How to make a D.I.Y. modern timber sofa lounge

James, Team member
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How to make a D.I.Y. modern timber sofa lounge

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Project Overview

Stylish, modern sofa lounges can be costly. This project  repurposes three timber kitchen benchtops to create a fantastic piece of furniture that’s perfect for just about any home. Continue to step-by-step instructions
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Use tape to catch excess glue

Isn’t it annoying when you’re gluing two pieces of timber together and the excess glue ends up on the surface. Thankfully, there is a solution. Simply join the two pieces of wood, then run some tape along the join. Use a utility knife to cut the tape along the join. Then apply the glue to each of the edges you want to join. When you clamp the timber together, glue will ooze over the tape and not the wood. Remove the tape before the glue dries. The result? A perfect join and glue-free timber.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut the back and base or seat to size
2 Cut the rebates
3 Cut the sides and back to size
4 Cut the timber to a manageable size
5 Fit the base into place
6 Fix the back and the sides together.
7 Make the square cuts
8 Make the timber plugs
9 Putty and sand
10 Make and assemble the legs
11 Attach the legs
12 The finishing touches
13 Sit back and relax
  • Step 1. Cut the back and base or seat to size

    Measure and mark on the tape the seat or base size. Ours measured 1920mm x 600mm. Measure and mark on the tape the size for the back of the sofa. Ours measured 1927mm x 420mm. Use the circular saw to cut these. Before cutting, be sure to allow for the blade.
  • Step 2. Cut the rebates

    Mark the tape on the timber, which is on the left and right side of the sofa. Also mark with a pencil where to cut the rebates. They need to be mirror images when you’re done. Measure and mark the rebates – ours measured 25mm deep and 38mm from the edge for both sides and at a right angle. We used a table saw to cut the rebates for accuracy, but you could also use a circular saw.
  • Step 3. Cut the sides and back to size

    Next, measure and cut the sides and back with a circular saw. The sides measured 420mm, as did the back.
  • Step 4. Cut the timber to a manageable size

    To make working with the timber easier, we cut our benchtops to a more manageable size. We measured and marked ours at 680mm lengths and cut it with the drop saw.
  • Step 5. Fit the base into place

    Lift the base into place onto the created rebates, but you might need someone to help you lift it. To secure, glue, pre-drill with the 5mm bit, then make a pilot hole with the 3.5mm bit and join together with the 65mm timber screws.
  • Step 6. Fix the back and the sides together.

    Clamp the sides to the back with corner clamps to keep the edges flush and square. To hide the screws, we’re going to use timber plugs, which we’ll make later. To accommodate these, pre-drill with a 9.5mm bit, then make a clearance hole with the 5mm bit. Apply glue for extra strength, removing any excess as you go. Make a pilot hole with the 3.5mm bit and then screw together with the 65mm timber screws.
  • Step 7. Make the square cuts

    Now that the timber is at manageable lengths, it’s time to make the square cuts. Start with the sides. Measure and mark where to apply the masking tape, the tape ensures the timber doesn’t splinter when it’s cut. Now measure and mark for the cut. Ours measured 638mm. We left some room to play with on the sides to accommodate any errors when cutting the rebates. Set the circular saw to make the cut, making sure you allow for the blade. Clamp the timber, then cut it. Repeat the process for the second side.
  • Step 8. Make the timber plugs

    We’re using an offcut of wood to make the timber plugs. First, set up the drill press with a plug cutter. Drill as many plugs as you need. Use a screwdriver to pop the plugs out. Now, align the plugs on top of the screws holes, making sure the timber grain faces the same way. Glue and gently hammer the plugs into place. If you don’t have a drill press to make the plugs, you can just putty over the holes.
  • Step 9. Putty and sand

    Putty up any gaps in between the timber joins and leave to dry. Use the belt sander to sand it. Start with 120 grit for the first sand and graduate to a finer grit as required.
  • Step 10. Make and assemble the legs

    Our legs are a rectangle shape. Firstly, measure and mark them. Ours measured 580mm x 4 for the long sides and 152mm x 4 for the short sides. Cut them using a drop saw. Use 180 grit sandpaper to sand off any rough edges or branding. To make one leg, lay out the two longer sides parallel and fit the shorter sides between these. Assemble using butt joins. Measure and mark to drill a clearance hole with the 6.5mm bit, countersink, pilot hole with a 5mm bit. Glue and screw together with the 100mm bugle screws. Wipe away any excess glue. Putty and sand the leg. Repeat for the second leg.
  • Step 11. Attach the legs

    Measure and mark for the legs. We positioned ours 35mm in from the front and 180mm in from the sides. Remember to stagger and skew your screws, so they don’t touch, when attaching both legs to the sofa. Pre-drill a 6.5mm clearance hole and countersink for the depth. Then drill 5mm pilot holes before screwing the 65mm bugle screws into place.
  • Step 12. The finishing touches

    To finish the sofa, apply a coat of clear varnish to protect the timber and bring out the natural grain. Before applying, wipe any dust off the sofa. Apply as many coats as needed, leaving them to dry in between.
  • Step 13. Sit back and relax

    Once the varnish is dry, move your lounge sofa into place. Accessorise it with some cushions, pillows and a throw rug for a touch of style. Your guests won’t believe you made it yourself.
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint Test.
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