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How to Build a Storage Bench

In the workshop, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva and host Kevin O'Connor build a storage bench for an entryway

In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva and host Kevin O'Connor build a storage bench for an entryway.


1. Rip the plywood parts to width using a table saw.

2. Crosscut the plywood parts to length with a track saw.

3. Use a miter saw to crosscut the poplar stiles and rails to length.

4. Drill holes into the rails using a pocket-hole jig.

5. Screw the rails to the stiles with 1 ¼-inch pocket screws.

6. Glue and screw the stiles and rails to the plywood back with 1-inch screws.

7. Use a router and a quarter-round stepped-beading router bit to shape the inside edges of the stiles and rails.

8. Notch the rear top and bottom corners of the plywood center divider for the storage box.

9. Screw together the plywood storage box with 2½-inch drywall screws. Be sure to drill pilot holes first.

10. Fasten the storage box to the plywood back with 2½-inch drywall screws.

11. Cut a face frame out of poplar 1x3s to fit around the front of the storage box.

12. Use a jigsaw to cut a radius into the bottom ends of each poplar leg.

13. Cut a second leg ¾ inch narrower than the first leg.

14. Glue and nail together the leg parts using a pneumatic brad nailer and 1 ½-inch brads.

15. Sand all parts with a random-orbit sander and 120-grit abrasive disks.

16. Use 1¼-inch pocket screws to assemble the poplar face frame for the storage box.

17. Attach the face frame to the storage box with the pneumatic brad nailer.

18. Rout a decorative stepped bead around the inside edges of the face frame.

19. Attach two filler strips to the top of the storage box, then cut a plywood top to fit.

20. Attach poplar trim to the edges of the plywood top, then glue and nail the top to the storage box.

21. Use a pneumatic pin nailer and 1-inch pins to attach crown molding to the top shelf.

22. Set the shelf on top of the plywood back and secure with the pneumatic pin nailer and brad nailer.

23. Prime and paint or stain the bench, as desired, then attach four decorative coat hooks.