How to Build a Rustic Porch Bench

A very artistic and economically viable way to create a porch bench is to go the rustic way. This simply means that you use materials from the outdoors, like rough and untreated timber. This includes all the parts of the bench except for the bolts and tools you would be using. The material can be anything in your yard or the forest (if you live near one). Stumps and fairly straight and thick branches are ideal. It is best to use found material, though it may take a little longer as you need to find the best-suited and best-shaped material for your bench. If you do not wish to go this route, you may purchase your material from your local sawmill. Follow the steps below to create a rustic porch bench using found timber.

Tools and Materials

  • Branches from the outdoors (dry, but not too dry)
  • Stumps for your legs
  • Bolts (long enough to go through your stumps)
  • Screws (for the seat)
  • Drill
  • Plane

Step 1 : Find the Material

Finding the right material is very important for your bench. Even though you can saw the branches or plane these more straight, it is fun to find them already reasonably straight. It is also very fulfilling to find a type of timber which could last quite a while.

Step 2: Prepare the Timber

This could also be quite fun as you see which pieces would fit together best – this is almost like putting together a puzzle. Start with the frame first. The thickest branches and the stumps will serve as your framework. Once you have decided which of your timber you would use, you should measure them out so that you do not end up with a lopsided bench. Make sure your stumps have level footing. The front can be slightly higher than the back so you have a comfortable seat. Sand or plane the areas which will be part of the seating (for comfort).

Step 3: Assemble the Frame

Assemble the frame and use support beams across the leg areas (that is, cross bars between the stumps) to brace the frame. Do one side at a time. Drill holes though your stumps and put your frame together with the bolts. The stumps will be higher than the seat, and that is where you will place the timber for your armrests. Add your back rest frame by attaching it to the side braces and the armrests at a slight angle if you so wish.

Step 4: Complete the Structure

Once your frame is assembled, you can start adding the seat and back section. Use the thinner material for this purpose and use your screws. Remember to drill counter sunk holes for your seat (you may do this for your frame as well). Once you have put together your seat and back and attached it to the frame, plane the seating area so there are no splinters. You can also treat your wood.