Pine is a strong, lightweight, inexpensive and easily-accessible wood, making it the perfect material for a simple homemade bench. With just a few materials, tools and very basic carpentry skills, you can easily build a sturdy, useful utility bench to use inside or outside. Options to customise a plain bench include paint, stain and stencil decorations. Make a bench to use in the garden, on the patio, in the garage or next to the back door.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 4 lengths of pine lumber 2 inches by 6 inches by 5 feet
- 4 lengths of pine lumber 4 inches by 4 inches by 2-1/2 feet
- 4 lengths of pine lumber 2 inches by 4 inches by16 inches
- Ruler or tape measure
- Lead or carpentry pencil
- 1 box 2-1/2-inch screws
- Power drill
Sand all the lumber well, especially the ends, removing any splinters and rough edges.
Assemble the bench top. Lay the 5-foot pieces flat on the ground parallel to each other. Place two of the 16-inch pieces flat down on top of the 5-foot pieces, 4 inches in from the long side and 12 inches in from the short side. Screw them into place on the large pieces with four screws on each end and two in the middle. Place the other two 16-inch pieces flat parallel to and 4 inches from the first two, on the inside of the bench top, and screw them into place the same way.
Mark 5 inches in from each 4-foot edge in between the 16-inch pieces, and turn the bench top over. Set each 2 ½-foot leg piece underneath, in between the 16-inch support pieces and aligned with the 5-inch mark.
Screw the legs into the bench top to complete the assembly.
Tips and warnings
- Make a pair of matching benches to use on either side of your back door or shed door.
- Paint or stain the bench to add colour and protect the wood.
- Stencil or use a woodburning tool to decorate the bench.
- Substitute split pine logs for the 5-foot planks, assembling with the smooth sides up and rounded sides with bark on the underside of the bench for an attractive rustic bench.
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- "Building Classic Antique Furniture with Pine"; Blair Howard; 1998
- "2x4 Furniture: Simple, Inexpensive & Great -Looking Projects You Can Make"; Stevie Henderson; 1994
- "Benches, Chairs & Beds: 19 Beautiful Projects for the Home from Woodworking's Top Experts"; Editors of Woodworker's Journal; 2007
- "Building Garden Furniture: More Than 30 Beautiful Outdoor Projects"; Ray Martin and Lee Rankin; 1994
- "Furniture Projects"; Better Homes and Gardens; 1996