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Build a Wooden Bench for Less

Assemble this sturdy bench from two 10-foot 2x8s, glue and a handful of screws. A novice can complete it in a few hours.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Bench materials and assembly

Need outdoor seating in a hurry? This simple bench, based on author and ecologist Aldo Leopold's classic design, can be constructed in a couple of hours. All it takes is two boards and 18 screws, for a cost of less than $25.

Cut the legs from a 2x8 x 10-ft. piece of rot-resistant wood (Photo 1). Cut the seat and backrest from an 8-ft. 2x8.

Lay out and assemble the sides as mirror images, using the seat and back pieces for alignment (Photo 2). Join the legs with three 2-1/2-in. deck screws and construction adhesive. Predrill all the screw holes with a countersink bit to avoid splitting the wood. Finally, set the sides up parallel to each other and glue and screw the seat and back into place. Finish the bench with a coat of exterior oil or stain.

A Cutting List is available in Additional Information below.

Additional Information

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Circular saw
    • Drill/driver, cordless
    • Countersink drill bit
    • Speed square

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • 2x8s
    • Construction adhesive
    • 2-1/2-in. deck screws
    • Exterior finish

Comments from DIY Community Members

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August 21, 1:34 AM [GMT -5]

Great project. Excellent instructions. I added arm rests w/cup holders and increased the seat to 2x10. I also rounded the edges as noted previously. It just looks more "finished". Family loves it. Built one for Father-in-law to put on his dock. May have to build another 8^) . Nice heavy weight won't tip over easily.

April 05, 3:59 AM [GMT -5]

Truly easy and takes basic tools. My first attempt worked great and took only about 2 hours. I rounded the exposed ends with a belt sander to make it "feel" better as well as increase the "curb appeal". This is a heavy bench, but it will take a load with no problem. I've had several people look at mine and want some for trails, boat dock areas, back yard, garden areas, etc. GREAT plan and easy instructions.

March 20, 5:22 PM [GMT -5]

I asked my son to make one of these benches for our yard. It turned out just beautul and I am so happy to add it to our deck.

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