By Michael Swiderski, Ph. D.More in Blog Cabin
The stair-rail balusters must be cut to length to make the bench's front legs. Lay the bench on its back on the worktable. Place a straight 2” x 4” along the bottom of the headboard post (back legs) and measure the leg length. Add 1” to the length (baluster legs will be countersunk into the seat bottom). Precut four to six baluster legs.
Determine the location of the legs. The legs can be spaced evenly apart, clustered at the sides and middle or be placed in any location that is pleasing to the eye. Just remember that bench stability is the key when placing the legs.
Pre-drill the baluster legs' countersink holes with a paddle bit. Determine the size of bit by measuring the precut bottom dimension of the baluster leg. A very snug fit is desired. Since all legs must be countersunk the same depth for an equal leg length, place a piece of blue painter's tape on the bit at the 1” depth mark.
Drill all the holes and clean them. Ideally, a drill press would be used in a wood shop to make precise countersunk holes of the same depth and vertical to the seat. In the field, or on a job site, hand tools are used. A steady hand and keen eye are needed or the precision-drilled holes may be compromised.
Insert a generous quantity of wood glue into each of the clean holes. Insert the baluster legs and tap them into place with a hammer and wood block.
Place a straight 2” x 4” across the feet of the legs, making certain that all points of contact are precise. Make corrections by re-drilling if necessary.
When legs are in place, use a nail gun to secure the baluster legs.
Finishing options include, but are not limited to, painting according to the entry hall color scheme, sanding and staining to a color and tone of choice or retaining the rough, reclaimed look of the art piece. If the entry hall floor is wood-clad, attach felt foot pads to the bench to protect the floor from scratches.