How to Make Wood Benches

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You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a fully furnished and summer-ready patio. Making basic patio furniture is a breeze. With just a few basic tools, some inexpensive wood and a free afternoon, you can build benches that are perfect for backyard barbecues.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-by-4-inch pine boards
  • 2.5-inch deck screws
  • Scrap 1/4-inch plywood
  • Saw
  • 3 sawhorses
  • Clamp
  • Measuring tape
  • Gather materials needed to make the bench. The lumber can be purchased from a lumberyard or home improvement store. You will need four 2-by-4-inch pieces of lumber to create the seat of the bench. You will also need six 23-inch sections of 2-by-4s to create the legs. You will need three 15-inch sections of 2-by-4s for the leg cradles and two 13-inch sections of 2-by-4s for the leg braces. The leg brace supports require two sections of 15-inch 2-by-4s.

  • Set up sawhorses to lay your lumber across and assemble the bench. You can position three sawhorses exactly where you want each set of legs to be. Pick four pieces of plywood and lay them across the sawhorses. Cut small pieces of plywood about 1/4-inch thick to use as spacers. Place them between the boards, then clamp the boards firmly together.

  • The legs for the benches will be created by forming an X shape with two boards. Instead of figuring out the angles to cut the legs, create a jig by clamping two shorter 2-by-4s onto the bench top. Make sure the boards are parallel to each other, at an exact right angle to the bench boards and are 23 inches apart. Lay one of the 2-by-4s for the leg across the jig so that it lays 1/2 inch in from the edge of the bench top on both the top and bottom. Mark the line to cut the board on the top and bottom, then use a saw to cut the angles. Make sure that the board fits perfectly inside the jig. Then copy the cuts on the other 2-by-4s for six identical pieces. Assemble the legs by fitting two crossing pieces of wood in each jig to create an X. Secure them at the joint with two deck screws.

  • Create the leg cradles. Stand up a finished set of legs on the bench top. Place a 2-by-4 perpendicular to the long edge of the bench. Line up the legs against the board and mark with a pencil where the legs hit the bench. Cut each piece of leg cradle wood in half so they are 7.5 inches long. Position them parallel to each other and overlapping on the inside so that they create a cradle for the table legs. Nail them in place. Create two more leg cradles at the positions where the legs will be.

  • Position the table legs within the leg cradles. Pre-drill holes, then set two screws into the place where the top of the table leg meets the leg cradle. Securely attach the table legs to the leg cradles. Remove the board spacers and clamps and flip bench so that it is right side up.

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