How to Easily Build a Picnic Bench How to Easily Build a Picnic Bench

What You'll Need
2x10-inch weather treated lumber, 6 feet long
2x4-inch weather treated lumber, 2 feet long (4)
4-inch bolts (8)
2 corner brackets
Sandpaper
Drill
Drill bits
Skill saw
Wood stain
Tack cloth
Water
Rags
Paintbrushes
Polyurethane

Building your own picnic bench can be a fun and rewarding project. A picnic bench does not have to be a part of a set to be useful. You can build a small bench and place it in a garden as a decorative piece or use a larger version for seating by a pool, in the garden or around a fire pit. Follow the simple steps below to effectively build your own picnic bench.

Step 1 - Prepare the Wood

The wood you choose for this project could impact the use for the bench. A strong wood like cedar is perfect for actual use, while you could use pine if the purpose is more decorative. Regardless of the use, you must prepare the wood. Use the sandpaper to slightly sand each piece of wood down. Take special care of the cut edges as this is where splinters will mostly form. Wipe down the wood with a tack cloth to remove sawdust.

Sand the treated board 2x10-inch board you will use for the picnic bench seat if necessary. Pay special attention to the sides and top that can splinter off. Wipe the wood down with water to open the pores of the wood. You can then stain the wood with whatever method you prefer. After a layer or 2 of stain, you can further prepare the picnic bench by adding 1 to 3 layers of polyurethane.

Step 2 - Making the Legs

The most stable construction is to have the legs form an "X" as this properly distributes weight. Place the long piece of wood on the work surface. Place two small pieces of lumber on top of each other and space them apart to form an X shape. The top of the legs should be within the constraints of the width of the bench.

At the cross section of the legs, place a bracket then drill a pilot hole in the center of the wood. Insert a bolt through the hole and the bracket and secure with a nut. Repeat with the second set for the legs. Drill a hole in the top of each leg where the picnic bench seat will attach to the legs.

Step 3 - Attach the Bench

On the bench seat, measure 4 inches in from each side and make a mark. Place a pair of legs at this mark, and make a set of marks that line up with the holes you drilled. Repeat this for the second set of legs. Drill holes at these marks then install the bolts through the seat and into the legs.

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