Woodworking Plans

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Home » DIY » build it » simple bench made for 1 last update 2020/06/01 from 2×4’sbuild it » simple bench made from 2×4’s

I’m going to show you how to make a simple bench made from reclaimed 2×4’s. It really is easier than you think!
Be sure to see more great projects from this month’s Power Tool Challenge at the bottom of this post.

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Look at this scrumptious perfectly weathered BLUE deck wood.

 

The only lumber that was salvageable were the vertical 2×4’s that made up the spindles. See those thin little horizontal pieces? Those were put up by yours truly years ago to keep this little fella in . . .

 

Louie learned very quickly that he couldn’t escape the new deck!

How to construct a simple bench out of reclaimed 2×4 lumber

This is the simple construction of these little benches. I made a box as long as the longest board. The end pieces were made so that the simple bench would be about 14 inches wide.

If you’re looking for really easy 2×4 stools, check out for 1 last update 01 Jun 2020 this tutorial for 2×4 benches and stoolsIf you’re looking for really easy 2×4 stools, check out this tutorial for 2×4 benches and stools

The little scrap piece at the end is a guide. I made the simple bench so that it would have an overhang the width of a 2×4 thickness. While I had my box laid out, I put a 2×4 on each of the 4 sides to measure to see if everything was going to fit correctly.

Dry fit 2×4 slats

The seat slats are 11 inches long. You can see here that it is resting on the scrap piece, allowing the overhang I wanted.

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Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have lots of workbench space. It’s more difficult to work on the ground, but in a pinch it works!

The box was constructed with screws and wood glue. I also used glue and screws on the inside brace pieces. A countersink  bit was not needed because typically 2×4’s are soft enough to sink the screws. However I did make pilot holes for EVERY screw. The wood was brittle and I didn’t want to take any chances of splitting it. That is why you see 2 drills. One was manned with a drill bit, the other with a screw bit. That makes things go so much faster. If you only  have one drill, I suggest investing in a second one. Pawn shops are great places to shop for small power tools.

Add 2×4 slats using a nail gun and screws

All the slats were attached first. I screwed the end one on, then used glue and my nail gun to attach the rest of the slats. When I got to the last one (the other end) I used screws again. Nail guns are great for a temporary hold until you can secure the wood permanently with screws.

How to join two boards with a 45° angle

After attaching all the slats, I the 1 last update 2020/06/01 worked on the side pieces to box in the slats of the simple 2×4 bench.After attaching all the slats, I worked on the side pieces to box in the slats of the simple 2×4 bench.

 

Because I used the longest board to make the box, when it came time to “box” the slats in, I didn’t have a board long enough to have “overhang”. I made a 45 degree cut on two boards. Then on one board I made the straight cut. After I had that laid out, I then measured where the other straight cut needed to be made on the other board.
These boards laid directly on top of the outside board (of the box). That means they overhang the thickness of a 2×4 all the way around. I used screws on these boards also.

Add legs to simple 2×4 bench

After I added both side boards, I attached the legs. Because there is an overhang, the legs fit perfectly under the side boards. I used screws on the legs. These benches are VERY heavy. I can move one by myself, but to carry one from the very back of the yard to the deck was nearly impossible to do by myself!

Make a matching table for your simple benches

I am not a math whiz! I came up with the simplest way to make this table! Jamie wanted it to be a square, the same size as the bench. I cut enough boards to make it that size. Then imagine  laying all of those boards down  on a table (upside down), laying those small scraps on each of the four sides. That is what I did, then I measured the inside dimensions to figure out what size box I needed to make. Remember, I needed the overhang to allow the legs to fit perfectly on each side.

Distress wood with orbital sander

Being reclaimed deck wood, there were definitely some rough places. Jamie used my orbital sander to smooth them out some. I love the way these benches and that little table turned out! Blue is my favorite color, and I love how aged they look. I also love the fact that my daughter Jamie now has some of her original deck. Of course we did not build the original deck, it was there when she bought the house.
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ABOUT GAIL WILSON - A teacher at heart, Gail Wilson relishes the chance not to show off her projects, but to help others find their inner handywoman, step-by-step. Her blog, MyRepurposedLife.com, chronicles her scrap-saving adventures and has been featured on countless DIY magazines and websites, including Women’s Day, Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy. She is a longtime influencer for both Homeright and Gorrilla Glue. With a tribe of more than 450,000 followers, Gail is inspiring a new generation of DIYers to pick up some tools and get to work.

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Comments

  1. Steven Shepard says Steven Shepard says

    If the slats are 11 inches and the lenghwise 2×4’s are 3-1/2 inches wide then we’re already up to 17 inches. Add in the thickness of the legs which appear to be set back from the edge and you’re up to 20 inches. Rather than sending me to a nut farm, could you please explain.

