How to make your own patio and garden furniture

Updated July 19, 2017

Using duck boards for garden or patio furniture construction solves many outdoor furniture problems. Duck boards are wooden slats that are put together to form a versatile platform shape that you can turn into a table, bench or seat. They are not complicated to build and can be constructed from wood that is water-resistant. They provide the seating part of any outdoor furniture design. The pedestal or base of the furniture can be stacked bricks, log stumps or, for more of a traditional look, wooden legs. Remember that duck boards are heavy and do not have to be secured to the base. For added security, attach the duck boards to the chosen base using the appropriate fasteners for the base material.

Put the goggles on. Measure and mark both of the larger 3.65 metres (12 feet) boards into 90 cm (3 feet) lengths. Measure and mark the smaller board into 7.5 cm (3 inch) lengths.

Set up the circular saw and cut the wood at the marked locations. Set up the drill press with the 3.2 cm (1 1/4 inch) drill bit and drill a hole through the wider side of the larger boards, 5 cm (2 inches) from both ends. Take the 7.5 cm (3 inch) board pieces and drill a hole in the centre of each.

Sand the edges of the wood with 80 grit sandpaper.

Measure and mark two pieces 60 cm (2 feet) long on the dowel rod. Cut this with the circular saw.

Starting with one of the 90 cm (3 feet) boards, run one of the dowels through one hole and the other dowel through the other hole. String one of the 7.5 cm (3 inch) spacers on each dowel rod and repeat this pattern until all pieces of wood are used.

Sand the whole piece with 240 grit sandpaper and apply the desired stain, varnish or paint finish.

Set the cut and finished duck boards on your chosen base and secure with bolts if needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Goggles
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Two lengths 5 x 10 cm x 3.65 metres (2 x 4 inch x 12 feet) pressure-treated board
  • One length 2.5 x 10 x 90 cm (1 x 4 inch x 3 feet) pressure-treated board
  • Drill press with 3.2 cm (1 1/4 inch) bit
  • 80 and 240 grit sandpaper
  • 3.2 cm (1 1/4 inch) wooden dowel rod
  • Paint or stain
  • Wooden legs or wooden logs
  • Wood screws or plastic anchors
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About the Author

Mindy McIntosh-Shetter has been writing since 2010. Her work appears on various websites and blogs. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in agriculture education with minors in biology and natural resources from Purdue University. She is pursuing a master's degree in environmental education and urban planning from the University of Louisville.