Farmhouse Bench

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Dimensions: 
Dimensions are shown above
Dimensions: 

4 – 2x4s, stud length of 8 foot length
2 – 1x4s, 8 foot length
1 – 1×2, 8 foot length
2 1/2″ screws
2″ screws
Wood Glue
Finishing Supplies

Common Materials: 
wood glue
wood filler
120 grit sandpaper
primer
wood conditioner
paint
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
circular saw
sander
countersink drill bit
Cut List: 

4 – 2x4s @ 16 1/2″ (Legs)
2 – 1×4 @ 2 1/4″ (Spacers)
2 – 1×4 @ 6″ (End Aprons)
2 – 2×4 @ 12″ (Stretchers)
2 – 1×4 @ 61″ (Side Aprons)
2 – 1×4 @ 9 1/2″ (Inner Aprons)
5 – 1×2 @ 9 1/2″ (Supports)
4 – 2×4 @ 65″ (Bench Seat Boards)
2 – 1×4 @ 14″ (Breadboard Ends)

Skill Level: 
Estimated Cost: 
Style: 
General Instructions: 

The Farmhouse Bench is designed to work with this Farmhouse Table, but there is no reason you could not modify the dimensions or use it as a coffee table or outdoor bench. If you plan to build the Farmhouse Table, starting with the bench will give you a chance to test out your skills on a smaller version.

For those of you who have a pocket hole system, you can use the pocket holes to build your bench seat separate. You can also fasten your aprons directly to the legs without spacers.

Step 1

Legs

The notches and stretchers on the legs is optional. Notch out your legs (for full instructions see the Farmhouse Table post) and laminate your legs together in pairs of 2 with glue and 2 1/2″ screws. Then take note of the placement of the spacers and attach to the insides of the legs. This will differ depending on the leg. Attach with 2″ screws and glue.

Step 2

End Aprons

Attach end aprons to the spacers as shown above. Use glue and 2″ screws.

Summary: 

To match our Farmhouse Table. This farmhouse bench is easy to build and is rustic and substantial.

Step 3

Stretcher

The stretcher gets attached in the same method. Screws and glue.

Step 4

Bench Frame

Build the bench frame, keeping the 1×2 supports flush to the top. Easy method is to flip it all over and keep the supports flush to the bottom :)

Step 5

Attaching Legs

Screw bench frame to legs with glue and 2 1/2″ screws.

Step 6

Seat Boards

Find the center of the supports and begin attaching seat boards from the underside. Work with the boards to minimize gaps as you go. Attach all seat boards. If you have a pocket hole system, you would build your bench seat separate, and then attach.

Step 7

Breadboard Ends

If you have a pocket hole system, you would attach the breadboard ends directly to the seat boards in step 6. Otherwise, attach to leg bases.

Step 8

Finishing

If you are staining, be very careful to not let glue dry on the project, as these areas will not take stain. Fill holes with wood filler, sand and paint or stain as desired.

One of the early plans that I posted was my Farmhouse Table.  I've since down sized to the Round X Base Table (tiny dining space) but the Farmhouse Table still gets more use in my home than any other work surface, with the exception of my desk.  It's now my beloved workbench that I build furniture on on a pretty much daily basis.  I cannot wait to show you my next project . . .  :)

And even after all this time, I'm still thrilled with the design.  While I can't think of a better and sturdier spot to build furniture, it's also stunningly beautiful in it's simplicity.  We love Farmhouse Tables because they are warm and rustic, and require hearty meals and heartfelt conversations.

There have been so many beautiful Farmhouse Tables built, but today, I am featuring Jackie's and Kristen's because of their matching benches.  Today's plan is for the Farmhouse Bench to match our tables.  You can read more about Jackie's gorgeous dining room with Farmhouse Table and Bench here. Lots more eye candy, you must check it out.

And from Kristen.  From my blogging experience, I now walk around in awe, humbled by the amazingness of people. There are so many talented people out there, and I am just so grateful to be inspired by them.  By you.

Comments

I have been anxiously awaiting for this. I love it! Can't wait to get started on it.....I have some spare time tonight. :) Awesome.

