Splayed Leg X Bench

Submitted by Ana White on Sat, 01/19/2019 - 10:55
| Print this plan

We love this cute bench!  The splayed legs are extra sturdy, and the size is just perfect for moving around the home, to use as you need.  It works as a nightstand, seating, or an entryway or bath bench.

You can easily alter the length by just increasing the aprons and top sizes.

Our free step by step plans include lots of diagrams, shopping list and cut list.

vintage wood bench




small vintage bench plans
Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List
  • 1 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 – 1×4 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 – 1×12 @ 30″ long
  • 2″ and 2 1/2″ screws or pocket hole screws
  • Glue, wood filler, 120 grit sandpaper and finishing supplies
Cut List
  • 4 – 2×2 @ 17 1/4″, end cut parallel to each other at a 5 degree angle off square and a 5 degree bevel
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 7″ (both ends cut 5 degrees off square, NOT parallel to each other, short point to short point)
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 9 1/4″ (Both ends cut at 5 degrees off square, NOT parallel to each other, short point to short point)
  • 2 – 1×3 @ 24″ (both ends cut at 5 degrees off square, NOT parallel to each other, short point to short point)
  • 2 – 1×2 @ 48″ (approximate, just cut your 1×2 in half)
  • 1 – 1×12 @ 30″ (Top)

This list has been updated per reader comments.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Miter Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1

Cut the Legs

Just like yesterday’s Simple Stool Plan, you will need to cut your legs at a double bevel. I highly recommend a compound miter saw set at 5 degrees angle (this would be like rotating your saw so that it makes a pizza shaped cut) and a five degree bevel (this would be like cutting carrots, with the knife blade cutting at an angle away from your hand as you cut diagonal strips) at the same time. The legs are the ONLY pieces that need to be cut at a double bevel. The legs need to be cut at 5 degrees off square (angle) and a 5 degree bevel, 17 1/4″ to 17 1/4″, with the ends parallel to each other (so you would make your first cut, slide your board down 17 1/4″ and make a second cut to have your first leg. Then simply slide your board down and make a third cut to have two legs. Then slide the board again and so on until all four legs are cut. Line your legs us as shown above, and mark the inside corner. This is very important, as with such a slight angle, it will be easy (I’ve done it many times) to get confused as to what direction your legs should be placed at.

Step 2

End Apron and Base

Okay, start by marking the placement of the end boards as shown above. Predrill your holes (I used pocket holes, but you could use countersunk screws and glue). Center the boards on the legs and attach. The boards should be parallel to the ground, not in line with the legs. The top is flush with the top. You will need to make two of these. Remember the placement of the mark on the top of the leg. End pieces are cut at 5 degrees off square, ends NOT parallel to each other, measurement given is short point to short point.

Step 3

Side Aprons

Attach the side aprons to the ends as shown above, same as above. The top aprons are cut at 5 degrees of square, ends NOT parallel to each other, measurement given is short point to short point.

Step 4

Cutting Cross Supports

I wanted to do this step so that you could make your bench longer without trouble. And also, I understand that if you just slightly moved your aprons in or out, it would change your measurements and angles for the cross support. So good old common sense is going to help us out today. Mark the centers of the top and bottom aprons. Flip the bench over. Grab one of the 1x2s cut at 48″ and rest it on the bottom of the top apron and the bottom of the opposite side base board. Use a square or scrap wood piece to mark the angle of the apron and side base board onto the 1×2 as shown in the diagram above. Cut these marks as shown above. Fit, (see fit below) cut again, and fit until you are happy with the fit. You will need to cut two of these. The top and bottom angles ARE NOT THE SAME so you will need to pay attention to the rotation of your cross supports.

Step 5

Step 6


Mark the underside of the top 1 1/2″ in from both ends. Attach to the top (I knew I was painting so I just used 2″ screws through the top) with screws and glue. The side overhangs should be approximately 1/2″ (depends on your 1×12 width).


Michelle (not verified)

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 11:08

I cant wait to make this. I am going to use it as a little table next to a chair I sit in to read. Perfect for a stack of books and lamp. :)
Hope you are doing well....we were talking about Alaska the other day and I was like "I wonder if Ana has a S.A.D lamp?" :)

Eve (not verified)

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 11:13

This is exactly what I needed :D my mom just got a new dining table and I have been looking for benches for her. These bench legs will match her table perfectly! Thanks so much Ana :D

Laura (not verified)

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 11:44

I love this! The red is fabulous! and, I really like your new blog with extra entries from readers who have improved on their talents (thanks to you)! The more ideas here, the better! Besides that, I can't possibly imagine you building everything on here--your house would be FULL of furniture at some point, and you'd be building into the wee hours of every night. This also encourages us, as readers, to design something worthy of posting (so far, they'll all been great).

p.s. Hopefully your nose feels better soon.

Peggy (not verified)

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 12:04

Longtime lurker, first time commenting.... I am always so AMAZED at what I find on this site every day, and I do check it EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! I have been left speechless, gotten cold chills (in a good way!), all kinds of thoughts and feelings from all the beautiful things made here. But this- THIS- bench is the cutest freakin thing I have ever seen!!!!!! I don't know if it's the color, the shape, or the sum of all its parts, but I am truly blown away by the cuteness factor!!! Great job, Ana!!! Keep'em comin, from you and all the others who dare to show they can do it themselves. And just so you know, I'll be building this here bench very soon!!! Thanks again!

Jenny (not verified)

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 12:13

Cute bench! Can't make one now, though, since I'm about to build the ladder for the almost-finished loft bed in my garage. :-) I just had to pipe up and say my son broke my nose when he was about 18 months old. We were playing on my bed and he hit it just right. Just a hairline fracture, but still! That think hurt forever.

Pam the Goatherd (not verified)

Wed, 01/19/2011 - 13:31

Ouch! They really should put info about the full contact kid-stuff in the new parent instruction books. Don't forget to wear a mouth guard along with your helmet!!! I hope your nose heals up soon. One positive about living in Alaska is that you shouldn't have any problems finding ice to put on your nose to get the swelling to go down.

This bench is so adorable and I love, love, love the red!

Free Plans Made Possible By Our Sponsors