How to Build a Storage Bench

How to Build a Storage Bench

Watch the full episode:

This Old House general contractor Tom Silva and host Kevin O’Connor build a storage bench for an entryway. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

Click here to SUBSCRIBE to the official This Old House YouTube channel:

Shopping List for Building a Storage Bench:
– 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch cabinet-grade birch plywood
– 1×3 and 1×8 poplar
– Crown molding
– Two wicker storage baskets
– 4 Decorative coat hooks
– Carpenters’ glue
– Cloth rag, for wiping off excess glue
– 1 1/4-inch pocket screws, used to join rails to stiles
– 1-inch screws, for attaching stiles and rails to the plywood back of the bench
– 2 1/2-inch drywall screws, used to assemble the storage box
– 1 1/2-inch brads, used to join together the legs
– 120-grit abrasive disks
– 1-inch pins, for securing the crown molding
– Primer and latex paint or wood stain

Tools List for Building a Storage Bench:
– Table saw, for ripping plywood to width
– Track saw, used to crosscut plywood to length
– Miter saw, for cutting poplar parts to length
– Pocket-hole jig, used to bore pocket holes
– Clamps, for holding parts during pocket joinery
– Drill/driver
– Impact driver, used to drive screws
– Router with quarter-round stepped-beading router bit, for shaping edges
– Wet/dry vacuum, used to collect dust
– Jigsaw, for cutting a radius into each leg
– Pneumatic brad nailer
– Random-orbit sander
– Pneumatic pin nailer

Steps for Building a Storage Bench:
1. Rip the plywood parts to width using a table saw.
2. Crosscut the plywood parts to length with a track saw.
3. Use a miter saw to crosscut the poplar stiles and rails to length.
4. Drill holes into the rails using a pocket-hole jig.
5. Screw the rails to the stiles with 1 1/4-inch pocket screws.
6. Glue and screw the stiles and rails to the plywood back with 1-inch screws.
7. Use a router and a quarter-round stepped-beading router bit to shape the inside edges of the stiles and rails.
8. Notch the rear top and bottom corners of the plywood center divider for the storage box.
9. Screw together the plywood storage box with 2 1/2-inch drywall screws. Be sure to drill pilot holes first.
10. Fasten the storage box to the plywood back with 2 1/2-inch drywall screws.
11. Cut a face frame out of poplar 1x3s to fit around the front of the storage box.
12. Use a jigsaw to cut a radius into the bottom ends of each poplar leg.
13. Cut a second leg 3/4 inch narrower than the first leg.
14. Glue and nail together the leg parts using a pneumatic brad nailer and 1 1/2-inch brads.
15. Sand all parts with a random-orbit sander and 120-grit abrasive disks.
16. Use 1 1/4-inch pocket screws to assemble the poplar face frame for the storage box.
17. Attach the face frame to the storage box with the pneumatic brad nailer.
18. Rout a decorative stepped bead around the inside edges of the face frame.
19. Attach two filler strips to the top of the storage box, then cut a plywood top to fit.
20. Attach poplar trim to the edges of the plywood top, then glue and nail the top to the storage box.
21. Use a pneumatic pin nailer and 1-inch pins to attach crown molding to the top shelf.
22. Set the shelf on top of the plywood back and secure with the pneumatic pin nailer and brad nailer.
23. Prime and paint or stain the bench, as desired, then attach four decorative coat hooks.

Follow This Old House and Ask This Old House:



Travis Coleman says:

pocket screws are for people how work a ikea.

SandMan 716 says:

48'' bench?

Cypher791 says:

I ain't gonna throw away $250 on a cabinet when I can build one myself using my $10,000 table saw =]

telosfd says:

Add couple of doors in front.

moonabove89 says:

Not a "storage bench"… This is a Halltree. Nice build though 👍

Richard Bedard says:

I really like the shelf at the top, but me bench will have a hinged lid.

Alonzo Johnson johnson says:

Tom rocks!!!

Allan Møller Rasmussen says:

– hate nails and screws in furniture..!


oh i love this…awesome job this is beginner friendly tfs Loves

Warren Buitendag says:

I'll forgive the pocket holes if only for the fact that he has the foresight to drill pilot holes for the screws 🙂 I work with a lot of people who simply cannot comprehend the importance of drilling pilot holes before driving in screws!

Shawn Roman says:

I didn`t intend to make use of this woodworking book, “pepe amazing plan” (Google it) but instead curious about it. I had been really amazed right after trying it. It never dissatisfied me in my wish to acquire more details about the art of woodworking. Many topics were covered, including everything from wood types to developing your workshop.

mriganka sinha says:

Very cool…

Adam Kirwan says:

These guys were bullied in high school

Vito Scatigno says:

When he got to the pocket screws that was it for me.

MisSonshyn says:

I want to build this so bad for my mother for her birthday but do not have any of the tools. Will home improvement stores cut everything for you, including the moulding? what size did you end up making it anyway? what measurements?

Jose Tamara says:

muy buen video exselente

Mattie Madison says:

Love how the forgot to put their earplugs in. Smh.

nschledorn says:

I wish I could just grab any piece of lumber from Home Depot without checking it. Half of it has twists and bows in it.

Stanley Pearse says:

Just loving the video's guys! Keep it up! Do you have a video where you explain how to accurately measure and cut the crown molding? That always confuses me. Thanks!

X152535 says:

$200 for that thing doesn't seem like a bad idea after watching them do all this work!

Noland Rutledge says:

Kreg! Pocket screws are great!

svtfast says:

Must be an older episode. I dont see any Fe$tool crap. Dewalt>Fe$tool.

spam box says:

Tommy is such a prick when it comes to his mud room. Nice build you fuk'n Yanks.👍

Joe Coppolino says:

if you were going to stain this, what's the best way to fill the nail holes?

Caleb Reasons says:

36 people already bought theirs for $350

ratchet219 says:

Nice jobs fellas, looking good

Victor Perez Jr. says:

Do you have a video on how to make a wooden storage with 2 doors with locks on them?

Write a comment