Cutting Ends A few pretty details can add considerable charm to a basic bench. Mark the boards cut for the sides as shown in the diagram, and carefully cut them out with a jigsaw.
Bottom Shelf On both of the sides, measure 4" (10cm) up from the bottom and mark. Use your speed square to draw a line. Attach the bottom shelf to the sides with wood glue and 2" (5cm) finish nails, using the line as a guide, even with the bottom of the shelf. Use glue on all joints.
Bench Top Mark the underside of the bench top 3" (7.5cm) from the outside edge on both ends. Apply wood glue to the tops of the legs. Position the bench top on the legs, matching marks for overhangs. Nail the bench top to the legs with 2" (5cm) finish nails.
Top Trim Ends Using the diagram to guide you, create a pattern for the ends of the top trim. Cut out with a jigsaw, and use this pattern to cut decorative ends on the bench side top trim. After cutting, sand the edges until smooth.
Attaching Top Trim Apply glue to the edge of the top and 2" (5cm) down the legs. With tops and ends flush, nail the top trim to the sides of the bench with 2" (5cm) nails.
Side Trim Apply glue to the exposed edges of legs and ¾" (2cm) in on the bottom shelf. Nail the leg trim to the legs with 2" (5cm) nails, keeping outside edges flush. Also nail the trim to the bottom shelf for increased strength and support.
Bottom Shelf Trim Check to make sure the bottom shelf trim fits well, trimming if necessary. Remove and apply glue along edge of bottom shelf. With top edges flush, attach bottom shelf trim to bottom shelf with 2" (5cm) nails. Add two nails per end through the outside of the leg trim into the end grain of the bottom shelf trim.
<i>Ana White is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307587320/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0307587320&linkCode=as2&tag=craftfocom-20" target="_blank">"The Handbuilt Home: 34 Simple Stylish and Budget-Friendly Woodworking Projects for Every Room,"</a> published by Potter Craft.</i>