Leopold Bench

The Leopold bench is an ideal first project for beginning woodworkers or DIY’ers. The joinery is straightforward with no complex layouts or cuts and can easily be built in an afternoon. It will teach you how to lay out a project, make the cuts, and assemble the project. You have options on finishing (leave it raw, paint, or a penetrating oil). Further, it is a very useful bench to have around your house.

With only 4 boards you can build two benches. Further, you can cut the boards in half at the store and transport them home in almost any car.

Tools Required

Saw – circular is best and what this project is designed for. However, a jigsaw or hand saw will work as well.


Making the cuts

Buy one 10′ – 2″x10″, two 10′ – 2″x8″, and one 10′ – 2″x6″ boards. Pick the straightest ones you can find, look for #1 grade. If you can transport 10′ boards, you can break them down at home. Otherwise, cut them in half in the store or the parking lot. Some stores offer a method to cut down lumber. Options for cutting it yourself in the parking lot are using a battery-operated saw or a hand saw.

Cut two pieces of the 2″x10″ to 57″ for the seats and two pieces of the 2″x6″ to 60″ for the backs. Make sure to cut the ends square so the joint will be square when assembling the bench. The factory edge might not be square so it is better to trim each edge. Following the diagram cut the 4 leg pieces.

Now would be a good time to sand all the pieces to remove any mill marks, rough spots, or splinters.

Assembling The Legs

The most important thing to remember when assembling the legs is they are mirror images of each other. The next most important is that the bottom of the legs are in a straight line so that the bench is stable and does not rock.

Use the board for the back to align the bottoms of the legs. Then fasten them together with either 3 carriage bolts or glue and screws.

Attach The Seat & Back

Wood screws and glue are used to attach the seat and back. Center the seat on the leg and align the back with the top of the long leg.


If you want to round over the edges it will make the bench more comfortable to the touch. The boards already have a small round-over on the factory edges, where you cut them it will have a sharp edge. Sandpaper or a router can be used to knock down the edges.

You could leave the wood raw, but it will last longer if painted or you apply a penetrating oil finish.


You can make the bench any length you want, just cut the seat 3″ shorter than the back. About 6′ is the practical length, if it gets too long it will sag.

The length of the shorter leg determines the seat height. If you find a taller or shorter seat height more comfortable then adjusting the shorter leg will change the seat height.

Sloyd: The Scandinavian Style of Learning Skills

a Scandinavian style of learning that focuses on the development of manual dexterity, creativity, and problem-solving abilities through the use of hand tools, woodwork, and other crafts.

Sloyd, a word derived from the Swedish word “slöjd,” means “craft” or “handiwork.” It is a Scandinavian style of learning that focuses on the development of manual dexterity, creativity, and problem-solving abilities through the use of hand tools, woodwork, and other crafts.

The Sloyd method was developed in the late 19th century by a Swedish educator named Otto Salomon. He believed that students should be taught practical skills that they could use in their everyday lives and that the best way to do this was through hands-on learning.

The Sloyd curriculum typically involves the use of hand tools, such as saws, chisels, and knives, to create objects out of wood or other materials. Students start with simple projects, such as carving a spoon or making a picture frame, and progress to more complex ones as they develop their skills.

One of the key principles of the Sloyd method is that students should be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. Instead of being punished for mistakes, students are encouraged to identify what went wrong and how they can improve their technique in the future.

Another important aspect of the Sloyd method is the emphasis on creativity and individuality. Students are encouraged to use their imagination and come up with their own designs for their projects, rather than simply following a set of instructions.

The benefits of the Sloyd method are numerous. For one, it helps students develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, which can be useful in a variety of other areas, such as sports and musical instruments. Additionally, it fosters creativity and problem-solving abilities, which can be valuable in both personal and professional contexts.

The Sloyd method also has some unique benefits that other styles of learning may not offer. For example, it can be a great way for students to develop a sense of pride and accomplishment in their work, as they see their projects take shape in front of them. It can also be a calming and meditative activity, as the repetitive motions involved in woodworking can be soothing and relaxing.

While the Sloyd method is not as widely used today as it was in the past, it is still taught in some schools and is popular among certain groups, such as homeschoolers and maker spaces. If you are interested in learning more about the Sloyd method, there are many resources available online, including books, videos, and instructional materials.

In conclusion, the Sloyd method is a unique and valuable style of learning that can help students develop a range of skills, from fine motor skills to problem-solving abilities to creativity. Allowing students to work with their hands and learn from their mistakes, it can also foster a sense of pride and accomplishment that can be difficult to achieve through other methods. If you are looking for a new way to learn and grow, consider giving the Sloyd method a try.