How To Build A Shoe Bench. Woodworking DIY.

Today, we’re gonna learn How To Build A Shoe Bench. We will buid two very similar shoe benches two different ways: one is hardwood and the other is gon na be made of half-inch plywood. I want to call them the hard way and the easy way, but I don’t really know how accurate that is. The hard one definitely requires more tools and more complex cuts, but the easy one probably requires more thinking ahead and planning semantics aside.

Let’s learn How To Build A Shoe Bench and get to work both of these projects started out at Reel Lumber just like pretty much. Every other project does getting my materials, so I suppose the easy way here would be just grabbing some plywood, I’m gon na be using half-inch Baltic birch and one sheet will be more than enough for a project like this, and the hard way would be grabbing some Hard wood so picking out boards that work for your project, probably needing to calculate your materials beforehand a bit and all that good stuff. In fact, this is a question that I get asked a lot, so I’m gon na make a highlighted story on my Instagram page. That goes a little bit into my lumber, buying history and recommendations.

How To Build A Shoe Bench

So I won’t take up any more time here, but if you’re interested in learning more about it check it out over there so back in the shop I could get to work. I started out by assessing my materials to figure out the most efficient way to use it, and then I started milling first. I needed to get one of the phases nice and flat on my jointer, and you guys have seen me do this in plenty of different articles, but I think it actually came off better on camera here than normal, so I’m gon na pause the article for a Second – and you can see what I’m trying to achieve, so you see how the material is curved. Well, you want to run the pieces where that concave faces down and the first couple of passes should only be removing material from the ends.


Let’S back up and watch it again, so when you’re doing this, you don’t want to push down. You want to let the bend kind of naturally remove itself and you’ll know that you’re good when the jointer is cutting across the entire length of the board. Once that was done, I turned my piece on edge and jointed one of the sides, and then I could take everything over to the planer and mill it to a finished thickness of one inch with the plywood version. We’Re gon na be doing almost exactly the opposite. The material comes at a perfect, even thickness, so there’s no need to mill, but we actually need to make the pieces thicker in this case, just like with the hardwood version. We’Re gon na be using one-inch thick pieces and the plywood is 1/2 of an inch.

So we’ll rip out a bunch of strips some are gon na, be one inch wide. Some are two inches wide. Those will be for the legs and some will be about three inches wide at this point. But they’ll get trimmed down later and they’ll make the leg stretchers and we’re gon na laminate all of these together to make a bunch of pieces that are an inch thick for the hardwood in terms of ripping we’re doing almost the exact same thing, cutting out a Bunch of one-inch wide strips for the slots, 2 inch wide strips for the legs and slightly wider strips that will be trimmed down later for the stretchers on the leg. So, with all of our pieces cut to width and thickness next, we could start refining, I’m gon na start with my legs by cross-cutting, my two pieces into four and then setting this Rockler crosscut sled to 15 degrees and using a stop block to create four identical Legs that’ll all lean in at 15 degrees, okay, back to the plywood bench. This is where this one’s gon na temporarily jump a heading complexity for a minute and learn How To Build A Shoe Bench.

While we make the legs, so I’m gon na start pretty much the same way as we did with the hardwood version cutting out four legs that are angled in at 15 degrees. But to build up the joinery. I needed to create a bunch of short pieces to laminate them on, and this will probably be easier to explain with a quick animation, so we have our four equal pieces. This is just one of them onto the bottom, we’re gon na laminate. One short piece, then: we’ll use a spacer piece to laminate on a middle piece and that’s going to leave us with the dado that our stretcher will sit in eventually and that’s what the slats are gon na sit on top of then, on top of the middle Piece we’ll do the same thing before laminating on a top piece and that’ll complete the leg back in the real world to make this go quicker, I’m just using glue and a finish nailer to hold everything together.

So if you wanted to make it a little cleaner or avoid having to fill nail holes, you could just use glue and then clamp them while we’re here, let’s also cut out stretcher pieces and to do that. We’Re going to tilt our blade to 15 degrees and make a series of rips so that we end up with a stretcher piece shaped like a parallelogram, and then we can cross cut 4 of them to equal length and assemble the leg pieces. And by now, we’ve sort of leapfrog to the hardwood version, so let’s jump back there and play catch-up, and here we’ll actually start by setting our blade to 15 degrees to make those parallelogram stretchers again and then in this shot, you can see a little bit more Detail about how to make them perfectly sized, which is actually pretty easy.


