So, previously I made a mini picnic table condiment holder that wasn’t really an original design. It has been around for who knows how long. One person even referred to them being around in the 70’s. Well that’s not good enough for me so I decided to make something a little more original. I have a comfortable bench design that I know is an original design. Why not make a mini bench condiment holder?
This mini bench is really easy to build. It requires one 8′ 2×4 and a piece of thin scrap plywood (if you want to drill out for condiments), wood glue, and a table saw.
Step 1: Cut Your Parts
Cut two 20″ sections of your 2×4. Next rip your entire 2×4 down to 1/2″ strips (I recommend ripping 1/8″ off one side first to remove the factory edges). You should be able to yield five strips per section of 2×4. The 20″ pieces are for your top and seat slats. The rest of your parts will be out of your new 1/2″ x 1-1/2″ stock. I will refer to these parts by the longest length and the direction of the end miters. /===/ means the miters are cut in the same direction, /===\ means the miters are cut in different directions and a | indicates a 90° cut. All angles are 15°.
- four legs at 7-1/4″ /===/
- two upper leg styles at 9-3/8″ /===\
- two lower leg styles at 11″ /===\
- two back supports at 12-1/2″ /===|
- one leg brace at 17″ |===|
- one back brace at 17″ |===|
- one back condiment support at 16″ |===|
- other various condiment support parts as needed, explained later
- a 17″ x 6-1/2″ piece of 1/4″ plywood, or similar, will be needed to hold the bottom seat slats together after drilling for condiments
Step 2: Leg Assembly
With the parts cut we can work on assembly. Start with two legs and the upper and lower leg styles. They are simply glued into place with the edges aligned. The lower leg style is spaced 1-1/2″ below the upper leg style. You can use a scrap piece of stock for spacing. Use wood glue and 20-30 seconds of pressure to stick the parts together. Do not stress any of these joints for at least 20-30 minutes.
Step 3: Prepare Back Supports
Before you glue the back supports in place, determine how you want the back brace to be installed. I chose mine to be inset so I did not have another board sticking out. For this I made a 1/2″ x 1-1/2″ cutout at the top of both back supports. Here is the back of the assembled bench to show what I am talking about. You can skip this step if you want to simply secure the upper leg brace.
Step 4: Back Supports
Glue the back supports in place like so. The bottom miter is lined up with the bottom of the lower leg style in a position where it intersects the top end point of the leg assembly. Glue one to the right and one to the left. You can also see the cutout I was referring to in Step 3.
Step 5: Leg Brace
Glue the leg brace onto one leg assembly first. This is placed at the bottom of the back support. I usually have my leg assembly sitting flat to do this step.
Step 6: Leg Brace
Glue the other side leg assembly to the leg brace as shown.
Step 7: Slats
Glue the seat slats in first from back to front with no spacing in between. Followed by the back slats. If you are simply building a mini bench you can stop here as you are done.
Step 8: Back Condiment Supports
At this time we can glue in the back condiment supports. The 17″ piece will fit either in your cutout or on the back of your back supports and the 16″ piece should fit in between your cutouts at your desired height.
Step 9: Support Panel
Glue your 17″ x 6-1/2″ piece of scrap plywood to the bottom of your seat slats. This will hold everything together when you drill holes for condiments.
Step 10: Condiment Specifics
The size of your holes will be determined by what condiments you want to include in your bench. Also your supporting tray will be specific to your design. When I built mine I also included a couple separators in the back for utensils. You can see my modifications in the completed build video at the end of this post.
So that should be it. You are only limited by the creativity you have. Like I said, the condiment modifications are specific to your project. Check out the video to see how I completed mine. Also, If you decide to build one stop by the Viewer Section and share it!
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I glued all the seat slats together before attaching them to the bench which eliminated the need for the plywood on the underside of the seat.
What is the angle that you are cutting the pieces at?
In step 1 it says all angles are 15 degrees :)
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I was just looking at your full size bench plans and pondering how to down scale to build my 4 year old a kid size bench. I have a bunch of 2x2s I ended up not using for an attic flooring project and was thinking could be used for something small scale.
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