DIY Projects

How to Build an Outdoor Bench

By: Jodi Marks

Completed outdoor bench

This easy to build wooden outdoor bench is made from a pressure treated wood and assembled using corrosion resistant screws to stand up to the elements. It’s perfect on a back porch for taking off muddy shoes before coming inside. Here’s how to go about making it.


  • Tape measure and pencil
  • Square
  • Safety glasses and ear plugs
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill/driver (drill and screwdriver bits, countersink)


  • 1 – 2” x 12” x 8’ pressure treated pine
  • 1 – 2” x 4” x 4’ pressure treated pine
  • Medium grit sandpaper
  • Corrosion resistant deck screws

Cutting List:

  • Legs: 2 – 1½” x 11” x 16”
  • Top: 1 – 1½” x 11” x 48”
  • Brace: 1 – 1½” x 3½” x 39”


Pressure treated wood is often slightly thicker and wider than standard dimension lumber and may require minor adjustments to the lengths on the cutting list.

Building the Bench

Start by cutting the top and legs square and to length. Next, set your circular saw for a 14° angle, and bevel the top and bottom of the legs so they flair out from each end of the bench and rest firmly on the floor. The top and bottom cuts on the legs should be parallel with each other.

Reset the angle on your saw to square and rip 2” off the top edge of each side of the legs so they are 7” wide at the top and 11” wide at the bottom.

Use a gallon paint can to mark a semicircle on the center of the bottom of each leg, and cut it out with a jigsaw.

Use a quart paint can to mark each of the corners of the top and round them off with a jigsaw.

Measure 4” in from each end of the bench, align the outside of the legs to the mark, and attach the legs to the top from the inside using screws.

Cut a matching 14° angle on each end of the 2”x 4” brace. Fit the brace in place so that it’s centered between the legs and flush with the bottom of the top. Screw the brace to the legs and top, countersinking the screws so they are flush with the top.

Round the edges of the top with sandpaper or a roundover bit in a router.


Please Leave a Comment

5 Comments on “How to Build an Outdoor Bench”

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  • McD Says:
    February 7th, 2018 at 11:42 am

    I love the way you provide the tools,materials, and cutting lists.
    For laypeople like myself, It makes completing the project so much easier. Now, if you would just do the same thing with your “How to Build a Drop-Zone Bench”.
    Thanks again,

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Hi FPS,
    Glad the bench plans helped him out!

  • FPS Says:
    October 12th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    My 13 year old son used these plans to build a bench for a boy scout merit badge

  • Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    June 30th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Thanks for the tip!

  • David Calkins Says:
    June 29th, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Paint brush salvage:

    I was able to clean dried paint from some paint brushes by soaking them in warm water with hair shampoo added. Latex and oil based paint cleaned off well enough for most jobs.

    I enjoy the show as often as possible.
    Dave Calkins

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How to Build an Outdoor Bench