How to Make a Garden Bench

What You'll Need
Cedar or Oak Wood (or whichever you choose)
Runner Beams
Angle Cleats

Create a garden bench to maximize use of your outdoor living space. This can create a great spot to sit and enjoy your landscape, flowers, wildlife and your family. Before you begin, decide what sort of material that you want to use. Wooden benches are the most popular and easy to build with the right tools and knowledge. A slatted garden bench is by far the most popular and easy to make. Use cedar or other wood that weathers well to create a sturdy and good looking bench.

Step 1 - Working on Supports

One of the first things to do is to make the supports or legs on which your garden bench would rest. These can be made out of cedar or oak depending on the material you have chosen. Your supports should be about 4 feet apart depending on the configuration you have decided for the bench. Some people prefer straight sided supports while others may like the more classic rounded ones. The height of the supports should be 14 inches for the portion taking the seat, whereas the back portions may go up to about 30 inches. The supports should be of 2x1-inch sections. Make the supports in the shape of an ‘h’ with the back leg going up to 30 inches where as the horizontal support should be at 14 inches height and probably about 14 to 16 inches width.

Once you have these ‘h’ frames in place, join them together with further 2x1-inch beams at the various ends as well as the horizontal portions. You would have five such runner beams. You then have a frame that is ready to take the slats or boards for the seat.

Step 2 - Making Seats

You can use 2x½-inch battens to make the seat. Screw each of these to the supports and leave a gap of about ½-inch between the battens. See that the screws that you use to fix the battens are countersunk so that they do not protrude from the surface. Now the garden bench is ready to be installed. 

Step3 - Creating Foundation

Make a concrete foundation in the garden where you plan to put up this seat. The foundation should be as wide as the seat and enough to take the legs of the bench. Make 2 or 3 foundations depending on the number of supports that your bench has. You can use simple angle cleats to fix onto the legs of the garden bench. Then use rawl plugs to fix these cleats into the foundation or any other fixing system that you are familiar with. Some people may prefer to fix the legs of the garden bench to the foundation before putting on the battens. In a sense this gives you a lot of working place.

Step4 - Finishing

Now apply any wooden finish that you desire to the finished wooden bench. Just remember that it must be a finish that is weatherproof as the bench will always be exposed to the vagaries of the weather. It is best to use paints as they are easy to apply and can always be touched up or redone whenever you feel the need.   

So there you have your garden bench on which you can sit and enjoy the pleasures of your garden.