3 Entryway Makeover Woodworking Projects
Three projects designed to create an inviting space in your home.
IntroductionWelcome family and friends to your home with a pretty spot to hang coats and a comfy bench to make it easy to remove shoes and boots. The eye-catching shelf is positioned here to create a stylish boundary for an open entryway, but it could grace any living space. That’s the best part of this project — you can build one or two pieces, or the whole trio!
- Band saw
- Basic carpentry tools
- Cordless drill
- Dowel jig
- Miter saw
- palm sander
- Pocket hole jig
- Table saw
|6/4 cherry board 9″ x 8′||1|
|4/4 cherry board 8″ x 6′||3|
|4/4 cherry board 3″ x 8′||3|
|4″ x 60″ premade drawer stock||2|
|1/4″ x 20″ x 30″ plywood drawer bottom||1|
|Steel bench legs||4|
|Wooden dovetail drawer slides||2|
|Steel bench legs||4|
|1″ washer-head screws||16|
|1-1/4″ fine-thread pocket screws||Box|
|A||2||1-1/2″ x 55″ x 8-1/2″||Bench seat|
|B||4||7/8″ x 8″ x 12-1/8″||Drawer case side|
|C||2||7/8″ x 8″ x 19-1/2″||Drawer case top|
|D||1||7/8″ x 17-7/8″ x 3″||Cross member|
|E||1||7/8″ x 11-1/4″ x 3″||Drawer slide support|
|F||2||Cut to fit||Skirt—front and back|
|G||2||Cut to fit||Skirt—side|
|H||4||1/2″ x 16″ x 4-1/4″||Drawer box front and back|
|J||4||1/2″ x 12-5/8″ x 4-1/4″||Drawer box side|
|K||2||7/8″ x 17-1/2″ x 5-1/2″||Drawer face|
|L||2||1/2″ x 16-1/2″ x 12-1/8″||Drawer bottom|
|M||2||Cut to fit||Drawer case back|
|MATERIALS LIST: SHELF & COATRACK|
|4/4 cherry board 6″ x 8′||3|
|36″ x 12″ melamine shelf||4|
|3″ No. 10 wood screws||3|
|1-1/2″ fine-thread pocket screws||Box|
Project step-by-step (27)
Make The Routing Templates
- To save money, I wanted to cut the shelf legs and coat rack legs from the same boards and routing templates make it easy to produce multiple parts consistently.
- I made my routing templates from 1/2-in. MDF.
Cut and Rout The Parts
- After tracing all the shapes on the boards, cut close to the line but not up to it. I used a combination of double-sided tape and micro pins to secure the routing template onto the wood. Rout the parts on a router table.
Working With Cherry
- Cherry, a common North American hardwood, is one species I rarely stain. It naturally darkens over time and develops such a beautiful patina on its own.
- On the downside, it tends to burn when milling.
- Pro tip: Use sharp blades or expect to spend time sanding out burn marks.
Project 1: The Coat Rack
Cut The Center Block
- This three-legged coat rack presents a unique challenge during assembly because there’s no good way to use a clamp. A combination of glue and screws will suffice.
- I glued the three legs together around an inner triangle of wood. Cut this triangular block on the table saw with the blade set to 30 degrees.
- Each face should be the same thickness as the legs.
Glue the Legs Together
- When I can’t use clamps, I use a trick called a rub joint. It's rubbing two pieces of wood together until the glue becomes tacky. Hide glue works well for this because it dries fast.
- Glue the center block to one leg first, and let it dry. Glue the other legs onto the center block one at a time, allowing the glue to dry before gluing the next leg.
- Pro tip: Use tape to keep things from shifting around while the glue dries.
Make The Hat Hooks
- The hat hooks will need a double bevel on the inside edge to fit between the legs of the coat rack.
- You’ll need to make two passes on the table saw with the blade set to 30 degrees.
- Once the parts are cut out, predrill for the assembly screw with a 1/8-in. countersink bit.
PreDrill For Final Assembly
- Using thick CA glue, attach the hat hooks onto the legs, staggering each one a few inches.
- Let the glue set up for 10 minutes, then drill pilot holes and countersink for 3-in. screws.
- The 3-in. screws will connect the hat hooks, the center block and the opposing leg. This will give this coat rack strength for the heaviest of winter jackets.
Project 2: The Shelf
Glue Up The Legs
- The way these angled legs join makes using clamps difficult. Again, use the rub joint technique, cleaning off any glue squeeze-out.
- Let the glue joints set up overnight before moving on to the next step.
