Reader Project | How to Build a Porch Pirate-Proof Bench
A reader shares his ingenious solution for safeguarding delivered packages
To help combat package theft, David Allen built a bench with a hinged seat that conceals a compartment with a magnetic, childproof lock. Leave it open for the delivery person; it locks when the lid is closed. Packages are safely stored until you get home!
Instructions for building the Anti-Porch Pirate Bench
Design by David and Tim Allen
Chop saw (but can be accomplished with just the circular saw)
Jig saw (if you want to round off the front of the arms)
Staple gun or brad nailer
Pocket screw jig with pocket screws (if you don’t have one, the $25 jig works fine.)
Start by making the legs
It starts with the corners—a 10’ 4x4 post. Cut off two 24” pieces for the front legs and cut the remaining piece in half (length not critical). I did the old poor-man’s dado and cut a dado for a 2x4 pressure-treated support. It measures 15” to the top of the dado.
Cut two 24” pieces from the 10’ 4x4 post. These are the front legs.
Measure and cut the remaining piece in half (dimension not critical). These are the back legs.
Align all four pieces at one end and clamp.
Mark a dado 11½” up from the aligned edge, then mark it 3½” wide.
Using a circular saw, set the blade depth to 1½” and make repeated cuts through the posts between the two marked lines. Break out the pieces and clean up the bottom of the dado. These pockets will receive the seat frame assembly later.
On the two longer pieces, measure up 24” on the face (over the dado), then measure down the thickness 1¾” from the top. Cut a taper into the post. This can be done with a circular saw if you mark both sides of the post and make a cut from each side.