How to Build a Wooden Patio Bench

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Instead of buying an expensive patio bench made of wood or plastic, it is possible to buy your own materials and build your very own wooden patio bench by following a few instructions.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil Measuring rule Carpenters' square Protractor or 30/60 degree triangle Power drill 3/8" bit and bit extension Hammer Adjustable wrench Block plane Nail set Sanding block or belt sander C-clamps Power saw or handsaw 4X4 and 2X4 redwood stock 3/8X5" & 3/8X7" carriage bolts Flat washers Locknuts 16-penny and 6-penny galvanized or brass finishing nails Fine-grit, medium-grit and coarse grit sandpaper or sanding belts

Build a Wooden Patio Bench

  • View the blueprints for the patio bench by clicking on the "Plans" link in the Resources section. This will give you a good idea of measurements and how your wood should be cut. It will also be a useful guide while performing the following steps.

  • Measure and mark four pieces of the 4X4 redwood at 12.5". Make sure to use the carpenters' square to ensure the ends are even. Use your saw to cut these pieces as measured. These will be your bench legs. Now, using the 2X4 redwood, measure and mark the legs' cross braces. Use the protractor (or 30/60 degree triangle) to mark the braces. The ends should slant outward at 30 degrees. The slanted edges should be 30 degrees off vertical at the top edges to form trapezoids. Cut the braces at the slants that you marked. Be careful while doing this, and keep the cuts as uniform as you can.

  • Assemble all of the legs. Do this by setting a pair of leg braces on their edges on top of a flat surface. The long sides should be facing downward. Put a 4X4 leg piece in the middle of the braces. Do this at each end. Make sure the 4X4's outside face is completely flush on the top corners of each of the slanted braces. Make sure the bottom corners of the braces are extending beyond the rest of the leg. Once this is done, use a C-clamp to clamp the pieces together and hold them.

  • Use a drill to drill diagonal pairs of holes in each brace and leg joint. The holes should be 3/8". Make sure the holes go all the way through the leg and braces. You will need to use the drill and bit extension to accomplish this. From the outside inward, put a 3/8X7" carriage bolt through all of the holes. Put a locknut and washer on all of the bolts and use an adjustable wrench to tighten the nuts. Once this is done, it is safe to remove the C-clamps from the assembly. When you complete the bottom bolts, flip the assembly over and repeat this process so that you have another set of cross braces, this time on the top of the legs. Each end of the braces should now slant from the top facing toward the center of the legs. Assemble another pair of legs using this same method.

  • Measure and mark a 2X4 the length of 47". Cut the wood after doing so. This is going to be used to brace your bench longways. Drill diagonal pairs of holes in each end. The holes should be 3/8" and should be centered 1" from the sides and 3/4" from the ends. Put the leg assemblies opposite from each other, ensuring they're in position so they can support the top of the bench. Rest the ends of the stretcher on the inside of the bottom leg braces. It should be centered and across the leg braces that are on the bottom.

  • Mark holes on the top edges on the inside braces that match the holes on the stretcher. You will want to make sure that you adjust the placement of the leg assemblies before doing so. At the points you marked, drill 3/8" holes. Make sure you go all the way through the braces at these points. Put the stretcher across the leg braces. Put a 3/8X5" carriage bolt into each of the holes you drilled. They will need to go all the way through to the brace that is below it. Put a locknut and flat washer on the bolts and tighten them using your adjustable wrench.

  • Measure and mark off seven 2X4's at a 6-foot length. Cut the 2X4's. These will be used to make the top of the bench. Make a mark on each board that is 6" from the ends. Lay a 2X4 on its edge across the leg assemblies. The outside face should be flush to the top corners of your brace's edges (the slanted ones). Move the 2X4 back and forth lengthwise so that the ends of the board extend about 6" beyond the leg assemblies. The marks you made earlier on the boards should help while doing this. Use your nails to nail in the 2X4 on its edge on the cross braces. Toenail this 2X4 to the brace. Use two nails on each side. Make sure that you hold the 2X4 in place so the longer edge remains flush with the cross brace ends. Use a nail set to get the nails under the surface.

  • Put the rest of the six 2X4's on their edges across the top of the braces. Make sure the longer outside face of your last board is flush with the corners of your braces, just as you did with the first board. Make sure all of the boards are spaced out evenly. There should be about 1" between each board. Nail each of the boards into their respective positions, once again making sure to hold the boards in place tightly. Once all seven 2X4's are nailed in, use the nail set to get the nail heads below the surface.

  • Cap the ends of the bench. Measure the distance across the end of the bench top. The distance should be the same for both ends. Cut out two pieces of 2X4 that equal this length. Make sure the cuts remain even by using your carpenters' square. Place the long flat side of one of the boards (cap pieces) against the boards you just nailed to the assemblies. This board should be flat against all of the ends of your bench top. All surfaces should be flush. Use your nails to put two nails in the cap piece through to each of the ends of the 2X4's that are the bench top. Use the nail set once again, and repeat this procedure on the other side of the bench.

  • Round all of the edges that are exposed using your sanding block or belt sander.

Tips & Warnings

  • Allow the bench to weather naturally as opposed to finishing the surface.
  • Make sure to take all proper safety precautions when working with tools.

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