Saturday Morning Workshop: Outdoor Trestle Bench

Beautify your patio, deck or porch this summer with this attractive, easy-to-construct outdoor trestle bench.


A few hours






A sturdy, serviceable bench, its many design details combined in bold form and strong lines are reminiscent of Santa Fe styling. And, it’s small and light enough to lift and move around easily. We used cedar because of its rich warm color, light weight and weather resistance. All surfaces were sanded and corners slightly rounded.

Tools Required

  • Drill/driver
  • Hammer
  • Miter saw
  • Punch
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Rubber mallet
  • Table saw
  • Wrench

Materials Required

  • 1/2-in. -13 galvanized USS lock nuts
  • 1/2-in. galvanized washers (1-1/8 in. dia.)
  • 1/2-in. threaded rod
  • 3/8 in. x 4-in. galvanized hex-head lag screws
  • 5/16-in. galvanized washers (1 in. dia.)
  • Cedar 1x3
  • Cedar 2x4

Cutting List

Trestle Bench Cutting List

Project Plans

Trestle bench tech art

Project step-by-step (9)

Step 1

Cut the cedar boards to length

Trestle bench cut boards to length

Cut the cedar to the following pieces from 2×4 cedar:

  • Seven 60-in. seat rails
  • One 37-in. stretcher
  • Two 9-in. crossbars
  • Four 17-1/2 in. legs

Cut the 1×3 cedar to eight 3-1/2 in. pieces.

Step 2

Cut the notches into the legs

Trestle bench cut notches on table saw

Clamp a scrap piece of 1/2-in. plywood to the table saw fence and set the fence so that the leg board (B) is lined up with a 2-1/2 in. mark from one of the ends. Make sure that the temporary plywood fence is behind the blade. Set the blade to 3/4-in. high. Run the board through the table saw at even intervals and make sure to trim the very end, as it will make the next step easier. Clamp the board to the work surface and chisel out the leftover wood from the notch and sand to an even finish.