Weight Bench (5 position,Flat/Incline) doubles as Patio Bench

Picture of Weight Bench (5 position,Flat/Incline) doubles as Patio Bench
If you'd like to have a brand-new weight bench, but you don't want to spend a lot of money, then you might consider making one yourself. I decided to make a multi-position flat/incline bench using a 4x4 post as a base. This bench doubles as a patio seat so i don't have to hide/put it away after each workout.

Bear in mind that the dimensions of this bench will not be suitable for everybody; it will depend on the height of the person using the weight bench. The bench is about 3.75 feet long which is an average size.

The Bench plan can be viewed/downloaded here>>> Weight Bench Plan/Drawing To download a copy, right click then "Save Target As" then hit "Save".

NOTE: This built is not designed for serious heavy weight lifting.

Materials you need:
4 ft. of 3/4 x 12 piece of plywood or solid wood
3 ft. of 1 x 2 wood
8 ft. of 2 x 2 wood
8 ft. of 4 x 4 wood post
1 (#10) 8" bolt and nut
2 (#8) 3" bolt and nuts
1 (#10) 12" bolt/screw and 4 bolt nuts
8 (#10) nylon washers
14 (#10) flat washers
4-3 inch long lag screws
4 rubber or rubberized feet
Some nails and wood glue
Wood stain and Polyurethane protective sealant (Optional)

Tools you need:
Circular saw
Miter saw (optional)
Power drill with drill bits, Forstner bit and the like (used to counter sink lag screws)
Wood chisel
Socket wrench/ pliers
Sander or Sand paper

Pictured below is the finished weight bench.
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Step 1:

1. Cut all wood pieces to the proper lengths (please refer to Detailed Weight Bench Plan/ Illustration).

Step 2:

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2. If you've noticed from the bench plan/illustration, a simple dado joint was used to join the bench wooden base and legs. Use your circular saw and make multiple passes to remove the unneeded portion, finish it up using a wood chisel (shown below).

Step 3:

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3. Use a generous amount of wood glue to all joints; then secure it with a lag screw.Countersink the head of lag screw to make it flush. See image below.

Step 4:

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4. Next, drill a hole through on one end of the (2) 2 x 2 wood (hole should be big enough to accommodate the #10 bolt), this will be used for the adjustable backrest support. Then, drill a hole straight through the side of the bench top support (pls. refer to the bench plan/illustration).

Use (#10) 8" bolt and nut to fasten the adjustable backrest support to the bench top. Place a nylon washer in between the metal flat washers to minimize friction during operation.

Step 5:

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5. Do the same thing with the swing arm.

Step 6:

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6. The (#10) 12" bolt is secured at the end of the swing arm using 4 bolt nuts.

Again, refer to the bench plan/illustration where to cut the notches on the bench top support; this is where the swing arm support will rest during use. If you prefer, you can eliminate some notches thus limiting the angle it can be adjusted.

Step 7:

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7. Due to proximity of the second notch to the first notch, i use a small metal L-bracket to give it more strength.

The second picture shows how it should look like after the adjustable backrest support and swing arm are bolted in place. Note that everything should be flush with the bench top support when in neutral/flat position.

Step 8:

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8. Next, fasten the bench seat and backrest using nails and wood glue. Give it a good sanding to remove rough edges.

Step 9:

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9. Use rubber or rubberized feet to prevent the bench from sliding during use.

Step 10: Finished Weight Bench pictures

Picture of Finished Weight Bench pictures
After some finishing touches (wood stain and 2 coats of polyurethane finish) this is how it looks like.

Hey its awesome.But only one drawback decline bench press is not possible.

buck22171 month ago

That is great and much more attractive than a bought weight bench

I have two teenage boys and we were just discussing getting them a weight bench. I think I'll give this a shot. Nice work!

In the pictures of the dado cut in the 4x4, you stated you set your blade depth at 1/2 inch. If you did that, then the 3 inch lag screw would not go all the way through the 4x4 to connect to the other 4x4, so I was wondering if that was a misprint. It also seems like only a 1/2 inch dado would not give a very sturdy connection. Could you please verify this. I was also wondering how much weight this bench could hold since you noted it is not for "heavy" lifting. Thanks for the feedback. It looks like a beautiful bench and I'm looking forward to building it.

makijim10 months ago
Thanks for the great instructable. I made mine this weekend. My wife and kid asked me to upholster it and it now looks even more like a piece of furniture as well as a nice weight bench. Not counting the materials for the upholstering, making this was cheaper than buying a bench from a store. Thanks again!!!!

I only count four nylon washers: two for the adjustable back support and one each for the swing arms UNLESS you also mean for their to be nylon washers between each of the pieces of WOOD.

meff10912 years ago
thanx man:)
zacgarmer2 years ago
what size lag screw was used here? 5/16 or 3/8? or even 1/2?
afajarito (author) 4 years ago
Thanks for the comment.
This built is not intended for heavy lifting, maybe I should put that as a warning in the instruction. For really heavy lifting it's a lot safer just to buy one, they are made of metal and could take an abuse.

I usually just use dumbels maybe 60-100 lbs. the most. I've been using this for at least a year and half now with no problem.

For slipping -off the seat, I guess it depends on what you are wearing :), otherwise it's ok. I've even upgraded it; I covered the seat/back with foam (for comfort) and bar on the leg so I do can seat-ups. If you go this route, maybe just use a cheap plywood for the seat.

Below is the upgraded version. It was raining last night so it got wet...again.
Hey afajarito,
I hope you will answer this quick, cause im in a hurry :-)
Do you think this bench would be rock solid if you forget about the 5 positions and just add one board so it's just a flat bench? I think the lower part of the construction seems solid but the upper seems more fragile... what do u think, do you think I could lift heavy weight if I just add one piece of wood instead so its not adjustable but only flat. NIce work by the way! ;)
jillhohn4 years ago
Jackstools4 years ago
Ok, this is the prettiest weight bench I have ever seen. So cool great wook.
samtulana4 years ago
How much weight can withstand?
urbanhg4 years ago
quality thumbs up
Sandra884 years ago
Great concept!
nice finish on your bench, looks like a quality piece of furniture! :)
Calorie4 years ago
I like the dual purpose aspect. How much did it cost to build?
afajarito (author)  Calorie4 years ago
I did this project more than a year ago. If I remember it right, the built cost me a a little more or less than $20. Some of the materials were already available at hand at that time.

I used it more as a patio bench than a weight bench now, lol.
wrksnfx4 years ago
Here are some links that I like.


Dr. Pepper4 years ago
mowdish4 years ago
As I looked more closely I noticed one thing you might want to watch out for. Although the 1x2s are probably strong enough to support a few hundred pounds of static weight, they may not last long under the constant movement involved in weight lifting. This is especially true in the lowest incline setting where the forces are directed along the width rather than the length of the wood. Watch those joints carefully and consider replacing the 1x2s with metal tubing.
mowdish4 years ago
This is probably the most attractive benche I've seen and I've been looking at home made weight equipment a long time. I have one question: Do you slip off the seat? I would think the smooth level seat would make it hard to stay in place.