Level of Difficulty: Beginner Do-It-Yourselfer - Easy
Completion Time: 1 day
This versatile storage bench is a practical and attractive addition to any room. It’s easy to build and provides the kind of accessible storage space you can’t do without.
Made of MDF, the bench measures 60"W x 18"H. Special skills are not required. If you prefer, a regular hammer and finishing nails can be used instead of an automatic nailer.
- Table saw or circular saw with cutting guide
- Drill with 1/8" bit
- Mitre saw
- Tape measure
- Countersink drill bit for No. 6 screws
- Carpenter’s square
- Hammer or finishing nailer
- Putty knife
- Paint prep tools and brushes
- 2 MDF panels, 5/8" x 48" x 96"
- 1 ¾" No. 6 screws
- Carpenter glue
- 2 crown mouldings, 1 ¼" x 2 ¾" x 8’
- Very fine sanding sponge
- 150-grain sandpaper
- 18-gauge nails, 1 ¼" long
- Primer and paint
MDF is a versatile material that makes it easy to build strong, sturdy and affordable furniture. It is advisable to always glue the parts together with wood glue before fastening them with nails or screws. If the nails or screws do not provide enough strength, use clamps to hold the assembly together while the glue dries.
Always drill pilot holes using a countersink bit, with the pieces in their final assembled position. This will prevent the MDF from buckling or splitting under the torque of the screws. In one motion, the countersink bit bores a hole for the body of the screw as well as a cavity to conceal the screw head. You can use a driver-drill to do this, but it is advisable to finish tightening the screws with a manual screwdriver to prevent the driver-drill’s speed and force from damaging the MDF and weakening the screw’s grip.
For some projects it is best to use finishing nails. In such cases, using a pneumatic nailer will get the job done more quickly and easily, and the nails will hardly show.
Always wear a protective mask when cutting or sanding MDF as the dust can be irritating and is a potential heath hazard. Work outside if you can; if this is not possible, close any air vents and doors leading to other rooms so as to prevent the dust from spreading. Open a window while you work and cover all items in the room with dust sheets. Vacuum once you have finished cutting.