September 21, 2014


I made a bench! We have a really great little covered back porch, and ever since we moved in I've been thinking it would be nice to have a bench for sitting out on our porch with coffee in the morning or a cocktail in the afternoon.

On the side of the house is a big pile of old 2x4s and other wood. I used these, we own a chop saw, a drill and I borrowed a skill saw from the SE Portland Tool Library, so this project ended up only costing me about $15 for the cost of screws.
Giant pile of old wood on the side of our house
I started with a plan from Ana White. But because I was working with the wood I had I ended up making quite a few changes and my bench ended up being a lot “chunkier” than the original.

I was able to cut the back pieces at an angle using a skill saw. I tried to rip 2x4s in half but since I don't have sawhorses it didn't really work. All other cuts where made with the chop saw.

My work space in the back yard
Sides dry-fitted together
I started this on a Sunday afternoon and got it nearly finished by that evening, but the battery in my drill died so I had to wait for the battery to re-charge. I manged to do most of it myself but I did press my husband into service to hold some boards while I screwed them together. If I had had a set of clamps I could have done it without him. 

Original back design dry-fitted 
Since I couldn't do the fancy x back of the original inspiration I figured I would do slats instead (see above) I went back to the hardware store for longer screws (the rest of the bench is built with 3' screws) but when I got home and started to drill my pilot holes (always drill pilot holes!) my drill bit was not long enough to go all the way through the top 2x4. So the design changed again. 

It took me a few more days after work to complete, but we've been enjoying this bench for a good part of the summer. It is still living in the back yard, but it will start raining soon and I'll move it to the porch. At some point I'll sand and stain it but for now it is nice and rustic. I need to make some pillows too, but that is a project for another day.  

Arm rest and seat supports in place
Seat slats added
I'm pretty proud of it!

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