How To Build A Shoe Bench | Woodworking DIY



today we're gonna make two very similar
shoe benches two different ways one is hardwood and the other is gonna 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 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 gonna 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 gonna make
a highlighted story on my Instagram page that goes a little bit into my lumber
buying history and recommendations 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 videos but I think it actually came off better on camera
here than normal so I'm gonna pause the video 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 gonna 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 gonna 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 gonna 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 gonna 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 gonna 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 gonna temporarily jump a heading complexity for a minute
while we make the legs so I'm gonna 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 gonna 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
gonna 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 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
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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 gonna 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 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 gonna cut the slots to length by putting a 15 degree angle on either
end and then I'm gonna 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 gonna 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 videos 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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