Simple Bench

 I love to look back at the original DIYers who made things because they had to rather than for a bit of fun.

"Hey Pa, the church ladies are coming over and we don't have anywhere for them to sit."
"Alright Ma, I'll go out to the scrap wood pile and make a couple of benches."

My "wood pile" was at Home Depot where I bought a six foot long 1"x 10" and a six foot long 1"x4" to the tune of about $12.00.
I cut the 1" x 10" into 2 thirty inch pieces and then cut one of the pieces in half. (When you begin to cut, first cut off the factory end. Many times that end isn't square and it can make your finished piece crooked)  Line up the two smaller cut pieces and to make sure they are exactly equal. If not, cut them again together. Cut 2 pieces from the 1"x 4" to match the length of the larger 1"x10". (HD will make all of these cuts for you)

Because Pa was a little artistic, he rounded the edges of the side boards so I did too. I used a paint can to mark the corners and cut them with a jig saw.
Make "V" cuts on the bottom of the legs by measuring up 5" and 2.5" from each end. Connect the dots and cut this out with a jig saw also.
 A little sand paper smooths the fresh cuts.
Measure in 4 inches from each end on the top of the largest board, draw a straight line and drill in three screws on each line until tiny points shows through on the back.

First, put wood glue on the top of the legs. Place the top and one of the legs on their sides and push the top of the leg into the tiny screw points. A right angled ruler makes sure that the leg and top are perpendicular. Screw the screws all the way into the top of the leg. Repeat for the other leg.
Almost finished.
Lay the bench on its side and spread wood glue on one long edge of the top and down about 3 inches on the edge of the legs. Attach the side piece with finishing nails. Flip the bench over and repeat on the other side. Set the finishing nails with a nail set and take the screws out of the top. Drill a larger hole into the screw holes, down about 1/8" then replace the screws. The screw heads will be inset and can be covered with paintable caulk and remain invisible in the finished piece. (I know that they sell drill bits that will drill a small hole and add the inset hole but I keep forgetting to buy one of those when I go to the hardware store so I do this time consuming dance - but hey, there are only 6 screws
Now caulk, prime and paint. This makes me feel like an original pioneer as long as the pioneer had a chop saw, a jig saw and a cordless drill. Pa would be proud. 


Vanessa at Rescued Goods said...

Seriously, this is the greatest ever! And cheap! It makes me think that I can try it too-Then I do, and the saws and tools are going everywhere, and my husband is hovering over me about to swipe everything, because he knows that soon I am about to lose a limb. Guess it just means I need more practice! Seriously, you make this seem pretty easy-I love it!

Wendy said...

What a fab bench!! You make it look so easy, but I'm far too scared to try woodwork. Just a shame my fully trained joiner husband doesn't fancy a go!!

Kelley said...

Simple, adorable and RED! It pops out there! Precious!

majeral said...

OK I'LL TAKE A PURPLE ONE! This is very cool...

Katie said...

I love this bench!! It looks perfect outside under the tree! Great job!!

Tonia @ said...

Great bench and I love the bright, red color!!

Agnes Sim said...

cool!! i like red color! ;-)

Kathryn Ferguson Griffin said...

Okay, that is just fantastic! Great job and I love the color. Found you via I Heart Nap Time. Tootles, Kathryn

Kim@todayismysome-day said...

Great job making it yourself! And I love the red; it's my very favorite color. Saw you over at Just a Girl.

Briana Richardson said...

So cute! I love the red!
I just became your newest follower!
Check us out at:

Bellen said...

Great bench. Will have to get my hubby to make one and then I can paint it - perfect to use on the lanai while tending the Earthboxes and containers filled with veggies.

Tara said...

Thanks for sharing this great tutorial!!!

I'd love to have you share this and any other of your amazing posts over at my linky party Create and Share. It posts every Wednesday. We open the party Tuesday evening at 8 pm for those who like to link up early. Hope you stop by...and follow too! ;-)

Tara @Trendy Treehouse

Meg said...

Ok, I have been looking for a bench like that (except longer) for just about FOREVER now and I don't know why it didn't occur to me to just make one! It looks totally do-able! I love the bright red, great choice!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Simply adorable!

Yvette said...

Great job! I pinned it and became a new follower!

Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

Cool! I love the red. I just made one too, but I used the scrap pile.

Candace @ Candace Creations said...

Awesome bench I love it!

Come link up to scrappy saturdays @!

Nicole Mariana said...

I'm Nicole from Romanian Princess, I am your newest follower from a blog hop! Please follow me back! Thanks!

XoXo Nicole Mariana

Loraine said...

I love it and thanks for the great tutorial. Love the red, it's perfect.

Loraine-Breakfast For Dinner

Chef in Training said...

This looks great! And I LOVE the red! I would love it if you would share this and/or any other projects you have been up to at Tuesday Talent Show at Chef In Training! Thanks so much and I hope to see you there!

Meg said...

I loved this so much, I featured it! Come grab a button! ;)

Grace @ Sense and Simplicity said...

Such a cute bench - you should be mighty proud of yourself Ma! Now would you just mind making me one. I love those kind of benches, and especially when they are in snappy red.

Michele Alger said...

Can you say Pinterest?! I've been looking for a great tutorial for a bench like this! thanks SO MUCH!!! Can't wait to show off mine ;)

Catherine Hansen Peart said...

I have been thinking about making one exactly like this and now I don't even have to try and do the math to figure out the cutting! yay!!! gonna paint mine black for the front porch...or maybe white... oh darn, that is going to be the hardest part!

Catherine Hansen Peart said...

I am finally making one of these for myself and couldn't work out what looked wrong until I realised the Home Depot guy cut the legs 21 inches long instead of 15 (I bought a longer board so I could use the offcuts for something else). Just need to borrow a jigsaw so I can fix it up. Will send you a picture when it is done!

iluminameluna said...

Pinning this so I can make several when I get home! Thanks for the great tutorial!

Debbie Perkins said...

Thank you! When I saw the red bench, uh huh, I am so making this. I have 2x12s from a new build. I wouldn't throw them away (what is that?) I told my husband "we can make benches with these", I just got the eye roll. Well, I bought ME a Ryobi mitre saw. I repurposed a one legged FEMA trailer table, new legs from the scrap pile, and I cut them and put them on. Never eye roll a woman. Did I mention, I painted it red? Now I can have something else thrifty to put on the other end. 40x10' front porch. Its a southern thing, swings and sweet tea, and a NEW bench. Thanks from the Deep South.

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