How to Build a Bench

Although it looks difficult, trying to build a bench is a straightforward process. To avoid complications, get the following stuff ready.

Required Tools and Materials

2 x 4 x 6 ft wood stock
1 x 6 x 6 ft wood stock
1 x 12 x 6 ft wood stock
¾ Plywood or hardwood
2 x 8 Plywood
Several nails
Screws (you’ll need the 1”, 2” and 3 “; ½ lb)
Framing Spikes (a minimum of eight)

Step 1: Get the Bench Dimensions

Figure out the height, depth and width of the bench before you begin. Decide what you’re going to use it for and how many people are going to sit there. When you have the numbers, get the necessary stock.

Step 2: Create the Frame

To build a bench cut 47” x 2” x 9” from the 2 x 4. Position them using the framing spikes. Cut a rectangular shape from the plywood. Make it about 9’ x 50”. Connect this to the frame via the nails. Cut the 1 x 12 to fashion out the topmost section. Join this to the rest of the structure using the 1” screw. Let this hang for ¾” at the front and back.

Step 3: Construct the End Panels

Cut two plywood pieces measuring 11 x 17 each. Grab a couple of nails and join the 11 x 17 boards to the 2 x 4. The next step to build a bench is to fashion out 8” right triangles from the plywood. Fasten them with the 2” screws.

For the rails, saw 50” from the 2 x 4 stock. Insert this between the end panels you made. Measure the height so it is about four inches above ground. Use the 3 “ screws to secure the piece.

Step 4: Adding the Final Touches

You can use some filler for the holes. If you want to cover the nails, you can do so by adding wood over it. Although some like to sand the pieces as they are cut, it’s better if you sand them after you build a bench.

Painting is only optional. For some it adds the final touch, while others like the more “natural” look. If it’s just a working bench, you probably can do without it.

Tips and Warnings

Benches come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most barebones consists of just the four legs and a square seat. Others come with arm rests, back rests and other designs. Once you have tried the one described here, try experimenting with others. The basic building principles are the same.

Take care not to cut your hands when cutting wood. Some form of eye protection is also recommended for splinters and saw dust. You’ll also want to look at your workspace. Make sure it’s clear and clean. A cramped space will hamper the process.

The steps to build a bench seem more complicated than it actually is. As long as you have the dimensions right, you’ll have it ready in a few hours.

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