This step by step diy woodworking project is about how to build an arbor bench. Building a beautiful arbor bench will not only enhance the look of the garden but also create a nice relaxation area. Make sure you adjust the size of the bench to your needs, as well as it design, otherwise it might not fit the style of your backyard. Invest in the best materials you can afford, in order to build a durable arbor.
Don’t forget to read the local building codes before starting the actual construction of the arbor bench, as in some cases you might need to get a building permit. Moreover, pour concrete footings and use metal anchors to lock the legs into place. Use a professional spirit level to plumb the legs before locking them into place and apply several coats of paint to protect the components from decay.
Work with attention and with great care, if you want to prevent costly mistakes and to get the job done as a professional from the very beginning. Invest in high quality materials that are weather-resistant, such as cedar, pine, oak or redwood. Check if the components are in a good condition (the lumber should be perfectly straight, without cracks, chips or other visible flaws).
How to build an arbor bench
- A – 4 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 72” long LEGS
- B – 2 pieces of 2×12 lumber – 65” long, 3 pieces – 18 1/2″ long FRAME
- C – 2 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 65″ long, 13 pieces of 1×4 lumber – 11″ long BACK SUPPORT
- D – 2 pieces of 2×8 lumber – 72” long, 9 pieces of 2×2 lumber – 13 1/2″ long RAFTERS
- E – 6 pieces of 1×4 lumber – 65″ long SLATS
- F – 4 pieces of 2×2 lumber – 54″, 2 pieces – 16 1/2″, 2 panels of lattice – 54″ x 13 1/2″ LATTICE
- Safety gloves, glasses
- Miter saw, jigsaw
- Chalk line, tape measure, spirit level, carpentry pencil
- Drill machinery and drill bits
- Apply several coats of wood stain to the wooden components
- Fill the holes with wood filler and smooth the surface
- One Day
Building an arbor bench
The first step of the woodworking project is to build the legs of the arbor bench. As you can see in the image, we recommend you to cut a small notch inside the top of the slats. Later on you will have to install the rafters inside the notches and to lock them into place with carriage bolts.
The next step of the garden project is to attach the seat frame to the legs. Therefore, use 2×4 lumber to build the frame, making sure the corners are right-angled. Drill pilot holes through the components and insert the 2 1/2″ screws to lock them tightly. Use a spirit level to check if the legs are plumb and if the seat frame is perfectly horizontal.
Continue the woodworking project by attaching the back support to the back legs. As you can easily notice in the plans, we recommend you to build the frame out of 2×4 lumber and the slats out of 1×4 lumber.
Smart tip: Drill pocket holes at both ends of the framing slats and lock them to the legs with galvanized screws. Add waterproof glue to the joints if you want to reinforce the joints.
Building the arched rafters is the next step of the woodworking project. Therefore, use 2×8 beams to build the rafters, by using the information shown in the plans. Mark the cut lines with a pencil and make the cuts with a jigsaw. Sand the cut edges with medium-grit sandpaper, if you want to get a professional result.
Attaching the 1×4 slats to the seat is a straight forward job if you have followed the previous instructions. Therefore, we recommend you to pre-drill the slats and to secure them to the frame with 1 1/4″ galvanized screws. Place the slats equally spaced (leave 1/4″ between the slats) to enhance the water drainage.
Attaching lattice to both sides of the arbor bench is a good idea, if you want to get the job done in a professional manner. Therefore, build a small frame out of 2×2 lumber and lock them to the legs with 2 1/2″ galvanized screws. Fit the lattice panels inside the frame and secure them into place with finishing nails.
If you want to enhance the look of the arbor bench, we recommend you to attach 2×2 slats to to the top of the construction. Drill pilot holes through the slats and lock them to the rafters with screws.
Last but not least, we recommend you to take care of the finishing touches. Fill the holes with wood filler and let it to dry out for several hours. Afterwards, smooth the wooden surface with fine-grit sandpaper and vacuum the residues.
Smart tip: Apply several coats of stain or paint to the wooden components, if you want to protect them from decay and to enhance the look of the arbor bench.
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