Bench Radiator Cover

*This is a work in progress so here is the most recent photo:

During the cornavirus COVID-19 pandemic I have been back at my parents house for a while and was looking for a project to fill my free time. My parents had long discussed their desire to have a bench or some sort of covering that would allow us to sit by our back windows and cover up the old radiator in the back of the room. After deterning what they wanted the bench to look like, I started.

Partial Top View
Partial Front View

To start the project off I had a lot of prepwork and cleaning to do. There was wodden panelling on the walls around the radiators that I pried out to make room for insulation. Additionaly the two radiators were painted two diffrent colors and needed a new coat of paint.

I cut 1″ insualtion board to size then primed and spray painted it to match the radiators. The insulation fit in along the wall where the wodden panelling was previouly. We found that there were also gaps in the walls under the side windows, and filled thoes with Great Stuff.

Next was to build the frame. I used primarily 2 by 3s to create the frame. This frame was anchored to the walls using masonary tapcon screws to provide a solid base for this bench to withstand an even extreme load.

Then I fastened 4 sets of 4 2 by 3s together to create solid cross memebers. Then screwed in a piece all the way along the front, and added supplemental crossmembers right next to it in between the three segments.

After that I cut the panneling. I used 3/4″ plywood and cut the three top and front pannels.

To incoperate the grates I needed to cut out the centers of the pannels. The grates have a flanged edge and this flange restes on the 3/4″ plywood. For the the top pannels we wanted the grates to be flush with the wood around it so to achieve this I used 1/4″ plywood that was cut to the same size of the pannels with a center opening just as big as the grate and then glued to the 3/4″ plywood.

These grates are not fastened to the pannels and can be easily removed for easy access to the radiators.

For the front pannels I also made the grates removable by using tee nuts and screws.

Next I primed and painted the first coat on the pannels. Then attached the pannels to the frame using cabinet screws. (Forgot to take pictures of these steps)

The next step was making and attaching the nosing pieces. We had 2 8ft 1″ by 5″ pieces of wood which we ripped down to 3/4″ by 4″ and cut them length to fit the three segments of the bench. To create the nosing effect I then used a router to create a quarter inch fillet on the top edge and an eight inch fillet on the bottom edge. I primed and put a fisrt coat of paint on these pieces before installing them.

I then attached these nosing pieces to the front crossmember than spans the entire distance of the bench. I did not want the screws on these segments to be visible so I used a Forstner bit to allow me to sink the screws below the surface of the wood and fill the holes with a wood plug, which I then sanded down to be flush with the surface.

The last detail to add to this project was the front column replecation to tie the bench in with the rest of the room. (I will include an image in the future to show the wall behine the bench that the columns are ment to immitate)

I used finishing nails to attach the column and the column base pieces and a nail gun with brads to tack on the trim pieces around the coulmns and along the bottom edge of the front pannels. Then I primed and gave it all a first coat of paint.

That was the last part of the building process now its just painting. I am going to be giving the walls around the new bench a fresh coat of paint so the I will do the final coat on the bench at the same time.

(Final images to come soon)

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