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Cut the birch plywood down to size to form three rectangular dividers. In this example, the dimensions were 21-3/4 by 15-inches, but the size will vary depending on your space.
Cut down the 2-inch poplar strips so that two will cover the longer side and one will cover the shorter side of each divider. Then cut down a shorter piece of trim for the fourth side with a two-inch space on each end to form notches. These will later attach to a ledger and baseboard.
Attach the trim to the edges of the dividers with glue and 1-1/4 inch brad nails. Remember that the shortest piece will be centered on one of the shorter edges and there will be uncovered space on each edge.
Note: A great trick is to hold up a small block of wood with the desired thickness next to the trim to ensure everything is nice and flush.
Cut more birch plywood down to size for the top of the storage cubbies. The tops in this project measured 24 by 96-1/2 inches.
Cut down two maple strips the length of the top since that will give it more depth. The strips measured 96-1/2 by 4-3/4 inches in this example.
Attach the strips with glue and nails so that they are 1-1/2 inches from the top and bottom edge of one side of the bench top. This side will be the bottom and will fit inside the dividers.
To spruce things up and to cover the plywood grain, add a 1-1/2 inch strip of poplar with a rounded edge between the maple strips and the outside edge of the top.
For more texture, attach a 1/2-inch decorative molding along the front edge so that it is flush with the top and partially covers the poplar. Next, stain the top and paint the dividers.
Screw a ledger into the wall so that the notch on the dividers will fit snugly around the ledger and the existing baseboard.
Evenly attach the dividers to the wall if there are studs. If there are no studs in the wall you can attach to, a better option is to attach the dividers through the plywood beneath the floor. Be sure to use a level so each leg is nice and even.
Secure the top onto the dividers. Place some baskets inside the cubbies to enhance the usefulness of the new storage space.
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