This step by step diy article is how to build a park bench. In this project we show you the basic carpentry techniques required, along with the materials and tools needed to get the job done as a professional. A park bench without a back support is a simple project that can be done by any amateur handyman, but it would enhance the look of your garden. It is essential to use materials designed for outdoor use, such as cedar, redwood or pressure-treated. In addition, fill the head of the bolts with wood putty, or install metal caps, in case you want to disassemble the bench.
In order to build a park bench, you need the following:
- 2×4 lumber – LEGS
- 2×4 lumber – CROSSPIECES
- 2×4 lumber – STRETCHER
- 2×2 lumber – SLATS
- 2×3 lumber – TRIMS
- Carriage bolts, 3” screws, decking screws
- Safety gloves, glasses
- Miter saw, jig saw
- Chalk line, tape measure, spirit level, carpentry pencil
- Drill machinery and drill bits
- Router and 1/4 bit
- Smooth the edges of the wooden boards, with a router
- Pre-drill holes in the wooden components, before driving in the screws
- Countersink the head of the screws
- Align the components before locking them into place
- Don’t use lumber that is likely to crack or shrink
- Don’t over-tighten the screws to prevent the wood from splitting
- One day
Building a Bench
After you buy the lumber (redwood, cedar or pressure-treated), you should cut the components, using the information you can see in the image. Use a miter saw with a sharp blade, otherwise the cut edges might not look professional. Nevertheless, before assembling the components together, you should smooth the edges with a sander.
How to Build a Park Bench
First of all, you have to attach the crosspieces to the wooden legs, as you can see in the image. Leave 1 1/2” between the wooden posts, as to be able to install the 2×4 stretcher later on. In addition, you should work on a horizontal surface and you have to plumb the supports, before inserting the carriage screws.
Drill several pilot holes in the lumber, using a drill machinery, to prevent the wood from splitting.
Continue the woodworking project by setting the stretcher into place. Cut the component from 2×4 lumber and lock into place with 3” screws. In order to get the job done as a professional, we recommend you to pre-drill the lumber and to insert the screws at angle.
Don’t forget that you have to plumb the legs of the park bench before locking the components together with nails / screws.
Afterwards, you should place the 2×2 slats over the supports and to align them at both ends. Drill several pilot holes tough the boards and drive in galvanized decking screws.
In order to obtain a professional result, you should place the slats equally spaced, leaving about 1/4” between them. Sand the edges of the wooden boards before attaching them into place, by using a sander or a router.
One of the last steps of the project is to install the trims, in order to hide the ends of the slats. You could use 2×3 or 1×4 lumber, therefore you should choose the option that best fits your needs and tastes.
Fill the gaps with wood putty and leave it to harden for several hours. Afterwards, sand the wooden surface with a sander along the wood grain and remove the dust and the residues with a clean cloth. Make sure you buy varnish resistant to water and ultraviolet rays, otherwise you would have to paint the bench every year.
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