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Thread: Kitchen booth/banquette seating questions

  1. #1
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    Kitchen booth/banquette seating questions

    Hi everyone:

    I introduced myself earlier today, and I thought I'd jump in with my first questions. I'm very green, and very eager. This is for the next project after the bookcases I'm working on now.

    I have a kitchen with a 5-sided nook--a piece of an octogon. I want to make built-in booth/banquette seating continuous around all 5 sides, but it's complicated (for me anyway) because there aren't any 90 degree angles.

    So I have 2 questions, and I attached a picture. I apologize for the quality of the drawing--first time I tried drawing something on my Mac. Here are my questions:

    For the closed support part underneath, should I make rectangles with square angles and just add braces to deal with the weird angles, or should I build trapezoid shaped boxes underneath where none of the corners of the "box" are square?

    and 2) can I support the seat adequately if I cantilever the front 12" (under your knees) to make some open shelving for magazines, newspapers, etc.? I want the lower part to recede because I think it's more comfortable if you can put your feet back and not straight down. Or do I really need an angled support under the shelf?

    I'm hoping the drawing will help explain what I mean.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks for any/all suggestions/comments.
    Cynthia
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  2. #2
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    On the square vs. angled supports, I'd go with the angled ones. At some point in the project (like the final trim) you're gonna need to cut those angles anyway, so you might as well get some practice on the parts that are going to be hidden. Angled cuts are really pretty easy on a table saw with a good miter gauge, or on a power miter saw. It'll make your brain hurt at first, but remember, no pain, no brain gain. Or something like that.

    On the cantilevered front, I'll let some of the folks who are more experienced with that type of thing chime in. Offhand, I'd guess it has a lot to do with the material you're using and its thickness.
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  3. #3
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    another vote for the angles! as for the area under neath your top do you want storage in there? if so what are you gonna store? a multi-sided box will hold up alot top provided the top in of sufficient material.. the cantilever shouldnt be a problem/
    the area underneath if its gonna be storage, then look at what your gonna put in there and then plan accordingly.. make the box out of ply wood for more chance of useful space.
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  4. #4
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    I'd go for the rectangular boxes with angled tops/supports. I would make the boxes the width of the front of seat edge and cut plywood 24" deep for the sides. Fastening 3 boxes together I don't think would work as well.

    The cantilever will work fine wtih 12" overhung and 8" thick box. You will probalby be best anchoring the back of the boxes to the walls though. The other way of doing this would be to bolt them together, but it would require stronger cases to get away with that.

    I would be more worried about the width span for the seat than the 12" cantilever. You could either use a extra thick top or add an extra center support for the 4'6" section.

    You could do the trapezoid boxes and it would be strong/work fine, but it would be harder to build and I don't think you're going to get any more functionality out of the storage.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeb Taylor View Post
    ...The cantilever will work fine wtih 12" overhung and 8" thick box. You will probalby be best anchoring the back of the boxes to the walls though. The other way of doing this would be to bolt them together, but it would require stronger cases to get away with that....

    ...I would be more worried about the width span for the seat than the 12" cantilever. You could either use a extra thick top or add an extra center support for the 4'6" section.
    Thanks Jeb (and the others). What you suggest is the way I've thought it would be easiest for me to manage. I plan on bolting it to the wall, don't worry, with BIG BOLTS.

    How do you define "extra thick top"? What thickness is extra thick to you?

    I was planning on using an extra thick top *and* extra center supports. Don't want Grandma doing a face plant off of my booth seat.

    Thank you everyone.
    Cynthia
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  6. #6
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    I was thinking two layers of 3/4" plywood glued together and tied into some hardwood face frame ont he front would be solid without a center support. I think that you will have no problems with a center support in addition to a 1-1/2" top.

  7. #7
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    Following the suggestions of others, making the seat 1 1/2" thick with a hardwood edging, will be plenty strong. I'd try to keep the cantilever to no more than 1/2 of the total seat depth - less if possible. Lag bolting a ledger to the wall and attaching the frame will work, but I'd like to see the seat edge fit under the ledger and the seat also bolted to the wall. This way the ledger will counteract the back edge of the seat wanting to rise up when someone sits on the front of the seat. Picture a 250# adult sitting on the end of a 20" crowbar with the fulcrum at the mid point or less - that can generate a lot of lifting force. By slipping the seat edge under the ledger you can resist this force. You can incorporate the ledger into the seat back.

    Now, all that being said, it's probably way overbuild. But at least I would be sure no one will do the face-plant.
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  8. #8
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    Cynthia, I not add to what already said since it's all good but I did take a few moments to look at you design in sketchup. You angle is wrong. If you cut all of the agle at 22.5 drgree and have 45 degrees between sections it will work out for ya. I have attached the sketchup drawing.



    If your not familiar with sketckup you might want to down load a copy and learn how to use it it is a very useful tool that will allow you to do scaled drawing in 3 d. and the best part is you can get the free copy at google sketchup.com
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails cynthia.jpg  
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
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  9. #9
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    Hi Don, yeah you're right, I'll download sketchup right now. But I agree with you on the angle--I didn't mark it on my drawing, but I know that the angle (in the center) from one spoke of the wheel to the next is 45degrees. I was referring to the bench seat--the angle from one seat to the adjacent seat is 135degrees. And yeah, I can decrease the cantilever to less than 1/2 of the distance from the back to 11.5" and increase the seat depth to 25". I just want it deep enough to stick a magazine in there 8.5" X 11". And yes, it's a good idea to put it under the ledger board. Hadn't thought of that. Gee I wonder if I should add some cement footings?

    Hey, wait a second, I can bring the bottom support out further than that...I could bring it out another 4", and still have an opening above it that's 12" deep. So let's see, have the bottom come out 17" from the wall, and the cantilever just an extra 8" even it holds a 12" deep open shelf!

    By George, I think I've got it! Stay tuned for lots of whining once I get started
    Thanks guys,
    Cynthia
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  10. #10
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    Cynthia,
    Since your downloading the program here is the skp file to get you started.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

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