Basic Garden Bench Stepbystep

PHOTO A: Cut the back supports to length and lay out the angled edge on both supports. Clamp the supports to your worksurface and cut along the angled layout lines with a jig saw.

The styling of this bench is largely determined by the profiles of the shaped pieces—the back, arms and legs. With a little thought and planning, it's possible to change all these contours without affecting the basic construction methods or dimensions of the parts. Want to express yourself with something more whimsical? Let this be your chance.

Build the back

© Make the angled back supports. Cut the blanks to length from 2x6 cedar stock. Refer to the measurements on the Back Supports drawing, page 143, and mark the angles onto the back rests. Clamp each blank to your worksurface, and cut the angles with a jig saw (See Photo A).

© Install the upper and lower back rails on the back supports. Cut the upper and lower back rails to length. Clamp the rails between the back supports flush with their angled edges. The bottom rail is located 3 in. up from the bottom corner of the angled portion, and the upper rail aligns with the top angle corner. Use long clamps to hold the rails in place between the back supports while you drill countersunk pilot holes. Attach the parts with 3-in. galvanized deck screws.

© Make the back slats. Cut the slats to length from 1x4 stock. Lay one slat in position on the back frame and mark the center of both back rails on the slat. These marks will serve as reference points for locating the screws. Line up all the slats next to one another and extend the rail reference marks across the faces of all the slats.

O Attach the back slats. Position the two end slats, holding their outer edges flush with the outer faces of the back supports, and attach them with countersunk lV2-in. galvanized deck screws. Clamp a straightedge

PHOTO B: Establish slat positions by attaching the end slats flush to the outer edges of the back supports, then clamping a straightedge across the bottom. Use a long 3/s-in.-thick spacer to position the intermediate slats as you fasten them in place.

across the lower ends of the two slats to align the ends of the remaining slats. Use a long 3/8-in. spacer to establish consistent gaps between the slats, and fasten the slats to the rails with galvanized deck screws (See Photo B).

© Cut the profile on the back slats. You can create your own unique contour for the back, or create a hardboard template of the pattern provided in the Shaped Back Slats drawing, page 143. After drawing your profile along the top edge of the back slats, clamp the back assembly to your worksurface and cut the profile with a jig saw (See Photo C). Sand the cut edges smooth.

Build & attach the seat frame

© Cut the two seat rails and the four cross braces to length from 2x4 stock.

© Assemble the seat frame. Clamp the cross braces in place between the rails, with the inner braces spaced 15V2 in. from the end braces. Drill countersunk pilot holes and fasten the rails to the braces with 3-in. galvanized deck screws (See Photo D).

© Cut and attach the two corner braces. Cut the braces to length and miter-cut the ends to 45° (See Photo E). Position the braces inside the back corners of the seat frame, drill countersunk pilot holes near the ends of the braces and attach the corner braces with 2V2-in. galvanized deck screws.

© Fasten the back assembly to the seat frame. Stand the back assembly upright and inside the seat frame so the back supports butt against the back corners of the seat frame. Drill countersunk

PHOTO C: Once you've marked the profile (either your own design or the one we've provided in the drawings) on the back slat assembly, trim along the profile lines and smooth the cut edges.
PHOTO D: Begin assembling the seat by clamping the end cross braces between the seat rails and positioning the inner two braces 15V2 in. from the end braces. Fasten the rails to the braces with 3-in. galvanized deck screws.
PHOTO E: After cutting the two corner braces to length, miter-cut the ends to 45°. The corner braces will fit inside the seat frames between the rails and the end cross braces.

PHOTO F: Stand the back assembly inside the seat frame behind the corner braces. Drill countersunk holes through the end cross braces and attach the back to the seat frame with countersunk deck screws.

PHOTO G: Use a compass to lay out the rounded bottom ends of the legs. Make a small hardboard template to mark the top leg profile on all four legs. Then cut the leg profiles to shape.

PHOTO F: Stand the back assembly inside the seat frame behind the corner braces. Drill countersunk holes through the end cross braces and attach the back to the seat frame with countersunk deck screws.

PHOTO H: Clamp the leg assemblies to the seat/back assembly. The bottom edge of the seat frame should be ll3/4 in. up from the bottoms of the legs and extend V2 in. beyond the front legs.

PHOTO G: Use a compass to lay out the rounded bottom ends of the legs. Make a small hardboard template to mark the top leg profile on all four legs. Then cut the leg profiles to shape.

pilot holes through the outer cross braces into the supports. Attach the seat frame to the back supports with 2VMn. galvanized deck screws (See Photo F).

Build & attach the leg assemblies ©Make the legs. Cut the legs to length, then lay out the leg profiles (See Photo G) following either the Legs pattern provided on page 143 or your own personal design. Cut the legs to shape wdth your jig saw and sand the cut edges smooth.

© Crosscut the arm supports to length and clamp them between the legs (be sure to orient the upper leg contours correctly). Drill countersunk pilot holes and attach the supports to the legs with 21.'2-in. galvanized deck screws. When you fasten these parts together, check the assemblies with a carpenter's square to be sure that the legs are perpendicular to the arm supports and are parallel with one another.

Fasten the leg assemblies to the seat frame. Clamp each leg assembly in place against the ends of the seat frame, so the bottom of the seat is ll3/4 in. from the bottoms of the legs, and the front edges of the front legs are held back V2 in. from the front of the seat frame. The arm supports should be positioned on the inside, so they rest against the outside face of the back supports. Drill countersunk pilot holes and fasten the leg assemblies in place with 2V2-in. galvanized deck screws driven through the legs into the seat frame (See Photo H) and through the arm supports into the back supports.

Attach the seat slats & arms

Make and attach the seat slats. Rip the rear seat slat to width from 1x8 stock and cut it to length. Cut the middle slats to length from 1x6 stock. Cut the front seat slat to length, and notch the ends to fit around the front legs, as shown in the Front Seat Slat drawing, page 143. Sand the cut edges smooth. Lay the slats in position on the seat frame. The outside edge of the back seat slat should be flush with the back of the seat frame. Set the front slat so it notches around the front legs. Then space the two middle slats evenly between the outside slats. Drill countersunk pilot holes and attach the slats with lV2-in. galvanized deck screws (See Photo I).

(D Make and attach the arms. Cut the arms to length. Referring to the drawing on page 143, lay out the arm profiles and shape them with your jig saw. Note that you'll need to bevel-cut a portion of the arm rest notch at an angle to match the angle of the seat back. Sand the cut edges smooth. Position the arms on the tops of the leg assemblies, drill countersunk pilot holes, and fasten the arms with l1/2-in. galvanized deck screws (See Photo J).

Finishing touches

© Sand all edges and surfaces well, and apply the finish of your choice-stain, paint or clear UV protectant sealer.

PHOTO I: Once the seat slats have been cut to length and, in the case of the rear slat, ripped to width, sand the slats smooth. Then drill countersunk holes and secure the slats to the seat frame with deck screws. The front slat will need to be notched and shaped before it is installed.
PHOTO J: Cut the arms to size and shape and fasten them to the arm supports with countersunk screws. You'll need to cut a small beveled notch on the back inside edges of the arms so the arms can butt tightly against the outermost back slats.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment