Chevy Tailgate Bench

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This is a Christmas present for my wife. She pinned this sometime back and has forgotten about it. Lucky me! I stumbled upon and old chevy while exploring our land with my young sons and so the project began.

Step 1: The Design

I am a drafter so I like to begin every project with a drawing. *Note not all my projects turn out to follow the measurements in my sketches...

Materials:
Tailgate

Frame:

(1) Treated 4"x4"x10'

(2) Treated 2"x4"x8'

Seat: (as color coded in the drawing @ 1" thick)

Blue (2) 1'-10 1/4"x4"

Green (2) 1'-10 1/4"x2"

Pink (9) 1'-10 1/4"x3"

Red (12) 1'-10 1/4"x1"

Step 2: The Model

Here is what I am trying to recreate with the seat of the bench.

Step 3: Progress

Fortunately my family loves wood working so we have plenty of scrap wood around.

Step 4: Getting Ready for the Finishing Nails

Unfortunately not all tailgates are created equal. The width & height of the tailgate will vary from make, model & year of the vehicle you got the tailgate from.

Step 5: Unfinished But Ready for the Christmas Bow

My wife is very much the painter and wood finisher in our family. This bench will be delivered to her on Christmas day so that she can pick which color she will paint the stripes on the seat before we seal all the wood. I may come back and round the arm rests.

Step 6: Conclusion

There is no rhyme or reason to my stripes I worked with what wood I had. I apologize for the lack of instructions. Ask questions and I will edit the post as needed to clarify the steps, this is my first instructable.

Edit* We burned the stripes with a propane torch then stained the entire bench with the same color stain. Then put two coats of polyurethane over all the wood. The bench has been completed and not sits on the patio. Happy Tailgating!

If you have any questions feel free to ask. I will assist as best I can.

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17 Discussions

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JaylenaB

1 year ago

Could I possibly use any size tailgate to fit with your measurements?

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ccaskey25JaylenaB

Reply 1 year ago

Tailgates will be different depending on the make, model and year. If you have the exact tailgate I used, you could use my measurements. If you are working with a different tailgate you will want to modify the dimensions to fit your tailgate.

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Jhester34

2 years ago

How did u fasten the tailgate to the bench. Is it floating or screwed in?

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ccaskey25Jhester34

Reply 2 years ago

I drilled and screwed it in the bottom and top corners. Because it is so close to the corners the screw heads are hard to see.

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ccaskey25Jhester34

Reply 2 years ago

I drilled and screwed it in the bottom and top corners. Because it is so close to the corners the screw heads are hard to see.

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ccaskey25Johnkaz123

Reply 2 years ago

I actually did not cut the angles in the final project. You could set up a jig on a tablesaw and do it though.

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Johnkaz123ccaskey25

Reply 2 years ago

Did you just buy them like that? I can jig a table saw, but if there's an easier way.... :)

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ccaskey25Johnkaz123

Reply 2 years ago

The legs of the bench are 4x4 posts from the big box store. I did not cut them at an angle when I built the bench. I designed it like that in my CAD software but in the end decided not to cut the angles.

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ccaskey25ccaskey25

Reply 2 years ago

Actually in step 5 you can see the back of the bench in the second picture.

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ccaskey25KennethK11

Reply 3 years ago

I drilled and screwed it in the bottom and top corners. Because it is so close to the corners the screw heads are hard to see.

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ccaskey25dschulte4

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

I am not 100% sure the exact year but it appears to be a 50's. Maybe around a 55. It is very rusted but a few piece on the truck are in salvageable condition.

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Will_P_30

3 years ago

This is awesome!!!

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peppypickle

3 years ago on Introduction

hey! super awesome project! do you have more photos of the process? we'd love more of an explanation of each of your building steps :) it's such a cool idea!

1 reply
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ccaskey25peppypickle

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

I updated the post with more detailed drawings. I am a visual person so pictures and drawings make me happy :) I will attempt to get better pictures of the frame when I dissemble it for paint and sealer.