My wife requested that I make a bench for our entryway that incorporated shoe storage for our boys’ shoes. I looked around at various store-bought options but couldn’t find anything I liked at a price I was willing to pay. Her requirements were that there be bins of some sort to store hats/gloves in the winter and other shoes (sandals, crocs, flip flops, etc.) in the summer. I started by picking out some baskets that I liked from the Ikea website and then making a rough sketchup model that fit around the baskets.
I hadn’t yet chosen what type of wood I was going to make the bench out of. At first I was thinking cherry but eventually settled on oak for the base/legs and mahogany for the bench top. I was able to use the sketchup model to get the dimensions for my cut list. I ended up using 3/4″ oak plywood for the base construction. The interior dividers were set into the top/bottom using dados cut with a router. The side panels were rabbeted to fit over the top/bottom to avoid having exposed plywood edges on the sides. I then cut some solid oak edge banding on the table saw and glued the strips over the front of the base to hide the exposed plywood edges.
The top is made out of 3 pieces of 4/4 mahogany edge glued together to ~12.5″ depth. I routed a 3/8″ chamfer around the front and sides of the bench top to make it a little more comfortable to sit on. The feet are made out of solid oak blocks that I glued together and cut to a taper on the table saw.