Add an L-shaped bench to your deck to create a social seating area and an attractive focal area. Building your own simple benches will typically be less expensive than purchasing them and you don't have to be an experienced woodworker. You can make the deck bench built-in, or moveable for extra flexibility.
Things You'll Need
- 2-by-4 lumber planks, 18 inches, 8
- 1-by-2 lumber planks, 10 inches, 8
- 1-by-3 lumber planks, 12 inches, 8
- 1-3/4-inch wood screws
- 1-by-12 lumber plank, 60 inches
- 1-by-12 lumber plank, 30 inches
- Miter saw
- Wood finish
- Corner clamp
- 2-3/4-inch wood screws
- 4-inch wood screws (optional)
Making the Bench Legs
Lay two pieces of 18-inch 2-by-4 lumber two inches apart on your work surface. These are the legs for one bench leg unit.
Lay a plank of 10-inch 1-by-2 lumber across the legs, flush with one end and lay a plank of 12-inch 1-by-3 lumber across the other end of the legs. The 10-inch planks are the top braces for the leg unit, and will attach to the underside of the bench top. The 12-inch planks are the foot of the leg unit and will stabilize the legs, and can also be used to screw the bench down into the deck if you desire.
Secure the top braces and feet to the legs with two 1-3/4-inch screws through the braces and feet into each of the legs. Turn the legs over and attach another top brace and foot plank to the other side of the legs to finish the first leg unit.
Repeat three more times so you have four complete leg units.
Making the Bench Top
Cut one end of a 60-inch plank of 1-by-12 lumber to a 45-degree angle using a miter saw. This is the long portion of the L-shaped bench top.
Cut one end of a 30-inch plank of 1-by-12 lumber to a 45-degree angle using a miter saw. This is the short portion of the L-shaped bench top. The two angled ends will mate to form the corner of the L-shape.
Finish the bench top and the leg units in the desired wood finish. A UV protectant stain or varnish is ideal to help shield the bench from weathering.
Assembling the Bench
Lay the two bench top planks wrong-side up on the work surface, with the angled ends mated to form a large L-shape. Set the corner of the L into a corner clamp so the bench top pieces are held securely in place, keeping their L-shape.
Sit a leg unit, top braces down 10 inches in from the end of the 60-inch arm of the bench top, and one 10 inches on from the end of the 30-inch arm of the bench top. Sit one leg unit at an angle straddling the joint between the two bench top planks, and the last leg unit midway between the leg units on the 60-inch arm of the bench top.
Secure the leg units to the underside of the bench top planks with four 2-3/4-inch screws driven right through each top brace into the underside of the bench top.
Remove the corner clamp and turn the bench upright so it is standing on the feet of the leg units. If you want to secure the bench to the deck, use four 4-inch wood screws through the top of the feet of the leg units into the deck underneath.