Splayed Leg X Bench

Submitted by Ana White on Sat, 01/19/2019 - 10:55
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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).


Sonya (not verified)

Thu, 03/10/2011 - 17:55

The shopping list and cut list are off somewhere. There's a 1x4 on the shopping list but none listed on the cut list. Also, the long aprons are the 24" pieces should be 1x3's. It wasn't a problem for me since I'm making it with scraps I already have. Thanks for all you do!


Thu, 04/14/2011 - 18:29

I made this bench out of cedar and just applied a clear protective finish and it really made the knots and grain pop. It looks FANTASTIC and is very sturdy. Thanks for the plan!

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 05/05/2011 - 12:03

This bench appears sturdy, but in the pictures on the hardwood floor the legs are not all the same length. Also, the reinforcements take up a lot of room underneath. It is a heavy and simple design, but not really that clever.

Sue Yasinsky (not verified)

Fri, 05/27/2011 - 15:56

Wow! I adore this design and am seriously considering it for a new coffee table. After downhsizing, my older heavy coffee table just doesn't work. Of course there are adgustments to be made to create a coffee table. I can't wait to lighten up my family room. Thanks so much for the plans.

Terri Rino

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 11:36

Ana,I am shopping for a drill to use with the Kreg jig we just bought. I noticed in the tutorial video that you used 2 different drills. What is the reason for that, and what drill would you suggest I buy? Thanks, Terri


Thu, 03/01/2012 - 16:36


You need a high rpm drill for the best pocket hole drilling.
A slow drill will actually overheat the bit and burn the wood. I bought a Dewalt D21002 3/8" 0-2500 rpm from Ace Hardware. The other drill is best to use a drill/driver with
an ajustable clutch so you don't overdrive the Kreg screws in soft woods.
A good source for info is the Kreg jig web site. their forums are very good for info.

Hope this helped.


Thu, 03/01/2012 - 09:31

how do you keep the end apron horizontal pieces perpendicular
with the ground while centering them on the legs. I am new to building and that's a challenge.
I blogged this question but then I realized you could use the comment area of the project.

Thanks for any help.

Angel Rose

Tue, 04/03/2012 - 12:01

HELP! I am having a heck of a time with the support beams . . . the X. By some miracle I got of them to fit, but I cannot seem to make the right cuts on the other. I go from too long to too short with one ( 1/8th inch cut) I tried it four times. HELP!!

Any further help in making those cuts would be very helpful!