. A standard width is 14″. Benches are typically about 18″-19″ tall. This will be a smidge taller with the cushion, but it will still work nicely.
Once you have established the length and width you want the bench to be, you are ready to pick out bench legs to complement your table and order your bench base kit. Osborne Wood Products frequently ships orders the same day so depending on where you are (in relation to Georgia) you could get your kit as soon as the following day or in about a week if you are on the west coast.
I didn’t want my bench to have any overhang. The website base kit tool requires you to enter an amount for overhang, but Osborne Wood’s customer service can help get your kit set up if you want to skip the overhang.
Osborne Wood Products has a great video on assembling their base kits which you can see here:
Dry fitting everything first is important. Just assemble all the pieces like a jigsaw puzzle to make sure the joints fit. You may need a rubber mallet to snug the pieces in. Then disassemble to glue the joints.
Once you have everything put together and the glue has dried, check for any glue drips and sand them off if you have any. Check everything over for any spots that aren’t smooth and sand them before painting.
Before painting the color of your choice, use a quality primer. Follow the instructions on the can of primer application and pay attention to the dry time. If you are finishing the bench base outside, cool temperatures can increase the time to dry.
Check the base for any paint drips and sand them smooth once the base has dried before adding a second coat of paint. Make sure to paint all the exposed wood to ensure a good seal on the wood. This will help ensure a long life to the bench!