How to Build a Storage Bench With a Hinged Top
A storage bench with a hinged lid is a practical addition to the front porch, hallway or just about anywhere you need a bit of extra seating and storage space. A hinged-top bench allows for hidden storage inside the bench box, which gives it an aesthetic advantage over benches that provide open storage underneath the seat of the bench. Building a storage bench is a fairly straightforward project that most people handy with a drill can manage.
Form a rectangular box shape out of two sheets of 3/4-inch plywood measuring 12-by-40 inches, and two sheets measuring 12-by-13 1/2 inches. The smaller sheets should be on the inside edge of the longer ones, so that the total dimensions of the box are 15-by-40 inches.
Glue the corner joints of the box and let dry. Secure the box together with three 1 1/2-inch wood screws driven through the sides of the longer sheets of plywood, and into the ends of the shorter ones: one screw at the top and bottom of the box, one centered, 12 screws altogether.
Place a sheet of 15-by-40-inch, 1/2-inch plywood over the top of the box, with all edges flush with the edges of the box. Secure in place with wood screws driven every 6 to 8 inches around the perimeter of the 15-by-40-inch sheet into the box. Turn the box over, so that the 15-by-40-inch sheet becomes the base.
Stand the box on end and position two planks of 18-inch 2-by-5 lumber on the end of the box, flush with the corners of the box, flush at the top of the box with 6 inches extending past the base of the box. These are two of the bench legs. Secure the legs in place with six wood screws driven through the legs into the end of the box, two at the top and bottom, two centered.
Insert a piece of 12-inch 2-by-5 lumber between the legs. This piece should be flush at the top and bottom of the box and fit snugly between the legs. Secure as you did the legs.
Turn the bench over so the other end is exposed. Attach a second pair of legs, and a 12-inch 2-by-5 in between them.
Fill visible screw holes with spackle and leave to dry before painting the bench box and legs, as well as a sheet of 15-by-44-inch 3/4-inch plywood, which is the lid of the bench. Allow it to dry.
Center a piano hinge on one long edge of the lid, and secure it with 1/2-inch screws through the screw holes of the piano hinge. Place the lid on top of the bench, and secure the other half of the hinge to the back of the bench box to finish the storage bench with hinged lid.
- The 12-inch piece of 2-by-5 lumber is purely aesthetic to give the ends of the bench a single-plane look. If you don't mind the look of the legs sitting against the bench box ends, then leave out these pieces of lumber.
B.T. Alo is media director, chief writer and editor for a U.S.-based marketing and consulting firm. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and communications. Alo's interests include business, investments, electronics, personal finance, health, communication, popular trends and travel.