I see the Campbell Hausfeld project calendar shows March as upholstery month.  While a sewing machine isn’t exactly a standard tool in my workshop, I do have a quick weekend project that does involve upholstery – this storage bench below.

Storage bench

Like many of my projects, the storage bench came about from a need that I wanted to fill cheaply.  The first house my wife and I owned was tight on storage so we decided to put this bench at our kitchen table.  It gave us seating as well as a place to store seldom-used pots and bowls.

This project is one of my favorites because it was something my wife and I actually got to work on together.  It is also a relatively easy project.  And it was cheap. Both bonuses in my book.

For the construction I used simple 1×6 and 1×2 pine boards and a couple of pieces of plywood.  Pine is inexpensive but it usually comes with knots and twists.  Rather than spend a lot of time trying to make perfectly aligned joints, we routed chamfers along each edge.  This creates a clear distinction between the boards so I didn’t have to try to create perfect joints.  As far as the knots, we opted to leave them as-is, and then painted the piece.

A nail gun, and a little glue, makes quick work of the assembly.  I did follow up with some screws at the key joints after everything set up.  A pneumatic stapler made upholstery a breeze.  I used spray adhesive to glue foam to the plywood seat.  We then wrapped the seat with fabric and used a stapler to secure the fabric on the underside.  The video on Campbell Hausfeld’s calendar does a good job of walking through the upholstery process.

The bench shown above was built 7 or 8 years ago and still serves us well.  In fact, it proved so popular that my sister requested I build her a couple as birthday presents a few years ago:. one this size and a smaller one she could use at her makeup table.  Given how quickly these go together with air power it was an easy gift to give.

Note: The Campbell Hausfeld air compressor series was originally posted on Posterous in 2011 and uploaded to this site after Posterous was shut down. Please see the free product disclaimer.