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Just as you did in Step 2, rip down the bench top (seat) out of 3/4” birch plywood.
The bench top will have a hinged door in it to provide access the storage area inside the banquette. Using the bench top you cut to size in Step 7, draw the space that will serve as the opening. This opening should be large for easy access to the storage area inside, but to make the seat more stable, your door should not extend to the back or side edges of the bench top. It should, however, go the entire way to the front edge. Trace the dimensions for your door on the top of the plywood and cut it out using a handheld circular saw. When you get to the corners, you will need to make the precision cuts with either a jig saw or a Japanese drywall saw.
Use wood glue and finish nails to attach the bench top to the top of the banquette’s box frame. Any wood screws used should be counter-sunk so that they can be covered with wood putty and hidden. Do not attach the storage door.
A piano hinge is a long, continuous run of hinge commonly sold in lengths up to 6 feet. It is the best kind of hinge to use for this type of installation, as it provides consistent support for the door, which will help with weight distribution when someone is sitting on the banquette.
First attach the piano hinge to the storage door, making sure that the hinge stays perfectly flush with the edge of the door. Use a nail, screw or an awl to punch small starter holes into the back portion of the storage bench where the hinge will attach. Then use a screw gun to run 1-1/4” wood screws into these starter holes, firmly attaching the hinge to the door.
Repeat this process with the other side of the hinge on the bench top (which is now secured to the top of the storage bench).
To dress up the banquette and hide the unfinished plywood edges of the top, wrap the face of the unit in 1-inch decorative trim molding. Use wood glue and finish nails for the install. To give it a more built-in look, you may want to use the same baseboard you have in the rest of the room and wrap it along the lower edge of your banquette.
The final step is to finish off the banquette by filling any nail holes with stainable/paintable wood putty and painting or staining it.
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