Friday, April 17, 2015

Kitchen table bench with hidden storage.

Kitchen bench with storage to hold arts and crafts stuff.

Bench, found second hand $50
Piano Hinge $10
Fibre Board 1/4" x 2' x 4' $8
Wood L Trim 9ft @2/bf = 18
Chain - Pulled from the junk drawer (and this is why I never throw anything away!) 

Time: About 1hr (unless you factor in the time looking for the right tools, getting the kids food and drinks and driving to the city to pick up the bench in the first place... then we are talking ALL DAY)

I had been on the hunt for new chairs for our kitchen table as our old ones we're falling apart and about to collapse. I am a huge fan of multi-purpose furniture so I decided to start looking for benches with storage but I didn't find anything I liked as they all looked like entryway benches. I then found two benches at an office furniture resale store for $50each. They were the perfect size to fit between the table legs and the fabric even had blues that match the kitchen walls.  I decided to convert them into  a storage bench like what you would see at a piano.

I used piano hinge and L Shaped trim to hold a fibreboard sheet along the bottom. I didn't get the edges as nicely fit as i would have liked but i had difficulty getting the bottom in because of the tapered shape of the legs. The second one i might put together in a different order to see if its easier. TRIAL AND ERROR IS MY M.O. ;)
I started by unscrewing the brackets that held the top on
Once I figured out the length of screw to use, I premarked with tape on my drill bit so I would be careful not to drill too far. I predrilled all the holes so that I would not split the trim.
I used a Jig Saw to cut the fibre board to approximate size. I had to make the square notches in the corners larger than this because the top of the legs were so much wider, I could not just drop it straight in. This wouldnt be an issue if you had an entirely square box to work with.
The trickiest part was getting the piano hinge screwed to the lid. I had to prop it up with bins the same width as the cushion and have it JUST resting along the edge. I shifted the cushion so it ligned up right at the edge along the back, and creating a little bit more of an overhang at the front so that it would be easier to lift the lid open.
I added chains to keep the lid from going too much past 90*. You want it to go just a little past 90 so that it will stay open if you need it too. I may eventually replace this chain with soft close hydraulics, but I am ever a a bargain hunter and am waiting to see some in the second hand reno store.
This is a great height for my son. He is too light to compress the foam in the cushion so he sits nice and high... me on the other hand, I sink right in. ;)
I will do the other bench next, and will let you know if I find any shortcuts or easier ways of doing this. I may just use the extra metal L brackets that were holding the cushion on this one and just do away with the wood trim on the next one and just bolt the fibre board directly to that. The wood trim looks much cleaner from underneath, but let's be honest... who is REALLY going to look under there anyways.

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If you have any questions, or I have missed anything, please leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer. I would also welcome leaving a link or picture of your completed project!