Introduction: Outdoor Privacy Bench With Concrete Seat
Runner Up in the
Woodworking Contest 2017
We just finished this build where we started with a basic Ana White bench plan and modified it for our needs. I (Steph) have been wanting to build a privacy screen for some time to cover the patch of my yard that I can see into my neighbors backyard. We finally made it happen and even better we made it into a bench so it has multiple functions!
Step 1: Watch the Videos
For more detail on the concrete seats- visit our website here.
Step 2: Gather Materials
- (9) 8” pressure treated 2X4’s
- 4’x8' plastic privacy lattice
- 2.5” Kreg outdoor screws
- (4) Strong Tie Brackets
- Behr outdoor wood primer
- Behr outdoor gray paint
- White Flex Seal Rubber Paint
- Wood Filler
- Outdoor Wood Glue
- Kreg K4 Pocket Hole Jig
- Ryobi Circular Saw
- Kreg Rip Cut Circular Saw Jig
- Miter SawChisels
- Speed Square
- Orbital Sander
- Tin Snips
- Tape Measure, level, clamps
- Ryobi Impact Driver
- Ryobi Drill/Driver
- Safety equipment—gloves, face mask, eye protection
Step 3: Build Base
We followed the Ana White plan almost exactly for the base. The only change we made was to add two extra supports due to the extra weight of the concrete. These pieces were attached together. Pocket holes were made and everything was screwed together.
Step 4: Measure, Mark and Cut Back Pieces
With the customization of the plan, we cut our two side supports to 6 feet and cut three back horizontal pieces according to the cut list from Ana’s plan. A speed square helps insure accurate marking of the cut lines.
Step 5: Cut Grooves
To cut the grooves we clamped the two back pieces together. The one to be cut and the other to help as a guide as we utilized the Kreg Rip-Cut Jig. We made four to five passes in the vertical length of each piece to get the approximate 1/4” groove that was needed to accommodate the lattice.
Step 6: Sand, Prime, Paint
We would have liked to stain, but because we used pressure treated wood, which is not that attractive, we decided to paint. We did this step before assembly as we thought it would be easier (and it was).
Step 7: Assemble Back
We made pocket holes in the three horizontal pieces on each end on the back side of the boards so that they could be screwed into the side supports. The bottom piece was attached to the side pieces. The lattice was marked and cut to size with tin snips. This was slow going but worked. In theory this could be cut with a saw but we didn't have the garage space to maneuver the large piece of lattice into a saw. After cutting the lattice, it was shimmied into place, the middle support was added, then more lattice and finally the last horizontal support.
Step 8: Attach Base, Front Legs, Arm Rests
We varied from the plan here as we felt we needed to have additional support for the base and front legs. Along with pocket holes, we used corner brackets screwed into place under the seat bench.
We used a ruler and level to get the placement of the front legs correct. Corner brackets were also added here.
Step 9: Finishing
We used Bondo to fill in the pocket holes and wood filler on any large spaces. This was sanded smooth and the paint was touched up where needed. To help prevent rotting on the wood legs, as this bench will be outside in the elements and sit directly on rocks/dirt, we used Flex Seal on each of the legs. Steph thinks it looks like it's wearing socks!
Step 10: Put Bench Into Place and Add Concrete Seats
There is something very satisfying in seeing a project, we imagined and outlined on paper, physically come together in wood and concrete. It's the perfect addition to Steph’s yard! It provides much needed privacy and a place to sit or even doubles as a potting bench.
In the future, we hope to encourage the growing of some kind of vine to provide even more privacy. What should we plant? Should it be planted in the ground or in some kind of planter box?
For more details please visit our website!
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