DIY Projects: Build Outdoor Wood Furniture

By: Danny Lipford
Allen Lyle and Danny Lipford tackling DIY outdoor furniture projects.

Allen Lyle and Danny Lipford tackling DIY outdoor furniture projects.

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These DIY outdoor furniture projects include a bench, picnic table, Adirondack chair, patio planter, and plant stand. All can be built with a minimum of tools and expense in a few hours time.


To complete these projects, you’ll need the following tools:

  • Safety glasses and ear plugs
  • Tape measure and pencil
  • Square and level
  • Circular saw or miter saw
  • Jigsaw or bandsaw
  • Drill and bits
  • Sander and sandpaper

Building Tip

Always use rot resistant wood and corrosion resistant fasteners for outdoor building projects.

Completed bench.

Outdoor Bench

This pressure treated pine outdoor bench was built in less than two hours for a total of $15 in materials. See How to Build an Outdoor Bench to find out more.

Completed picnic table.

Picnic Table

This picnic table was assembled using corrosion resistant carriage bolts and screws. Picnic table plans are available from Woodcraft.

Completed Adirondack chair.

Adirondack Chair

This Adirondack chair was made from cedar following a set of plans from Woodcraft. Galvanized carriage bolts and screws were used to assemble the chair.

Building Tip

Cut out the full-size paper patterns from the plans, then transfer them to poster board to allow the patterns to be used again.

Completed outdoor planter.

Outdoor Planter

The legs and frame of the planter were made from pressure treated 2”x4” lumber, with 1”x4” sides and top screwed to it. When completed, the planter was lined with landscape fabric to hold the soil in place while allowing any excess water to seep out. See How to Build a Patio Planter for detailed instructions.

Hanging Planter Post

Completed hanging planter post.

To make this planter stand post:

  • Cut a treated 4”x4” post to length.
  • Mark 1” from the top, and draw a line around all four sides with a square.
  • Set the saw for 45° angle cut.
  • Cut to the line around all four sides.
  • Screw planter brackets at the desired heights near the top of the post.
  • Set and plumb the post in the ground.
  • Place hanging plant baskets on the brackets.

Circular Saw Crosscut Guide

A crosscut guide allows you to make perfect crosscuts with a portable circular saw.

To make the crosscut guide:

  • Screw two pieces of lumber or plywood together at right angles.
  • Position the guide on a scrap board with the base of the circular saw pressed firmly against the guide.
  • Cut through the cross member on the guide.

To use the crosscut guide:

  • Mark the length board to be cut.
  • Position the guide even with the mark and hold firmly in place.
  • Press the base of the saw firmly against the guide while making the cut.

Crosscut Guide                                           Rip Guide

Circular Saw Rip Guide

A rip guide allows you to use a circular saw to make long straight cuts in boards and plywood.

To make a rip guide for a circular saw:

  • Unplug the saw.
  • Clamp a board to the saw base, measuring from both the front and back of the blade so the fence and blade are parallel.
  • Plug the saw in and hold the fence firmly against the edge of the stock.
  • Make the rip cut the length of the stock.

Portable miter saw table.

Portable Miter Saw Table

When using a miter saw outdoors, it’s important to have a long, rigid table to support the saw and work.

To make a portable miter saw table:

  • Lay an extension ladder on top of two sawhorses.
  • Attach a plywood base to the miter saw.
  • Make work supports the same height as the miter saw table.
  • Position the miter saw and work supports on the ladder.

Other Tips from This Episode

Drywall Knife Paint Shield

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Drywall Knife Paint Shield

Instead of painter’s tape, try using a drywall knife as a paint shield when painting different colors on adjoining surfaces. Hold the knife firmly against the edge, paint the adjoining surface, remove the knife, wipe any paint off the knife, then move it down to the next section. (Watch This Video)

Ryobi Auto Hammer

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Ryobi Auto Hammer

The 12-volt, lithium-ion Auto Hammer from Ryobi holds and drives nails up to 3½” long in seconds, making it the perfect tool for working in tight spaces. A built-in LED work light provides plenty of light for easy visibility. The Ryobi Auto Hammer is available at The Home Depot. (Watch This Video)

Tinting Can Add VOCs to Paint

Thinking Green with Danny Lipford:
Tinting Can Add VOCs to Paint

House paints with low or no Volatile Organic Compounds reduce odors and limit the release of harmful chemicals in the air. But tinting the paint often adds unwanted VOCs into the paint. To keep the air in your home clean, use factory tinted low or no VOC paints, or paints that use a VOC-free colorant.
(Watch This Video)



Please Leave a Comment

2 Comments on “DIY Projects: Build Outdoor Wood Furniture”

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  • Ruth Kaye Says:
    September 13th, 2012 at 7:18 am

    I want to make chairs for our porch.

  • Sydney Says:
    July 23rd, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Thanks for sharing your information. Enjoy all of your pretty photos. I mostly live outside, so there are some ideas you need to realize. Wood deteriorates and falls apart over the years. You’ll need to treat it every year, which is no fun. And you must get every nook and cranny on each piece, because water will find a path in. Resin will discolor and needcheap. It can be kind of uncomfortable. The smart outdoor furniture is wrought iron. And if you get a decent set. It’s worth the investment. I’m a long time reader and first time commenter!

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