As we move from the outside to the indoors, shoes, boots and other messes can build up in our houses’ rear entrances and mudrooms. Winter is when the pileup becomes more severe.
A mudroom bench with cubbies is a great way to organize the season’s accoutrements and keeps them organized. You can use it as a place to rest while you take off and put on your shoes.
Tom Silva, TOH’s general contractor, designed the bench from one 4×8 inch sheet of medium density fiberboard (MDF). This is a strong, uniform and affordable material that can take paint well. The bench is sized to accommodate three woven baskets. However, they are optional. Sturdy building techniques are essential for furniture that is so frequently used. These include strong deck screws and grooved joints as well as plenty of glue. These pages will show you how Tom assembles this handy mudroom organizer.
Structur of content
- 0.1 Step 1: Measurements and Cut List
- 0.2 Step 2: Size the pieces
- 0.3 Step 3: Run the 3-by-4 Foot Panel
- 0.4 Step 4: Drill pilot holes
- 0.5 Step 5: Glue First Divider
- 0.6 Step 6: Secure with screws
- 0.7 Step 7: Attach the top
- 0.8 Step 8: Secure the Back
- 0.9 Step 9: Assemble your Base
- 0.10 Step 10: Place Cubbies in Base
- 0.11 Step 11: Prime and paint
- 1 Tools & Materials
Step 1: Measurements and Cut List
Print and download the cut list
- Top: 18×48
- Bottom: 16 1/2 x 47 1/2
- Divider (4): 16 1/2 x 14 1/2
- Back: 14 1/8x 46 1/2
- Front base: 3 1/2×48
- Side base (2): 3 1/2 x 18 1/8
- Support for center: 3 x 16 1/2
- Side filler (2): 3 x 16 1/2
- Front filler (2): 3 x 22
Step 2: Size the pieces
The cut list was followed and the MDF was divided into 14 pieces. For now, keep the top and bottom as one 3-by-4-foot panel. Use 180-grit sandpaper to smoothen the edges and faces. The 3-by-4-foot panel should be marked 3/4 inch from each end. Next, draw two parallel lines evenly spaced between them.
Step 3: Run the 3-by-4 Foot Panel
Use a guide to rout a 5/16 inch-deep dado along both the ends marks and the middle of all the marks. As shown, stop the bit at 3/4 inch from one end. You can square the end using a chisel and then cut the panel in half lengthwise. The top piece is the one with the stopped dadoes.
Step 4: Drill pilot holes
Cut off one dado to make 3/4-inch rabbets at each end of the bottom piece. Use a countersink bit and drill three pilot holes evenly spaced into each dado and every rabbet (top and bottom), and along the back edge. Each hole should be countersunk through the opposite side of the board.
Step 5: Glue First Divider
Place a small amount of Gorilla Wood glue in the rabbet, and then brush it on both sides. Turn the assembly upside down to expose the countersunk pilot holes at the bottom. Use clamps or a helper to stabilize the corner.
Step 6: Secure with screws
Align the edges and ends, then drive a deck screws into each of three pilot holes. Finally, recess the head slightly. Turn the assembly upside down and wipe away any glue residue with a damp cloth. Spread glue in the next Dado. Tap in a divider using a mallet. Flip and screw as usual. Continue with the remaining dividers.
Step 7: Attach the top
Spread glue on the top’s dadoes. Once the dividers are in place, put the top in its place. Use the mallet to tap it down. Make sure the dado ends of the chiseled dado are flush against the dividers’ front edges. Also, make sure there is a 3/4 inch overhang at the back. Three screws should be driven through the top of each divider.
Tip: Discard the tape measure
- To make tight miters in trim, align your base pieces against the cubby assemblies as shown on right. Then mark the cuts directly on each piece. This will ensure that your miters are tight and the cubby assembly fits snugly into its base.
- Run the router simultaneously across both pieces to create perfectly aligned dadoes top and bottom. Tom created long dadoes on the face of the one panel. Then he cut it in half lengthwise to create two pieces with matched dadoes. This same technique is also useful when making cabinets with fixed shelves.
Step 8: Secure the Back
Place a dot of glue on the top edge of your back piece, as well as the back edges of your dividers. Push the back into the glue lines and then drive three screws into the top and back. Use clamps or pneumatically-driven brads to hold the back in place.
Step 9: Assemble your Base
Make miters at the ends of each side and the front of the base. Attach a filler to each side piece. Glue the ends of the pairs to the miters at the front. Glue the center support to the back of the front, and then attach the fillers.
Step 10: Place Cubbies in Base
Apply glue to the edges of the center support and fillers, then drop the cubby assembly on top. Put a brad through each cubby’s midpoint and into the fillers. Use 220-grit sandpaper to smoothen the areas, then paint.
Step 11: Prime and paint
They applied two coats semigloss acrylic latex paint and a primer that was shellac-based. Comfortable seating is possible with a cushion.
Tools & Materials
- Table saw
- Track saw
- Circular saw
- Guide for circular saws
- Random orbit sander
- Router with 3/4 inch straight bit
- chisel – 3/4 in.
- Cordless drill/driver
- Countersink drill bit #8
- Bar clamps
- Rubber mallet
- Brad nailer