I'm confused how you would build the bench seat seperate and then attach with a pocket hole system. Would you attach the supports to the seat boards ahead of time with pocketholes? Then how do you attach to the frame?

It might be too early in the morning for me to be looking at furniture plans...

I don't think that you can use the 'stud' length 2x4s for this project. They are 92 5/8" long and you require 65" for the bench top, 16 1/2" for the legs (4 of each) and 2 pieces @ 12" for the stretchers. That totals 93 1/2" without any allowance for the saw blade or squaring the ends. You will either need to use 96" lengths or add a extra 'stud'.

Also, the link for notching out the legs is gone. The table instructions state to go to the 'how-to' section, but that no longer exists on your new site layout (that I could find).

Love the projects ... the bench is less than $15 to make!

@Jason

>Love the projects ... the bench is less than $15 to make!

Hi, interesting comment, is there anyway you can justify that it is less than $15 to make? i.e. links, cost breakdowns, etc.

If it's true that you can buy all of that timber for under $15 then there is something seriously wrong with the hardware and timber trade where I live and I would love to take some evidence of price gouging (i.e. a comparison to your BOM) to the ombudsman.

If any one else has a comment regarding the costing of this project I would appreciate it.

The best I can come up with (just for the wood) is:

Qty dimension dimension cost total
imperial metric plm cost

4 2"x4"x8' 45x90x2400 2.92 $28.03
2 1"x4"x8' 35x90x2400 2.5 $12.00
1 1"x2"x8' 35x45x2400 2.9 $6.97

$47.00
(source: http://buybuildingsupplies.com.au/timber-general-pine-radiata-c-70_2825_...)

Great project BTW!

Cheers,
Gary

It also looks like the Breadboard ends are listed on the cut list as being from the wrong dimensional lumber - they should be from 2x4 stock, not the 1x4.

Yeah, there aren't enough bench legs. I just got done notching legs for 2 benches and realized I only have enough for 1 bench...

i really want to start this project, but i live in a smaller house that will not fit this size table in my home, so im going to have to improvise a little to make it smaller! i will probably do this in a few weeks!

Ana and all,
What type of wood is everyone making these benches and farmhouse tables out of? Any recommendations? I'm not sure I'll have much more than pine at my disposal but I thought I would at least ask.
thanks

I just finished the build of my bench last night. I still need to sand and finish it. It's awesome. Really nice and sturdy, and it was only an evening project to get it built.

Jason already noted a couple of the corrections, but I thought I'd compile them into a single note here based on my experience last night.

* First of all, you're going to need another 8' 2x4. There are a couple of errors in the cut list requiring additional 2x4 stock.

* The first two cut list items (Legs & Spacers) need doubled. As shown it only gets you two legs since each leg is actually made of two piece glued together.

* The Breadboard Ends should actually be 2x4 not 1x4 so that they match up with the Bench Seat Board thickness.

* The notch video is here - http://ana-white.com/2009/11/how-to-notch-out-boards.html

The is a great and easy project and easy to modify to fit your particular space. Have fun. Hope these tips help.http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/hs068.snc6/167894_4916191...

Whitney, I'm so glad you up-loaded your photo. I really like the way you finished it. I think I want mine the same. Thanks for the picture.

On Kristen's blog she said she used a "gel stain by Varathane called Early American and two coats of wipe on high gloss polyurethane on the rest of the table and bench (not the top). "

My husband finished building this bench the other night fairly quickly. This was our first project of this sort and it took him about 2 hours and we followed the changes to the plans that Don listed above.
Another change that we made was that we built the top of the bench out of all 1x4's and the frame and supports out of all 2x4's therefore eliminating the need for the 1x2's.
This change made the frame more sturdy, but required a couple more 1x4's to cover the top. We also made our bench about 4 feet instead of the full size like Ana's.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PCAG6ujD9-g/TXe_rPV3Y7I/AAAAAAAAArU/A...

Super cute :) I've got all the materials to do 2 for my table, now to get to work on them :)

Ive had the lumber for a while, just cut all of it - first time using a miter saw - still got all my fingers lol.

