DIY Garden Bench

This garden bench is relatively simple in design and construction. It is made out of treated timber which is durable in different weather conditions.

Materials: (All of the wood used in this bench is treated, adding to its durability. There are only two sizes of wood required – 75x50mm purlin and 22×69 fencing slats.)

Legs:

One Purlin – 75x50x2.4m or nearest – two front legs 560mm each; two back legs, cut at an angle of 15° – 620/350mm.

Bench:

  • – Fence battens – 69x22x1.8m – 16 lengths
  • – 11 seat slats each 1300mm.
  • – two slats 1155mm – one as a seat slat attached between the legs on the seat and the second as a leg brace at the foot of the front legs.
  • – Two feet – 530mm each.
  • – Two seat backs – each 600mm.
  • – Two seat supports – each 530mm.
  • – Two armrests at 490mm.
  • – Wood filler; waterproof glue (optional).

Note: Timber is sold in nominal sizes, so 22×69 might actually be 21x70mm or 23x68mm.

Method (bench):

  1. Cut the legs from the purlin. The front legs are a simple 90° cut at 560mm.
    Garden Bench Project Image 1
  2. Use the first leg as a template for the second so that you get them exactly the same length.
    Garden Bench Project Image 2
  3. The rear legs are 90° at the foot, which are cut at an angle of 15° at the top. Simply line them up and trim the foot of the second rear leg at 90°.
    Garden Bench Project Image 3
  4. Check the cut ends to ensure that they match. Use a jigsaw to make this cut.
    Garden Bench Project Image 4
  5. The backrest and seat rest pieces are cut from the 22mm x 69mm slats and angled at 15°. Join a brace of timber 22mm x 69mm across to reinforce the join. Once the two rests are made, the seat back and seat slats can be cut: 11 seat slats each at 1,3m, and 2 slats at 1,155m. The seat slats are secured in position with:
    • 2 x 40mm decking screws per end.
    • They are spaced about 15mm apart.

    Garden Bench Project Image 5

  6. They are spaced 70mm in from the end of the slat. The 1,155m slat is attached with its edge flush with the seat rest, as shown in the image.
    Garden Bench Project Image 6
  7. When fitting the front legs with its foot 400mm from the underside of the slats – refer to the dimensions illustration in the image.
    Garden Bench Project Image 7
  8. Ensure that the leg is at 90° to the seat rest.
    Garden Bench Project Image 8
  9. When fitting the rear legs, cut a 15° spacer as shown in the illustration. Tip: Dry fit it to check that it fits.
    Garden Bench Project Image 9
  10. The leg is now positioned as shown in the image, with its 15° angled side up against the back of the backrest slats. The leg is secured with 4 x 40mm screws through the slats and into the leg. 2 x 75mm screws from the inner edge of the backrest piece are used through the spacer and into the leg. This secures the leg firmly in position.
    Garden Bench Project Image 10
  11. The armrests are each made from two lengths of fencing slats – each 490mm long. Cut them at the angles shown in the illustration:
    • 22.5° for the inner corner.
    • 45° for the outer.
    • 15° to the back of the armrest.
    • The rear ends were cut at 15° to meet the backrest neatly.

    Garden Bench Project Image 11

  12. Use the offcut crosspieces of the slats to join the two halves of each armrest.
    Garden Bench Project Image 12
  13. Position the armrest before fitting the crosspieces. Then position the armrest and mark off the rear edge of the front leg as shown in the image.
    Garden Bench Project Image 13
  14. Attach the crosspieces, ensuring the front one is on the line you marked off – allowing the armrest will fit securely between the front leg and the seatback.
    Garden Bench Project Image 14
  15. Use pieces of 12mm SA pine offcuts from a previous project to insert the armrest 12mm on the top of the leg.
    Garden Bench Project Image 15
    Garden Bench Project Image 16
  16. Ensure that the armrest is at 90° to the backrest.
    Garden Bench Project Image 17
  17. The armrest is fixed in position with:
    • 2 x 75mm screws through the top of the leg and into the armrest.
    • 2 x 75mm screws through the armrest and into the top of the front leg.
    • Fill the screw holes with wood filler and sand it until smooth when the filler has dried.

    Garden Bench Project Image 18

  18. After fitting the armrests, round the edges off.
    Garden Bench Project Image 19
  19. Use 2 x 75mm screws per leg to attach the 530mm feet to the bottom of the legs.
    Garden Bench Project Image 20
  20. Add the 1,155m leg brace, using a 40mm screw per end to attach it to the top of the foot.
    Garden Bench Project Image dimensions

Panel:

These materials are available at Selected Mica Stores. To find out which is your closest Mica and whether or not they stock the items required, please go to www.mica.co.za, find your store and call them. If your local Mica does not stock exactly what you need they will be able to order it for you or suggest an alternative product or a reputable source.

Project guide

TIME: three days
COST: R750
Skill: 4

Tools required:

Circular cut-off saw, or jigsaw, drill, cordless drill, sander, router (optional).