Monday, June 15, 2015

a place to sit

Rob once again brought one of my visions to life! It was a little different working on a project with a six month old around the house so most of the construction and work fell on Rob who did a great job! 

In our small house we have to be creative when it comes to our use of space! Our kitchen is one of the places we were a little uncomfortable in because there was no space to sit while we were in there together, feeding the babe or making dinner. We also don't have a lot of storage in our small kitchen and there are some items that we have to bring up from the basement every time we want to use them (read: crockpot, griddle, dutch oven)

Out of this, came the idea to add an eat in area to the kitchen. A bench was the original idea and after looking through lots of ideas we decided to put forth a little extra effort and make it into a storage area - imagine how thrilled Rob was that my plan kept getting more and more grand haha! 

I'll post the "step by step" below but will not include measurements because each space is different anyway! If anyone would like more details - please contact us!

- 2 sheets of plywood
- 6, 8ft 2x4's
- 1, 1x4 (poplar)
- 2 Piano Hinges
- tack nails
- wood screws
- wood glue
- stain
- polycrylic

We removed the existing moulding where the bench would be installed so it would be flush against the wall. 

Using 2x4's that were measured and cut appropriately, Rob laid the base of the bench - we laid a base instead of trimming in the sides in order to end up with the most storage space we could get. 

Once the base was laid, Rob cut one of the sheets of plywood down and installed it as the floor of the storage compartment. 

Next, Rob built in the vertical and horizontal supports on the back walls. There wasn't a great need to measure the distance between vertical supports because the project wasn't very large - we would recommend every 18-24 inches if the project is larger. 

Rob then screwed in the plywood "fronts" of the bench so the final supports would have something to be secured to.

In this picture you can see where Rob installed the cross supports behind the front walls of the bench, again this was a decision we made based on the size of the project. We decided that adding wood in the corner to make a square would create the best support for that space since the lid would not be lifting there. 

The smaller pieces of wood (the poplar that we had ripped) was cut to be the part of the lid that goes against the wall. We needed to add something that the hinges could connect to.

Once everything was cut to fit, I stained the lids and poplar back boards. I decided three coats was the magic number and gave me the color I wanted. I let it dry for 24 hours before we installed. 

Before installing the lids (while the stain was drying) I painted the fronts with white, kitchen grade paint and stained the tops of the frame with the same color as the lids so that the seams would be less visible. 

We started the the process of laying down the lid by glueing and then tacking in those poplar boards along the walls. Then we installed the corner square of the lid (again with glue and tack nails). It was all easy peasy and fitting nicely. 

Then came time for the hinged tops to be installed. Let me tell you, PIANO HINGES ARE THE WORST. We centered and screwed them into the lifting lids first because we wouldn't have been able to get to them otherwise. Can you imagine how exciting it was to hold a large wooden lid level and have someone else try to screw it in at the same time? It was thrilling. We just had to get one screw in on each end and then Rob could handle the rest - never have two screws been more difficult! 

Overall it was a pretty simple project and we are so proud of the result! Rob did an awesome job and it looks better than I could have imagined! We still need to install the finishes on the face but I'm not sure what I want it to look like so we will leave that unfinished for a while. 

It's been so nice to have baby boy's big high chair stand out of the way. Now that we are able to put that actually seat right on the bench, we save lots of space in the kitchen! 

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