A wooden tree bench is a wonderful addition to your yard. It is a great place to sit in the shade whether you want to read a book, watch the kids play or just relax outdoors. Pick out the tree that offers shade, but is not so big that you cannot build around it. Constructing a wooden bench around a tree base is a project you can do in a day, but you do need some skills with mitring corners.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Mitre saw
- 2 x 4 boards
- 0.25-inch spacers
- Straight edge
- 2 x 6 boards
- 1 x 4 boards
- 5-inch hex bolts, nuts and washers
- Socket wrench
- 3-inch galvanised deck screws
- Water sealant
Remove any low-lying tree branches that are in the way. When your bench is constructed and put together, you do not want a tree branch slapping you in the face. Level the ground around the trunk as best you can.
Adjust the mitre saw to cut a 30-degree mitre. With the blade vertical, cut six pieces of the 2 x 4 lumber. They will go around the inner portion of the bench. The measurement of the longest side of your board will equal the diameter of your tree.
Lay the cut boards around the tree to make sure they are the right length so they fit around the tree.
Lay one of the cut boards with the longest end going against the long end of an uncut board. Place another uncut board right below in a pyramid shape. Add 0.25-inch spacers between each board.
Lay a straight edge along the cut of the first board. Extend the lines from this board onto the next two boards. Mark this line with a pencil.
Cut along these lines with the mitre saw
Repeat Steps 4 through 6 until you have all 18 pieces cut.
Lay out all 18 pieces on a flat surface, as they would be when around your tree. Place 0.25-inch spacers between the boards. Butt the cut ends of the planks firmly against each other.
Cutting Boards for the Seat
Cut six pairs of the 2 x 6 board at 18-inch lengths. These are the legs pieces for your bench. You can make them longer or shorter to meet your preference.
Cut six pairs of the 1 x 4 boards to 18 inches. These are the braces for your bench legs.
Take two of the leg pieces and lay them flat. Lay one of the brace pieces across the two leg pieces. The long length of the brace needs to be flush with the top edge of the legs boards.
Nail the brace piece to each of the two legs. This will make it easier to turn over and keep everything in line.
Turn this leg piece over and position the other brace piece on the other side at the same end. Secure the two braces against each leg section with a clamp.
Drill two holes, one at the top corner and the other at the bottom corner of the leg and brace, at a 90-degree angle through the three layers of wood of each leg.
Turn the leg section over and place one washer and one nut to each of the bolts. Tighten with your fingers and then finish tightening the nuts with a socket wrench until tight.
Repeat Steps 3 through 7 until the remaining six leg sections are complete.
Cutting and Leg Assembly
Working with only two sections of the bench at a time, place a leg section with the brace against the seat at the place where the seat sections join. The leg sections should be under the joining sections of the seat.
Drill in a screw diagonally through the brace sections and into the board of the seat. Do this on each side of the brace and into each board of your seat.
Repeat Steps 1 and 2, attaching a leg section at the other two ends of the bench seat, except secure only one side of the legs against the bench.
Turn the seat over. Drill two countersink holes through each board of the seat above the brace. There will be six countersink holes.
Repeat Step 4, countersinking the holes above each of the remaining three braces. Drive in a screw through each hole into the brace below.
Repeat Steps 1 through 5 to the other two sections of the bench. Do not assemble the last six boards yet.
Place the two assembled bench pieces on each side of your tree. You may have to move them around so the legs sit level on the ground.
Lay the remaining boards across the exposed braces. If the legs are not level with the soil, dig some of the soil away.
Countersink the screws through the seat boards to the brace boards below securing them into place.
Brush the exposed wood with water sealant. Allow to dry as the label instructions indicate.
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