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DIY Entry Bench Bookcase

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HI06200300A
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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 193 Projects

A porch, foyer, or defined entry space provides a transition from the outdoors into the home that can put guests at ease and make them feel welcome. Many homes, especially those built in the middle part of the 20th century, do not have any allowance for an entry area. You might think that the only way to add such a space, if you don’t have one, is to spend thousands of dollars building a small addition. But you don’t necessarily need walls to define a space. You can also divide a space with a structure. This built-in entry bench and bookcase do just that. It combines a bench where you can sit and put on your shoes, storage under the bench, and a bookcase that is just large enough to act as a virtual wall, separating the entry area from the rest of the room.

Functioning as a room divider, this combination bookcase/entry bench closes off space at the room entry. This has the effect of making the living space feel much cozier by creating a transition in the foyer area between the room and the door. The built-in also offers valuable shelf space on the living area side as well as a convenient storage seat and a coat rack on the door side.

Bench Bookcase Diagram

How to Build an Entry Bench + Bookcase

  1. Bench Bookcase Cutting List

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    Use a piece of ¼" perforated hardboard as a template for spacing the ¼"-dia. shelf pin holes. Mark the bit with a piece of tape to indicate the depth (the pin plus the hardboard). For maximum adjustability, drill pin holes every inch, making sure you orient the template the same way on each side of opposing panels.

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    Clamp the bookcase top and bottom panels between the side panels. Bore a countersink and pilot hole through the side panel at each screw location. Attach the panels with 2" screws.

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    Position the top of the lid rail flush with the tops of the side panels and the back face of the lid rail 1" from the inside face of the back panel.

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    Clamp the pocket-hole guide in place on the rail. Use a stepped pocket-hole drill bit to bore the pocket holes on the back faces of the face frame parts.

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    Drive a 1¼"-long fine thread pocket-hole screw into each pocket hole. Drive the screw until it seats at the bottom of the hole and pulls the frame parts tight.

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    Make two ¾ × 2 × 6" stop blocks. Clamp one stop block in the inside corner at each end of the face frame piece that you will be routing.

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    Push the router into the cut against the left stop block and then back into the face frame and cut from left to right along the face frame edge until the router contacts the right stop block. Lower the router depth to ¼" and make a second pass.

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    Attach the face frame sides to the cabinet sides with glue and brad nails. Align the sides of the face frame flush with the front and back edges of the cabinet.

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    Attach the front and back face frames with glue and 2" brads. The front edges of these face frames are flush with the face of the side face frame.

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    Attach the bench caps to the top of the bench assembly, using glue and brads.

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    Attach a shelf edge to each shelf panel with glue and 2" brads.

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    Apply a thin layer of glue to the mating edges of the lid boards and place them in clamps. Then sandwich the panel between pairs of boards positioned perpendicular to the glue seam. Clamp the cross boards (called “cauls”) to help keep the panel flat.

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    Attach the hinge to the lid and bench back cap. Then, attach the lid support to the lid and support cleats.

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    Bore six 3⁄8"-dia holes through the bookcase top. Attach the finish top to the bookcase cabinet top with No. 8 × 1¼" panhead screws and washers.

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