Yard or Garden Bench




Introduction: Yard or Garden Bench

I have been wanting to make or buy a small bench to put out in the front yard. A home depot gift card i got for Christmas finally gave me some motivation to get the project started!

Step 1: Buy Materials

Materials list:

(4) 2x4 x 8 feet long

(3) 2x3 x 8 feet long

(1) tube of liquid nails or wood glue

Total cost, just under $20

Optional materials (if you dont already have them)

Paint brushes

Wood stain

Polyurethane or varnish

Step 2: Cutting and Assembly

I usually start by making a drawing and try to follow that as a guide.

Used the liquid nails and screws to start assembling the main frame and legs, all made out of 2x3.

If you dont have clamps you can always use tape to keep tension on the wood while the glue dries.

I then cut and screwed in the 2x4 top boards leaving 1/4" space between each piece.

Step 3: Stain and Varnish

Applied 1 coat of dark walnut stain and let it dry overnight.

In the morning i applied a thick coat of marine grade varnish with a regular cheap paint brush. This stuff is nasty, a respirator and plenty of ventilation is highly recommended.

I would also recommend sanding if you use liquid nails. The stain wont penetrate any area that stuff touches and the finish will look crappy like mine did. At some point im going to come back and have to fix that

Thats pretty much it. This is a quick, easy and cheap project that can be done in just a few hours.



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    15 Discussions

    Step ONE should always be drawing/planning, not buying..

    Wood swells and shrinks perpendicular to the grain (i.e., a 2x4 x 8' stays 8 ft, but gets thicker/thinner.) So you might go with just one screw through the center of each seat board.

    On another such project we got into the problem that arrives when you nail into end grain. Screwing and gluing are better but not much. End grain just won't take much tension (yanking apart.)
    I won't put any wood outside if it's not pressure treated, seen too much work wasted.

    4 replies

    Pressure treated can be a bonus, but proper treatment during construction can be way better. Then again it will take ages to cut everything and stain/paint it before assembling things.

    I live in Kilifi on the Kenya Coast and where we enjoy a tropical climate. We have a lot of problems with screws, bolts, clips, nails etc. They all rot sooner than later so I try to use dowel pegs whenever possible. Cheaper than metal; simple to use and they impart that special touch of ancient woodworking!

    Nice,clean, straightforward job. The wood grain shows up well but you are going to need a 'rail' to brace those legs especially as the bench is rather long.

    1 reply

    Good job! Thanks for sharing..
    nice idea on the tape as clamps.. I used a couple of "huge rubber bands" made of inner tube cut in 2cm (about 1 inch) wide strips...

    I like it! As you said, a simple, quick, and inexpensive project that almost anyone can do. Just the kind of thing I like to do.


    4 years ago

    Good looking bench except legs will need support piece between lower cross section spanning the length or the legs will start to wobble over use and time.

    1 reply

    I don't know about spanning the cross section, but an angle brace from each leg to the top would be wise.

    Good looking bench! Along with rolffz's advice, I would also suggest using pressure treated lumber so the bench can stay outside, and make sure you use ACQ treated screws because regular screws will corrode because of the chemicals in the treated lumber.

    Any reason why you didn't use pressure treated wood?