• Nate Large

Making a Cubby Bench

The cubby bench is made from ¾” plywood or MDF with additional material for the trim and bench top. Similar pieces are colored the same.

Tools: Circular saw with straight guide, Power drill, Brad nailer, Router


a full sheet of ¾” plywood or MDF

3- 1x2x8 pine boards

2- lattice molding 1/4”x1”x6’

9’ of baseboard molding

2- 1x10x5 pine boards or desired bench top

The first step is to build the main cubby portion out of ¾”sheet material.

Plywood or MDF cut from a full sheet (3/4”x4’x8’)

Cut rabbets and dados in to the yellow board and two red boards according to schematic, the rabbet and dado widths are the actual thickness of the sheet stock with a depth of ¼”.

The schematic is based on an actual ¾” thickness, typical thickness of ¾” plywood is less than ¾” by 1/16” to 1/32”.

The dados dividing the cubby are best measured from the side rabbets towards the middle. The center cubby might be marginally larger with sheet stock less then ¾” but it is not a concern.

Assemble, the yellow boards long edge joins to the rabbets on the long edges of the red boards, while the green squares are set on the rabbets on the ends and dados in the middle. A brad nailer will help to quickly tack the parts together and screws will make it secure. Wood glue optional.

The remaining sheet material cuts are used to raise the box up. Brad nails are more than enough to secure these to the bottom. Note, the pieces should be flush to the edge on all sides, they do not need to be flush together as the trim work will hide those gaps.

Face Trim cut list uses 1x2 pine

Mount trim with brad nailer. The long horizontal pieces should fit with the cut list measurements. Measure the distance between the horizontally mounted trim pieces to find the exact length of each vertical piece. If the trim is on an edge it is flush with the edge. The two interior vertical pieces are centered on the cubby divider.

Side trim cut list uses lattice molding

Measure cubby bench for fit before cutting. The horizontal pieces go from rear to front edge. The vertical pieces go from horizontal bottom piece to top piece. Repeated on opposite side.

Attach these pieces with brad nailer.

Add baseboard or molding, use brad nailer to attach it to bench. Now is a good time to add paint or a finish if the bench top will receive a different finish.

Bench Top dimensions

The bench top is a large piece of wood that is a minimum of ¾” thick. It can be purchased as a single piece or it can be made by gluing up a panel from smaller boards. I glued up two 1x10 boards to make my bench top.

Apply paint or finish before attaching it to the cubby box. Attach it with screws from the inside top of the cubby box to the bottom of the bench. This will hide the screws from sight and allow the bench top to be removable for repair or replacement.

Click here for a PDF download.

#Beginnerwoodworking #DIY #howto #home

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©2018 by Nate Large.