How to Build a Bench With a Back Rest

Written by walt sampson
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How to Build a Bench With a Back Rest
Bench for Two ("bench time" image by ril from Fotolia.com)

This bench with a back rest is a simple piece of outdoor furniture. It seats two and is comfortable to sit on due to its slanted back and sloped seat. It is built using any suitable type of exterior dimension lumber and assembled with carriage bolts and exterior screws. Only straight saw cuts are needed and a power drill with suitable bits does most of the work. It can be stained or painted.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 1 board, one-by-two, 36 inches long
  • 7 boards, one-by-four, 48 inches long
  • 2 boards, one-by-six, 48 inches long
  • 2 boards, two-by-four, 36 inches long
  • 2 boards, two-by-four, 24 inches long
  • 2 boards, two-by-four, 18-1/2 inches long
  • 2 boards, two-by-four, 16 inches long
  • 16 carriage bolts, 1/4x3-1/2x20, zinc plated
  • 16 washers, 1/4-inch, zinc plated
  • 16 nuts, 1/4x20, zinc plated
  • 54 exterior screws, 3-inch
  • Power drill
  • Bit, 7/32-inch
  • Screwdriver bit, Phillips head
  • Socket wrench, 7/16-inch
  • Square

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Instructions

    Building a Bench

  1. 1

    Cut boards to length.

    How to Build a Bench With a Back Rest
    Board Cutting (sawing wood image by Aussiebloke from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Drill two 7/32-inch holes 1 7/8 inches from the end and 3/4-inches from the centre at one end of the 36-inch and the 18-1/2 inch two-by-fours. Do the same to both ends of the 16-inch two-by-fours.

    How to Build a Bench With a Back Rest
    Drill Holes (electric drill tool studio isolated image by dinostock from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Place the two 24-inch two-by-fours together and mark lines 1 1/2 inches and 5 1/2 inches from the ends across the 2-inch sides for the bottom of the bench. Turn the boards over and mark across them 2 inches and 4 1/4 inches from the ends opposite the respective longer and shorter marks.

    How to Build a Bench With a Back Rest
    Measure Boards (man measuring lumber image by palms from Fotolia.com)
  4. 4

    Place one 36-inch and 16-inch two-by-four on top of a bottom board. Align the back two-by-four with the longer marks and the front two-by-four with the shorter. Check that both are sloping backward and extend to the bottom of the base. Drill through the bottom using the existing holes. Bolt the boards together using carriage bolts, washers and nuts. Repeat for the other support.

    How to Build a Bench With a Back Rest
    Don't Forget the Washers (nuts and bolts image by Edsweb from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Place the 18 1/2 inch two-by-fours under and square with the ends of the front legs and drill through the existing holes. Bolt together loosely.

  6. 6

    Align the two sets of side supports and place the seat supports at the rear of the back support. Drill through the back supports and bolt the seat supports loosely to them. Check that the two sets of supports are aligned and then tighten the nuts with a wrench.

  7. 7

    Mark the locations for the screws on the one-by-sixes and two of the one-by-fours 1 inch from the edges and 5 1/4 inches from the ends. Attach the one-by-two-inch board vertically to the edge of one of the one-by-sixes using screws. Place two screws 1-1/2 inches from the ends and the other two equally spaced in between.

    How to Build a Bench With a Back Rest
    Screws (screws image by wiktor bubniak from Fotolia.com)
  8. 8

    Attach the board with the one-by-two at the rear of the seat with the one- by-two pointing down. Use the one-by-two to space the sides. Attach the other one-by-six with a board-width overhang at the front support, making sure the seat is square. Attach one one-by-four spaced evenly between the one-by-sixes. Attach the other one-by-four at the front of the seat under the lip of the one-by-six. Attach the two boards with five screws beginning 1 1/2 inches from the ends and evenly spaced in between.

  9. 9

    Mark the locations for the screws on the remaining one-by-fours 1 inch from the edges and 3 1/2 inches from the ends. Use four boards evenly spaced for the back and the fifth as a cap on top of the back support and top board.

Tips and warnings

  • Have the lumber supplier cut the wood to size, if possible.
  • Have scrap wood underneath when drilling through.
  • Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes for screws.
  • Exercise caution when using power tools.

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