DIY Sectional Couch – Day One – The Couch Side Panel

In a previous blog post, DIY to the Rescue!, I decided to take on the challenge of building a custom sectional couch with a chaise for our family room. Today, I began the project by constructing the side panel for the couch.

I wanted this piece to blend and match the other furniture I’ve built for our home. So this side panel was designed to do exactly that.


Before I begin any project, I do an inventory of the leftover wood I have in my workshop. It just so happens I had enough 1x4s and 2x4s to build the side panel. Major money saving score!

Of course, before using my power tools, I donned my safety glasses and hearing protection. IMG_20181103_124508879 Yep, this is me. No make-up, no filters. Heck, I’m not entirely sure I brushed my hair today. That’s what I love about my workshop, it doesn’t require professional dress!

Anyway, according to my plans, I needed to cut eight 1x4s and two 2x4s at 18 inches each. Man, that’s a lot of measuring. When faced with a situation where I need to make a lot of cuts of the same length, I’ll fashion a stop jig on my saw stand.

IMG_20181103_130318428My saw stand has adjustable arms used to support long pieces of wood. For my stop jig, I attached a piece of 4×4 and 2×4, using clamps, to the end of the adjustable arm at a distance of 18 inches away from my saw blade. I made a couple of test cuts and adjusted my stop jig as needed. Once dialed in, I was able to cut my boards in no time at all.

After I cut all the 18 inch pieces, I removed the stop jig and cut two 2x4s at 35 inches each for the top and bottom of the side panel.

Next, I laid out all of my boards to see if they fit tightly together. It’s not uncommon to have to play with the configuration of the boards, some boards fit together better than other boards.


Once I was satisfied with the fit, I then marked the boards to cut pocket holes using my Kreg Jig.

The Kreg Jig is my absolute best furniture building friend. This contraption allows me to join wood together using pocket holes and pocket hole screws. For the 1x boards, I set my Kreg Jig and Kreg Jig drill bit to 3/4 inches. For my 2x boards, I set the Kreg Jig and Kreg Jig drill bit to 1 1/2 inches.

After I marked all of my pocket holes, I joined the planked panel together with 1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws.

(Please ignore the mistake I made with the spacing of my pocket holes. On a positive note, when the couch is done, no one will ever see it!)

The clamp seen above is a 2.75″ Kreg Jig Clamp. I love this clamp because it keeps my boards flush, in line, and gives a nice finished to the planked panel.

Once the planked panel was done, I added the 2×4 frame. For the frame itself, I attached the pieces with 2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws. I then attached the top and bottom of the planked panel to the 2×4 frame using 1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws. To make sure this side panel is nice and sturdy, I attached the sides of the planked panel to the 2×4 frame with 2 1/2 inch pocket hole screws.


I’m quite pleased with how the decorative side panel turned out. Next week, I’ll take a trip to my local lumber yard and purchase the 2x4s needed to build the frame of the couch.

Step one is now complete!



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