Free Woodworking Plans to Build a Potterybarn Inspired Chesapeake Storage Bench

05.31.11 By //
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This storage bench is going to come in handy this summer and is on my outdoor to do list for sure! Our yard is being overrun by toys and tools, and this is a fabulous way to get dual function furniture that is suitable for seating and storage, perfect for my teeny tiny little yard. I will take 2 please! This piece continues our fun and fabulous Chesapeake Collection and is a relatively simple build, once you get the cutting done! Warm up your saws, and get to work, and then please share photos of you build when you are finished. You can add your photos to the Gallery or send them on over to me via email!

Estimated Cost


Dimensions for This Project
  • Tape Measure
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • Saw – can have lumber supply make cuts for you if need be.
  • Nail gun – can also use hammer and nails or screws, just be sure to countersink if you choose screws.
  • 1 – 2×2 at 8’
  • 25 – 1×3 at 8’

How to arrange your cuts: (the following is not for purchasing only for arranging your cuts)

  • 1 at 49 3/4” with 2 at 19 1/2” per board for 6 boards,
  • 1 at 54 3/4” with 2 at 19 1/2” per board for 2 boards,
  • 1 at 51 1/4” with 2 at 19 1/2” per board for 1 board,
  • 4 at 19 1/2” with 1 at 17 1/2” per board for 6 boards,
  • 5 at 18 1/2” per board for 2 boards,
  • 4 at 18 1/2” with 1 at 17 1/2” per board for 1 board,
  • 2 at 22 1/2” with 2 at 17 1/2” per board for 2 boards,
  • 5 at 17 1/2” per board for 5 boards
  • 1 1/4” Pocket Hole Screws
  • 1 1/4” Galvanized Nails
  • 3 standard butt hinges or 2 heavy duty hinges of your choice.
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Sanding Supplies
  • Finishing Supplies
Cut List
  • 4 – 2×2 at 19 3/4” Legs
  • 6 – 1×3 at 49 3/4” Front and Back Rails (4) and Supports (2)
  • 42 – 1×3 at 19 1/2” Side Rails (4) and Interior Box Bottoms (18) Top Lid (20)
  • 14 – 1×3 at 18 1/4” Side Panel Boards
  • 36 – 1×3 at 17 1/2” Interior Box Front and Back Boards
  • 2 – 1×3 at 54 3/4” Top Lid Outside Boards
  • 2 – 1×2 at 22 1/2” Cushion Rim Sides
  • 1 – 1×2 at 51 1/4” Cushion Rim Back

Consider using a specie of wood suitable for outdoor use such as cedar, redwood, teak, etc., and be sure you choose galvanized or coated hardware to avoid rust. Be sure you finishing materials and products are suitable for outdoor use as well.

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Step 1
Step 1

Build the Frame: Use your Kreg Jig® set for 3/4” stock and your 1 1/4” pocket hole screws and glue to fasten the rails (blue) to the legs. The rails will sit 1 1/2” from the bottom of the legs (shown at the top in the diagram below) and flush with the top of the legs (shown at the bottom).

Step 2
Step 2

Attach the Side Panel Boards: Use 1 1/4” Galvanized Nails and glue to fasten the boards to the Rails on either side. The boards should be space 1/4” apart and from the legs.

Step 3
Step 3

Build the Interior: Create 18 U Shaped Sections by nailing the light blue boards (what will be the box bottom) to the front and back boards (medium blue). The bottom will be inset between the front and back panel boards and each U shaped section will be spaced 1/4” apart when you attach the supports in the next step.

Step 4
Step 4

Attach the Supports: Nail on the supports using 1 1/4” galvanized nails, be sure to allow the supports to overhang the first and last set of U-Shaped sections by 1/4” and then space each U-Shaped section 1/4” apart.

Step 5
Step 5
Step 5

Fasten the Interior Box to the Frame: Use your Kreg Jig® set for 3/4” stock and your 1 1/4” pocket hole screws and glue to fasten the Supports to the Side Panels and Legs, they should sit flush with the bottom of the rails. Then flip the unit over and nail each front and back panel board to the Front and Back Rails at the top and bottom.

Step 6

Build the Top and Attach: Construct the top using your Kreg Jig® set for 3/4” stock and your 1 1/4” pocket hole screws and glue to fasten the rails (light blue) to the stiles for the top (outside boards, medium blue). Space the boards 1/4” apart, then attach the lid to the unit using standard butt hinges or any hinge of your choosing.

Step 7
Step 7

Attach the Cushion Rail to the Top: It should sit 1” in from the edges and you can round out the front edges of the sides for a decorative touch as you see in the original version from PotteryBarn. Use a sander or a jig saw to do this if you like (sander will probably be faster, just clamp the side cushion rails together and sand into a rounded shape at the same time). To construct, use 1 1/4” galvanized nails to attach the sides to the back (the back is inset) and then attach to the lid from inside (underneath). Add a cushion if you like and away you go! The beauty of this is that it looks great without a cushion so it is functional if you choose not to purchase or make one!

Finishing Instructions

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

**Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you provide an adequate link back to the appropriate post! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it.

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