Make The Assembly Jig
- A jig makes shelf assembly easier. Clamp the legs to a 2-ft. x 4-ft. piece of MDF, making sure they’re evenly spaced.
- Attach guide blocks using thick superglue and accelerator. I used 1-in. blocks for the legs and 3-in. for the shelves.
- Pro tip: Use only dabs of glue or you'll risk gluing the legs, too!
Mark For Pocket Screws
- With two legs in the assembly jig, place the shelves in the jig and mark where the pocket holes need to go.
- Mark two holes per joint and drill them with a pocket hole jig.
Assemble The Shelf
- After drilling for the pocket holes, place the shelves back in the jig. Using 1-1/2-in. pocket screws, attach the shelves to the legs.
- When you’ve completed the first side, flip everything over and repeat the process for the other two legs.
Project 3: The Entry Bench
Make The Bench Top
- Glue the two halves of the bench top together using hide glue. I used a few dowels to help keep the two halves aligned during glue-up.
- After the glue dries, sand the joint smooth and finish the bench before the next steps.
- I used General Finishes Satin Gel Topcoat. This along with the natural characteristic of cherry will create a beautiful, deep patina in just a few years.
Attach The Legs
- I found steel legs in the style I was after at tablelegs.com, so I decided to save time and buy, not build.
- Screw the legs to the bottom side of the bench with 1-in. washer-head screws.
- Pro tip: I made a positioning jig out of scrap 1/2-in. plywood. This easy-to-make jig will ensure precise spacing and alignment of all four legs.
Cut Skirts To Size And Attach
- Use a bevel gauge to determine the angle of the leg, then transfer that to your table saw blade.
- Cut that bevel on one edge of a little more than two feet of the skirt material. With the legs attached, mark the two end pieces against the legs and cut them to length.
- Once those have been screwed into place, set the longer skirt pieces up against them and mark for cuts.
- Cut them on the miter saw and attach them with pocket screws.
Make The Drawer Case
- The cabinet case will be made from solid cherry and feature mitered corners. Make the 45-degree cuts using a table saw.
- To glue these parts together, lay them flat with the insides facing down and tape the edges together. Burnish the tape with a piece of wood.
- Flip everything over. Apply glue to the joint and tape the two sides together, keeping them square.
- Pro tip: Drill your pocket holes before glue-up. As you can see in the photo, I forgot to do this...
Fit The Drawer Case Back
- Once the drawer case is glued together, take an exact measurement and cut the back to fit.
- Use a few clamps to hold it in place and secure it with 1-1/4-in. pocket screws.
Attach The Case to the Bench Top
- The drawer case should be offset 1/2-in. from the side and front of the bench. Use a clamp to help keep it in place while you drive the screws in.
- Start with the outer side first, attaching it to the bench top with 1-1/4-in. pocket screws.
- Double-check for square and then repeat that process for the inner side.
Assemble the Cross Member
- Assemble the cross member with a little glue. Then screw the dovetail drawer slide perfectly centered.
- Pro tip: I cut the cross member parts a little oversize, and then cut them to fit once the case was assembled and installed.
Complete The Case
- Install the lower dovetail drawer slide for the lower drawer and repeat that process on the cross member.
- Cut the cross member to fit and attach it with 1-1/4-in. pocket screws. I used a 5-5/16-in. spacer block to help me position it perfectly.
Make The Drawers
- Cut the drawer stock to length and cut the bottom from 1/4-in. plywood. I used cherry veneer plywood to match the bench.
- Assemble the drawers using 1-in. pocket screws.
- Notch a space in the drawer back for the center-mounted drawer slide. Using a small square, make sure the slide is square to the box, then glue it in place.
- Pro tip: Premade drawer stock saves a lot of time — it’s preslotted for the drawer bottom and comes prefinished. Woodcraft sells 60-in. lengths for $16.
Attach The Drawer Faces
- I used wood spacers to help me achieve a 1/8-in. reveal around the drawer faces.
- With the drawer box inserted, place two dabs of hot melt adhesive on the back of the face then press it against the drawer box.
- After the glue sets, secure the drawer face with 1-in. washer-head screws through the drawer box.
Install the Drawer Pulls
- Center and mark the holes for the drawer-pull mounting screws on the drawer face.
- Using a 5/16-in. drill bit, drill completely through the drawer face and drawer box. Mount the drawer pulls with the supplied mounting screws.
- Pro tip: Make your marks on a piece of tape on the drawer face. Your marks will be easier to see, and you’ll protect the wood while it’s being drilled.