This corner has always been a little bit of a “dead man’s land” tucked all the way back behind my home. I built my smaller bench first by building a rectangle out of 2x4s and adding legs where they were needed. I didn’t see any reason to add legs to my benches where the deck already had posts so I kept that in mind as I was building. I went on to build the much longer bench (over 10 feet!) also with legs only where they were needed. Because of the distance I chose to cut my 8 foot 2x4s so the “seem” would land on one of the deck posts instead of requiring to add two legs in a weird spot. I flipped my benches “right-side-up” then attached them to each other before screwing them to the main posts.
Next I just needed to cut around eight million 24 inch boards for the seats… I set my miter saw up outside for this so I didn’t have to measure every board! Then I just stood there and cut and cut and cut.
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Step 1: Building the Back of the Bench
With the seat complete I moved on to the back of the bench. I wanted to create a little bit of a slant so I screwed a deck board down all the way around the back of the bench pressed tight against the deck posts – with it laying down flat it was 5 1/2″ from the back of the bench to the front of the board. Then I duplicated that board where the top of the back rest would land, screwing it to the deck posts all the way around above the benches. Then it was just a case of putting another two million 24″ boards on, lining them up with the bottom seat boards. (Because the slant was not very severe I didn’t feel the need to miter any of them.)
With the majority of the outdoor bench complete I just needed to figure out what I wanted to do in the corner. Using a scrap piece of wood I created a support across the top of the corner and across the base. This gave me a place to put one more board. I considered doing something a lot more complicated in the corner but I didn’t hate this both in looks and in functionality… UPDATE: it has become my favorite spot to sit and read actually!
Step 2: Finished Bench and Completion
I also went ahead and screwed all of the 2×4 legs down to the deck.
(I used green treated wood on this project which is made to be outdoors – it is more expensive then regular pine and considered very toxic. I live in northern MN and I know folks with cedar decks who watched them degrade within only 5 years of having put them in so, honestly, there was no choice but to use green treated wood on this project. Green treated anything requires up to a year to fully out gas and dry out which is why I built them in the late summer to give them the entire fall, winter and next spring to sit and do their thing.)
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