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I would like to build a entryway bench using a 3 foot length of 2 x 12. I plan to use 16" hairpin legs made of 1/2" cold rolled steel. Not sure if the type of wood matters, but I will probably use pine. How much weight can I expect the bench to hold?

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    A 3' piece of 2x12 could probably hold a car. Someone else might be able to get more exact, but you don't have to worry about any normal bench-related weight.
    – JPhi1618
    Nov 4 '19 at 15:44
  • Yeah, assuming a good board selection, the connection between the legs and the top is your weak point. You want plenty of lateral diagonal bracing so the thing doesn't fold up.
    – isherwood
    Nov 4 '19 at 16:08
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I ran this through the sagulator, Assuming a shelf 36", 2x12 on side, supported at the ends (floating) with a center load of 1000 lbs, and got a total deflection of .07 inches.

1200 lbs still read as acceptable, 1250 went borderline.

So for supporting one or two humans within normal weight parameters, you should be good. I'd be more interested in the legs and how they are connected.

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    Cool link. Using western white pine at 12"x1.5" I get a sag of 0.44 @ 3000 lbs. Fun to play with.
    – JPhi1618
    Nov 4 '19 at 18:18
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Unless you want to use a 2x12 for aesthetic reasons, it is way overkill. I just built a bench slightly longer than that with 2x8 and it doesn’t sag at all under adult weight. This may help decide on an appropriate width of 2x. enter image description here

Or based on this load table I’d estimate 1500lbs

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    I think he's planning on laying the board flat. This is for on edge. Nov 4 '19 at 17:56

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