It’s a fact in many homes that the entryway space accumulates the everyday items, clothes and footwear used by family members. Over time this stuff builds up and spills into everyone’s path, tripping guests and creating a mess. The entryway storage bench is a perfect solution for this area of the home. It can provide comfortable seating for the putting on of footwear and can keep the clutter contained.

In this week’s Tuesdays with Tommy, woodworker and TV host Tommy Mac shares some tips on how to build a better storage bench.

The Problem

Jack from Minnesota: I want to build a storage bench for my entryway. Any advice on type of wood to use? I want to make sure it’s strong enough to sit on, so what thickness should I be looking at? Also, if I plan to store shoes and boots inside, should I lay anything down on the inside floor of the bench to protect it from mud and moisture?

The Answer

Tommy: My advice would be to go with a simpler version of my Blanket Chest project. So for wood, you’ve got a few options. Go with oak — like white oak — or maple or cherry. Even pine would take a good beating.

If you are really concerned about the inside, you can put a cedar bottom on it. But if you build a decent box with a half-decent finish, you should have to worry about it.

To make sure it’s strong, obviously you’ll want it well-built. Make sue the lid overlaps the sides. Consider using mortise and tenons. And for stock, you could do fine with a 3/4″, 7/8″ or 1-inch.