Tiny Home Seating – Building a Bench Frame

Lydia Fun in the SnowWe’ve had a pretty decent winter thus far. The freezing temps came late this year, which allowed me more time to wrap up things outside.

When the cold finally set in, the family and I headed in doors. Natalia and I have been putting the final touches on our tiny home plans. Lately we’ve been spending a lot of time with another couple in our congregation. It has been very helpful to have people to talk with about life’s challenges.

A number of welding projects are on the backlog, but the cold weather puts a damper on things. Working with steel in the stinging cold can be quite painful at times.

Finally, we received a break in the cold winter weather and headed outside.  Lydia took it as an opportunity to play in the freshly fallen snow.  I got to work on constructing the additional seating that will sit across from our dinette.

Before settling on a design, I spent quite a bit of time researching space efficient seating.  Pinterest helped me glean from the approaches other tiny home builders have taken.  I had deeply considered building a couch that would open from the top, but decided on a simple yet flexible solution.

bench frame 1I decided to build a basic bench with an empty area for storage underneath. This will allow us to store items in baskets that can be easily slid underneath. The baskets will help us keep things organized and will allow us to access items even when people are already seated. By adding a cushion or camping mattress, the bench could also serve as a bed for a kid to sleep on.

Bench Frame Square CornersI used some 1.5 inch square tubing to construct a basic frame. I carefully measured and cut four lengths with 45 degree angles on each end. The pieces were welded together like a large picture frame. The work bench I had constructed last winter provided me with a solid base to clamp the pieces to. This allowed me to position and hold each piece in place. It helped me achieve a frame that was square from the very beginning.

An angle grinder was used to clean up the welds to a smooth finish.

Bench Frame Reinforce SeatIn order to support the weight of multiple occupants, I decided add some cross-members. I used 1.5 inch angle iron which is a lightweight alternative to the square tubing I had used for the main frame. My plan is to top the bench off with a couple slabs of thin cut cedar.

Bench Frame Attaching Legs1.5 inch angle iron was used to construct some very basic bench legs. Three pieces were cut to form a U shaped leg for each side. I clamp the leg pieces to the existing frame. This provided me with nice square joints to use as a template while I performed the final fitting prior to welding.

Once the welds on the legs had been cleaned up, they were attached to the rest of the frame. I took special care not to run the welds all the way to the edge. I wanted to maintain the clean industrial lines where the pieces overlapped.

Bench Frame Cross Bracebench frame 7A cross-member was added to the back of the bench for additional strength. This support will also protect the floor mounted radiator that will sit behind the bench.

My next step will be to clean up the steel and apply a bees wax finish to it.