Raise your hand if you would love to have a milking bench custom-made to fit your space?
I know I do.
And immediately knew I could make it happen after seeing one my friend built. If you visit her blog (the link is at the bottom of this post), you’ll see that my bench is actually a mix (with a twist) of the two benches she shares in her post. Proof positive that it’s super easy to create the look and size you want with a minimum of fuss and muss.
How to Make a Milking Bench You’ll Love Forever
Step 1: Determine Size and Shape
To start, measurement your space. Once you’ve determined the optimum height, length, and depth for the bench, other details are easily decided.
For example, this bench is about 36-inches long and about 18-inches high. Yes, it is a bit long and high for an old-fashioned milking bench, but I wanted to use it as a coffee or side table so 18-inches is the best choice.
The bench also needed to be narrow, so the maximum width measures in at just over 9 inches.
Armed with these measurements, I am off to the home improvement store.
Step 2: Purchase Supplies
Wood – Pine
One 8- foot long 1-by-10 is cut into 4 pieces by the home improvement store.
One 36-inch piece for the top
One 24-inch piece for the lower shelf insert
Two 18-inch pieces for the sides (legs)
One 6-foot long 1-by-4 is cut into 2 pieces by the home improvement store.
Two 36-inch pieces for the sides (aprons)
Wood screws – It is good to discuss the project with the expert at the home improvement center so that the correct number and size screws for your custom-sized bench are chosen. For the size and height of my bench, 18 (2-inch) wood screws with a flat-head work beautifully. But, based on your bench design, you may need more or less —or even a different size.
Sandpaper (80-100 grit to buff away splintered wood and 220 grit to smooth before painting)
Paint and/or stain – I used Fusion Mineral Paint in the color Mustard.
Step 3: To Round or Not to Round
The side aprons can be left with square edges, but can also be rounded for a softer look. To round out the edges, place a circle (I used a pot lid) on the wood and mark the curve with a pencil. The wood is cut using a jig saw and then sanded smooth.
Step 4: Assembly Begins
Assembly begins by attaching the top to the side (apron) pieces.
Drill pilot holes through the top and into the apron pieces.
On the top, use a countersink drill bit to hull out the wood so that the screws “sink” below the surface of the wood.
Insert wood screws through the top and screw them into the apron pieces.
Step 5: Make and Attach Legs
To make the legs, first flip the top over (assembled in Step 4) and measure the inside distance between the two apron sides. Then measure this distance across the two legs and trim away the excess wood.
Next, cut notches out of the bottom of each leg.
Then attach the legs using the assembly directions in Step 4.
Insert two wood screws through the top and into each leg. This will use 4 screws.
Insert one wood screw through the side apron and into the leg at two places on each side. This will also use 4 screws.
Step 6: Attach Lower Insert Shelf
Trust me when I tell you that an old-fashioned milking bench doesn’t
usually ever have a lower shelf. But this milking bench does! Remember, it’s being used as a coffee or side table so a little extra storage is always welcome. AND the lower shelf adds more stability to the overall structure. So for my home needs, this is a win-win.
Anyway, to attach the insert shelf, insert two screws through the leg and into the insert shelf at each end. This will use 4 screws.
Step 7: Apply Finish
Cover the screw heads with your favorite wood putty and allow to dry.
Sand over the wood putty and over the entire piece until smooth.
Stain or paint according to your preference.
Interesting that the saw at the home improvement store didn’t provide a clean-cut on the soft pine, but no worries because I used this to an advantage. All of the splinters were removed and the piece was sanded smooth, but I was careful to protect the imperfections the saw made in the wood. To me, they seemed to add an old-fashioned charm.
The paint color is the same as the basecoat on the wicker chair and the mustard stripe on the seat cushion.
Turns out, the milking bench is mainly used as a side/coffee table for laptops and other electronics. Although it can be easily dragged around the sunroom to accommodate two people using it at the same time, it is usually a side table for one.
So if you’d like to save this super easy building plan, please…