You just make your first cut on one edge and then use your leg piece to strike the line where the second cut should be to match the width and then make the cut next. I use my stretcher piece to mark out where I need to cut some dedos into my leg pieces, and then I transferred those marks onto all four legs and once everything was marked out, I used my table saw to make the dedos with several passes. Stopping as I got close to the limit to check the fit until it was just right and on these cuts, the thing that you want to be careful of is making sure that you realize that two of the legs need to be mirrored versions of the other. How To Build A Shoe Bench.

Two so you’ll tilt your miter gauge 15 degrees, one way for two of them and then 15 degrees, the other way for the other two, and if you do it right, you should end up with eight perfectly sized a toes that are really strong structurally and look Good to boot, speaking of boots, let’s think this article sponsor Thursday boots, so, whether you’re going out on the town for a fancy dinner or working in the shop to build a dinner table Thursday boots are right at home and that’s because they live in the sweet Spot right between clunky work, boots and delicate fashion boots, and because they’re, direct-to-consumer and value honest pricing routes cost about half of what legacy brands charge while maintaining the use of high quality materials and craftsmanship.

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With our leg assemblies done, we could finalize our slots, which will basically involve cutting them to length and cutting in some joinery and actually regret doing it. The way that I did so I’m gon na go over it and then show you what I should have done to make my life easier and what I would recommend you do for the joinery. I left my blade tilted to 15 degrees and again made a series of passes to create a little dado that would fit over the stretcher of the leg, and this is where I wish that I had done something different. Basically, I wish that, instead of putting the dado in the slat piece, I’d put it in the stretcher piece and in case you’re having trouble visualizing this there’s a little animation. How To Build A Shoe Bench.

That shows you what I mean. So this is how I did it, and this is how I wish that I had done it. The main reason is, it would just be way easier to cut, because you wouldn’t have to tilt the blade to make the dado and the geometry of it all would be a lot easier to solve. So there’s less chances for mistake. You could actually make the case that the way that I did it is a superior joint because it’s creating a physical lock that holds the stretchers in relation to one another. But honestly, this piece isn’t going to be subjected to a whole lot of stress and I trust that the glues more than enough for this application.

Anyhow, regrets aside after I glued on the bottom slats, I took more measurements for the top slots cut in the joinery and then I could assemble everything right back to the easy version. Here again, I’m gon na cut the slots to length by putting a 15 degree angle on either end and then I’m gon na assemble everything here with no joinery just glue and actually to support. My feeling that the joinery I used on the hardwood version was overly complex. I’Ve had this plywood version for about a year now and the glue still holding no problem, so whether you decide to build this one, the easy way or the hard way, the good news is no matter what finishing is gon na be simple.


At least a few simple finish, all right: full disclosure. So this is the finish that Mike Montgomery from modern builds venue, ADA from homemade modern, and I have been developing together and honestly. I couldn’t be happier with it. It gives a really good result. It’S all natural and best of all, it’s super simple to apply and basically foolproof. You just wipe it on. Let the oil penetrate for about 20 minutes wipe on another coat. Let it absorb again for about 20 minutes and then wipe off the excess that hasn’t absorbed into the wood, the oil penetrates and hardens and leaves a smooth backstop coat for extra protection. So I’ll admit that I’m biased since its kind of my baby.

But I really do think that you’ll love it as much as I do and also if you have used it comment and tell me what you think about it, we’re always looking to improve and we want and need honest feedback from as many people as we can Get all right so there it is two ways to build a shoe bench. I’M still not sure that the easy way in the hard way are the most accurate ways to describe them. I would say that the hardwood version is slightly more advanced in terms of actually fabricating all the pieces, but it actually might be a little bit more simple conceptually. I don’t know who’s this an easy, hard, simple, complex, advanced they’re, all just adjectives.

Each is subjective to an individual’s talents and situations as the next. Maybe I should just call them my way or the ply way I’ll show myself out special thanks to Brandon Savage David Klieman and the rest of my patreon supporters for making these articles possible. You all are the number one thing that keeps this show going simply put, I couldn’t do it without you, and every little bit makes a huge difference so for everything that you’ve given me. Thank you seriously and if you want to support the show to check out the patreon link in the description, see if it’s right for you and as always, no pressure alright see in the next one.

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