We absolutely love this cool DIY Modern Plywood Bench Tutorial using half lap construction. This was made out of only one sheet of plywood. It has a great look to it with all of the end grain of the plywood as a main feature. It is really strong and sturdy. Check out below how easy it is to make.
An especially cool feature of this bench is the 1/8th inch hangover of the lap construction! It highlights that way the wood is woven together and a is very simple but elegant design feature.
DIY Modern Plywood Bench Tutorial with Half Lap Construction
- (1) Sheet of 3/4″ Plywood (cabinet grade)
- (1) Wood Glue
- Lots of 2″ Brad Nails
- Lots of 1 1/2″ Brad Nails
- Table Saw
- Circular Saw
- Brad Nail Gun
- Orbital Sander
- 220 Grit Sand Paper
- (16) 48″ x 2″ x 11/16″- Bench Top
- (16) 18″ x 2″ x 11/16″- Long Leg
- (16) 15 7/8″ x 2″ x 11/16″ – Short Leg
Cut large sheets of plywood into more manageable sizes 2 17″ x 8′ strips. (It will save you over 50 cuts if you cut your sheets down to finished length before ripping them.)
(we are accounting for 1/8″ inch on the saw blade, so if your saw blade is less thick, take that into consideration for cuts)
Rip two 17″ wide by 8′ pieces off of the sheet of plywood.
Cross cut the first 17″ piece in half so you have 2- 48 “x 17″ inch pieces.
With the next 17″ wide piece, cross cut a 36″ 1/8 piece for the longer legs, and a 31” 7/8 for the shorter legs.
Rip your pre-cut sheets into 2” strips.
Glue and nail all 2” wide boards together in pairs. You will have 8 pairs of each size.
To keep your pieces straight and strong and save time, you can line up the pairs and clamp them together at one time. Don't glue in between the pairs though.
Let them dry for 2-3 hours.
Sand only ONE END of the 48” and 18” boards with 220 grit sand paper until the edges have a rounded over look and feel.
Don't sand either of the ends of the 15-7/8 pcs they need to stay straight.
From the rounded end of each 48” board make a mark at 2-1/8”. Glue and nail 2 of the 48” boards together at the 2-1/8” mark so that the overall length is 52-1/4” and the rounded ends are opposite of each other. At this point, you will have a total of 4 pieces that are
glued together to equal 52-1/4”.
Glue and nail two 18” and two 15-7/8″ board together so that they are flush at the square, non-sanded ends. For total of 8 boards.
Glue and nail the staggered end of a leg piece to each of the staggered ends of a bench top piece at a 90° angle. When the 3 pieces are nested together properly, the sanded ends of the bench top and the leg pieces should protrude past each other by 1/8”.
Add the other side the same way, just flipped to match the opposite joint of the bench top. Make sure that all the corners are nice and square. This will set up the rest of the bench to be square if these are glued on right.
Now that the first four layers are set all you need to do is layer the paired boards with glue and nails all the way until you are done. Make sure the alternate the sanded end pieces.
Final step, use any wood filler on the open spots of the plywood and sand. (but be careful not to knock down the 1/8th in the lap joint)
Now you can enjoy your new DIY modern plywood bench!!