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Industrial-Chic Bench

A bench inside the door brings order and convenience to a busy area: Leave your bag on it, and sit when putting on your shoes.

We finished the cut sides of plywood with iron-on edge banding. You can also leave them exposed if you prefer a more industrial look.

Tools and Materials

Pipe cutter
3/4-inch copper pipe
12 copper T joints
Copper epoxy
One 15-by-54- inch 1 1/2-inch- thick wooden bench top (see how-to below)
1-inch boring bit

  1. Download assembly plan. Following front view of assembly plan, put together 2 sides of the base.
  2. Be sure all the pipes meet at 90-degree angles, then seal with epoxy. Lay flat, and let epoxy cure at least 20 minutes.
  3. Connect the 2 sides at center T with 50-inch pieces, sealing joints with epoxy. Let cure at least 20 minutes.
  4. Rest bench top on frame and mark where pipe touches it at corners. Bore shallow holes where marked, then slide pipes into bench top.

Bench Top How-To

Tools and Materials

One 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood, 3/4-inch thick
2 sawhorses
Plywood saw (or circular saw with fine-tooth or metal saw blade)
Wood glue, such as Gorilla Glue
4 C clamps
8 small wood scraps
Heavy books
Sandpaper, various grits
Iron-on edge banding, 1 1/2-inch thick (optional)
Edge-banding trimmer (optional)
Iron (optional)
Wood stain or sealant (optional)

  1. Cut plywood sheets to desired size, good side down. (You can also have pieces cut for you at most lumberyards).
  2. Place 1 piece plywood on sawhorses, good side down. Squeeze zigzags of wood glue all over surface of plywood; then skim to create a thin, consistent layer on entire surface.
  3. Stack second piece of plywood on top, good side up, making sure edges align.
  4. Clamp together corners of plywood with C clamps. Place small pieces of wood where clamps meet plywood to protect surfaces as clamps tighten.  To evenly weigh down top, place stacks of books on top. Let dry overnight. (Don’t worry if glue squeezes out from between layers.)
  5. Sand exposed edges until they’re smooth and free of any dried glue.
  6. Optional: To finish exposed edges, apply edge banding according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Optional: Stain or seal surface as desired.
  8. Attach to finished bench base according to instructions.

Comments (1)

  • 13 Feb, 2013

    Any tips for making this bench stable? Even after sealing with epoxy, the joints aren't secure because the copper fittings aren't tight enough. I've tried redoing the epoxy twice but it cracks and loosens again. Right now the bench falls to the side when it's sat on, which is a bummer after lots of work and over $200 spent making it!