Something weird though, we have a 12" saw and when i lined up the wood to the fence the blade wouldnt cut through the wood all the way? So i had to move it up a couple inches and fear a kick back to get a clean cut.
Edit: Made some major mistakes but thats what i expected for my first project. Waiting on a sander because the belt sander just has too much kick me. Need to pick up more screws too.

Received a second hand table when we got married almost seven years ago.  It *finally* fell apart.  Started shopping for a new table but just couldn't spend many hundreds of dollars for fake wood laminate.  Hubby bought a cheap table for 175$ second-hand.  I hate it, its so ugly lol.  I think I'm going to attempt this one, with a bench, then attempt to make 2-4 chairs using this site's plan (parson or the simple chair?  not sure yet).  Can't wait to have a little time off work and some sunshine :) 

Thanks Ana for all your work!  Much appreciated!

hello,

i am soo inspired by the bench and would love to build the table and bench together but can't seem to find the plans for this specific table? can you please help ?!

I made the farmbench and LOVE it!! But when I attach the top seat to the base (which is sturdy alone) One leg comes up and the bench rocks back and forth...any ideas of how to fix it???

I don't get it, If the Bench Seat Boards are 2"X4" and the Breadboard ends are 1"X4" then after you got it all together won't the 2'X4"s (Bench Seat Boards) be sitting higher than the 1"X4" (Bread Board ends)? Can Someone please explain this for me?

The bread boards are wrong. You have to use 2 x 4's not 1 x 4's. The cut list is also wrong. For the legs you need to double that. I also bought 6 2 x 4's.

I made a Farmhouse table but counterheight, do you think I could make this bench counterheight as well?
Thank You

I made a Farmhouse table but counterheight, do you think I could make this bench counterheight as well?
Thank You

I just finished building this bench, but I made a few modifications to the plans. For the breadboard ends I used 2x8s instead of the 2x4s. I also left off the spacers and end aprons between the legs and added another 2x4 stretcher on the top of the legs to give the breadboard ends more support. I had to adjust the length of the seat boards in order to keep the length the same. I used 2x4s for the end aprons on the bench frame, and 2x2s for the seat supports. I used a table saw to notch out the legs for the stretchers and they turned out great after using a chisel smooth the grooves. I also used a round-over bit and routed the entire outside edge and around the feet to avoid splintering. A few passes with 80 and 220 grit, and a couple coats of stain and polyurethane and it looks great. Thank you Ana for such a great plan. I really like your work and look forward to using more of your plans in the future.

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to make this into an 8' bench. Would this need more center support if made that long? Any suggestions would be really appreciated.

Does anyone know if there are plans online for the same bench but with a back rest. I have kids and would like to know they are going to fall back.

Thanks

My husband built us a beautiful 8 seater teak table but has yet to even start the chairs, that was 2 years ago. I am going to make this bench as a surprise, hope it goes well. Thanks for the plan :)

After reading all the comments I realize that I might have purchased the wrong lumber now. Unless Ana updated the plans after the comments had all been made.
I am wondering, though, also about sanding and finishing. Did everyone use a power sander to make the 2x4s as smooth as possible on top or did you mostly leave it kind of rough? I'm not sure what to do. Thanks.

This is a beautiful bench and not difficult to build. I want to provide some useful tips for anyone wanting to build it too.

1) Corrections to plans - See comment by Don on 2/2/2011.

2) Take care to make sure everything is square when building the bench frame in step 4. the 9 1/2" end pieces must be vertical in order to properly attach to the legs in step 5. This will ensure the bench legs and seat are at a 90 degree angle. If the the 9 1/2" end pieces are not vertical you can use washers as spacers when completing step 5. Placing a washer between the 9 1/2" end piece and the legs will allow you to correct the angle error if it is not 90 degrees. (place screw through the washer)

3) When attaching the breadboards to the legs I noticed there wasn't much space left on the top of the legs to anchor the breadboard securely. I would recommend cutting the bench seat boards to 64" instead of 65"; this will provide a 1/2" more anchor space on each leg to be used for the breadboard. A 64" cut on the bench seat boards will still be long enough to be properly supported by the legs.

4) Wait to cut the 12" strechers until you have completed step 2. There could be some variation in the actual length needed due to variations in steps 1 & 2.

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