Building a Garden Bench


Building A Garden Bench
Tools Needed:
  • Drill
  • Table saw or router
Material List:
  • 4 - 2"x4"--8' treated lumber
  • 1 - 2"x4"-6' treated lumber
  • 4 - 1"x4"-6' treated lumber
  • 2 - 1"x2"-6' treated lumber
  • 2 - 1"x2"-8' treated lumber
  • Long framing screws
  • 1 1/4 inch galvanized finish nails
  • Wood filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint, stain or seal
A garden bench enhances outdoor living spaces by adding both structure and comfort. Building furniture is intimidating, but it doesn't have to be difficult.

Start the bench by constructing the sides. Cut four 2 x 4 pieces at 16 inches, two pieces at 29 inches and two pieces at 35 inches. Using long framing screws, attach two 16 inch pieces to one 29 inch piece. One piece connects flush with the top, the other 14 inches from the bottom. Drilling pilot holes will prevent the wood from splitting. Then connect the horizontal pieces with the 35 inch piece. This creates one side of the sofa. Repeat the steps to create the other side and begin work on the seat. Cut the lengthwise pieces at 60 inches and attach to both sides with screws.

To add the seat supports, cut five 2 x 4's 20 inches long. Attach the supports evenly centered and wide-side up leaving 3/4 of an inch below the top of the other supports. A scrap piece of 1 x 4 can be used as a template. After the supports are in cut the seat slats. You'll need four 60 inch 1 x 4's and two 60 inch 1 x 2's. Alternate the 1 x 4 and 1 x 2 lumber for the first four slats. Use two 1 x 4's for the final two pieces.

To construct the seat back, cut a 3/4 inch groove in the middle of two 60 inch 2 x 4's using a table saw or a router. Then cut 20 1 x 2's ten inches long. On a flat surface, place the slats into the grooves and nail each in place with 1 1/4 inch galvanized finish nails. Use an extra slat as a spacer. Repeat the process with the other side of the sofa back.

When the assembly is complete, attach the back to the rest of the bench. For comfort, tilt the back at an angle with the bottom flush with the inside edge of the side and the top flush with the outside edge of the sofa side. You can also add armrests. Next fill in any screw holes with wood filler, sand all surfaces and paint, stain or seal the sofa.