A few questions that came up from readers over on CG were the cost of making the bench and the sturdiness of it. The oak for the bench cost around $17 and the fabric (Waverly Ellis in Hemp) was $10/yard and I used less than a yard. I had everything else left over from other projects but believe you could make the entire thing for under $50. As far as the structural soundness of the bench, I see no signs of weakness here! We've been sitting on it for a few weeks now and it's as sturdy as can be. Just be absolutely sure you don't skip the nails. Wood glue alone won't be enough to support weight over time.
And now read on, to find out how you can make your very own X leg bench!
I've had my eye on a pair of them for my living room for awhile now but decided I wanted to try my hand at making them myself instead of buying them, both to cut costs and because I love making furniture and seeing how things go together. My two primary inspiration pieces were these:
I liked the chunky legs on the bench at left and the streamlined, nailhead-studded top of the one on the right.
I tend to be a visual thinker so took an old piece of cardboard and drew a sketch of the finished piece. I'd recommend doing the same so you have a reference to be sure your angles are cut correctly.
Do keep in mind that the angles given here will work for these measurements, giving you a finished X leg bench that is 17" square and 17" high. You can change the length of the bench from one X leg to the other without needing to make any angle changes but any shift in the width or the height of the bench will alter the angles needed to make everything fit together properly.
I like to make my first cuts using scrap wood and then lay them on top of my sketch to be sure I don't make mistakes and waste my nicer materials. I can't tell you how many times I've cut my angles going in the wrong direction and am always so much happier when that happens on scrap wood! When you're ready to get started, use a miter saw to make the following cuts:
- 1 1/2"x3/4" oak hardwood planks - cut one end at a 50º angle. Measure 9 1/2" from the pointed side and cut the other end at a 9º angle. Do this process eight times, giving you eight identically-cut pieces of wood.
- 1 1/2"x3/4" oak hardwood planks - cut one end at a 50º angle. Measure 19" from the pointed end and cut the other end at 50º as well. Do this process four times, giving you four identically-cut pieces of wood.
- 1 1/2"x3/4" oak hardwood planks - cut one end at a straight angle. Measure 17" and cut the other end at a straight angle as well. Do this process twice, giving you two identically-cut pieces of wood.
- 1 1/2"x1 1/2" oak hardwood plank - cut one end at a straight angle. Measure 14" and cut the other end at a straight angle as well. You only need one piece cut like this.
Once the oak is all cut, use sandpaper or a pad sander to sand it down. Lay one of the 19" pieces on the ground. Lay one of the 9 1/2" pieces on top, lining up the ends, to determine which sides will be facing each other. Spread wood glue on the bottom side of the 9 1/2" inch piece and press into place on top of the 19" piece, fine tuning the positioning so all edges line up exactly.
Do this same thing with the other two 19" pieces and two more of the 9 1/2" pieces. Let the glue set up for 30-60 minutes, then carefully flip the glued X's over and follow the same process with the remaining four 9 1/2" pieces. Also add a dab of glue in the center notch where the two pieces fit together. Let the glue dry fully overnight. Once dry, hammer three 1 1/4" finishing nails down each length of the 9 1/2" pieces.
Lay one of the X's on the floor and put a dab of wood glue in the center. Position the 14" piece of oak in the center and let dry 30-60 minutes.
Place one of the 17" straight-cut pieces on top of one of the X legs and position so the ends are flush. Holding tightly, pre-drill small holes to make sure the screws go in straight and everything lines up. Drive a 1 1/2" wood screw through each pre-drilled hole, one on each end, then repeat on the other X leg.
The final step, after constructing the top, is laying the assembled, covered seat upside down on the floor, carefully positioning the X base upside down on top of it, and pre-drilling a couple holes in the middle of each 17" piece, now attached to the X base. Drive a 1 1/2" wood screw through each hole, and repeat on the other side.
Linking this tutorial to Funky Junk Interiors, Primitive and Proper, Kitchen Fun, Simple Home Life, Craftberry Bush, Simply Designing, The Shabby Nest, A Little Knick Knack