Plywood and 2x4 Box Joint Bench

I wanted to make a small shoe storage bench out of scraps so I decided to build one out of plywood and 2x4s using a "faux" box joint to connect them. 

Watch the full build video below.

While I am not 100% happy with the execution I am really happy with the result. So hopefully you can learn from my mistakes to make a better version of this bench. It is very easy to rip the ply wood using the Accu-Cut, but if you don't have access to a planer, it might be hard to get the 2x4's to the same thickness as the 2 pieces of laminated ply. If you still like the look of this bench, I would suggest just eliminating the 2x4's and making the whole thing out of plywood. That would solve the no planer problem :)

The final dimensions of this bench is 35" wide x 10" deep x 18" tall. It is small. If you want a wider bench, use a piece of plywood that is bigger than 3'. If you want a deeper bench, Just cut up some more plywood slats and 2x4's. And if you want a taller bench, Just cut the 2x4's a bit taller. 


1 - 3'x4' 3/4" sheet of plywood

2 - 2x4 @ 10' long

2 - 3/4" dowels @ 48" (then cut slightly larger than width you want the bench to be)

Wood glue

Weatherwash Pined Stain

Minwax White Wash Stain



Kregjig Accu-Cut

Circular Saw

Miter Saw

(optional) Planer

(optional) Table saw


Cut List:

2x4 - 6 pieces at 18"

         8 pieces at 14-7/8"

Plywood - Rip to 2-1/4" wide by 3' long. Then cut, 

        8 pieces at 35-11/16"

        6 pieces at 29-1/4"

But the best way to get this exact measurement it so actually line up your 2x4 (or other ply, if thats the route you're going) to see how much you need to cut off. 

The biggest obstacle I had with this build, was the glue up. The problem was that I tried to glue it up all at once, when I should have done it in stages. I would suggest glueing up the plywood strips 2 at a time at first. So you are essentially creating something that is the same thickness as the 2x4's. Then it would be easier to glue those chunkier pieces together and will hopefully fix the problem of too much slippage during glue up. 

This post contains affiliate links :)

Kregjig sent me the Accu-Cut to try out. Even so, all opinions are my own. If you don't have a table saw it's a great alternative to ripping sheets of ply. I have a table saw and I still use it when the sheets are too big for me to comfortably handle at the table saw.