    • Gail WilsonGail Wilson says

      Steven,

      I’m sorry you’re confused. I’m not sure what you don’t understand. The bench is as deep as the table sitting next to it. It is made up of 5 2×4’s which is approximately 17.5 inches.
      Adding the thickness of the legs? They are underneath the outer 2×4, not adding to the overall size.

      I hope this helps!
      gail

  2. [email protected] says

    Wow, first the benches are awesome! It’s really something how you’re able to repurpose pretty much everything! Second, I saw the dates of the original comments and realize how many…many project you have under your belt! You have so much talent!

  3. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Javier Reza says

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

    Excelent idea thank you for sharing , If you add a small chamfer in the bottom of the legs it will help to prevent tear out

  4. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Kelly B says

    Love these and thanks for the great tutorial! Quick the 1 last update 2020/06/01 question–What size and type screws did you use?Love these and thanks for the great tutorial! Quick question–What size and type screws did you use?

    • [email protected] says

      Kelly,

      I almost always use drywall screws, which wouldn’t be the best choice for these outdoor benches. So I would go with deck screws, 2.5 inches, countersinking the screws slightly to get more bite into the second board.
      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.
      gail

  5. Ricky T says

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for

    Just a thought about not having two drills….you can also buy a drill/bit to do the job of two drills. They are so easy to use, I use them all the time and it saves a bunch of time.

  6. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Nina says

    Came across your blog when looking for picture ideas for 2 x 4 furniture. This is awesome! You have definitely inspired me! I will have to check back often.

  7. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for muralimanohar says

    That is SO awesome!! 😀 I just made myself a bench for the pool area, and I love it, but I think I could DEF find a use for another bench like that one! 😀

  8. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for kaitlyn the 1 last update 2020/06/01 sullivankaitlyn sullivan says

    these came out so beautifully! what an amazing job. i love how aged they look.

  9. Jennie says

    Hey, I found you over at Someday Crafts…I love your little benches! I laughed as I started to read your post because I have a HUGE pile of wood just like that in MY backyard. SO FUN! I can’t wait to try something like this. Thanks for the idea.

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Jennie @ Cinnaberry Suite

  10. Funky Junk Interiors says

    I totally wanna work alongside you. What a riot that would be! I need to go reread this again VERY SLOW to let it sink in. I found a ton of old palette wood I need a good use for… hmm.. 🙂

    Thanks for for 1 last update 2020/06/01 linking up to SNS!
    DonnaThanks for linking up to SNS!
    Donna

  11. Michelle @ Sweet Something says

    Great job Gail! Way to recycle! The color really is fantastic and the sanding is perfect!
    PS The mouthwash tips are great!

  12. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Anita says

    Great reuse of those old boards. The bench looks so good. And the blue is so pretty!

  13. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Londen @ Sixty-Fifth Avenue says

    Fabulous green project! And I love the color!

  14. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for The Hillbilly Housewife says

    How am I ever supposed to remember all these great ideas you put on the bottom? I just called my daughter and told her that she needs listerine. She wanted to know how I for 1 last update 2020/06/01 could smell her breath over the phone. LOLHow am I ever supposed to remember all these great ideas you put on the bottom? I just called my daughter and told her that she needs listerine. She wanted to know how I could smell her breath over the phone. LOL

  15. Corn in my Coffee-Pot says

    That’s definitely a great use for that old ,otherwise destined to landfill,wood. I love the blue! That’s a great job.

  16. Melanie Beth says

    love the bench, and the way the blue paint looks! you’d think that bench had been around for years!

    also love the lists of other uses for household items – although being a hair stylist i would recommend against using listerine in your hair! ph is too acidic, would not be good.

  17. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking says

    Yeah! I’ve got this little alcove in our front porch that has been begging for a bench… thanks for the great tut!

  18. the 1 last update 2020/06/01 MardellMardell says

    Giiiiirrrrl, you are GOOD!! I just love the bench & table! And the weathered look is perfection to a “T!”

    Have a great weekend. :o)

  19. Robyn says

    AWESOME tuturial and I LOVE the re-use of the wood! CHEAP and GREEN! The bench is so sweet and a great color! Hey, is your little guy a Brussels Griffon? I can’t tell from the photo but he sure looks sweet!

  20. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for the VG huis says

    well done! perfect colour too! Have a great weekend ~Stacey

  21. frugal farmhouse design Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for says

    I LOVE the look of this bench, the wash of blue is perfect. Thanks for the tutorial, I will be making use of it. All the best, Lori
    Is your dog a Griffon?

  22. Rose says

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Great tutorial on how you made the benches. I really love the way they look!
    Great tip on splicing the wood together. You can’t even see it until you pointed it out!

  23. Vicki says

    They have turned out really good and you are very clever 🙂 I wish I had a clever person like you living in this house 🙂

  24. Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for the 1 last update 2020/06/01 MichelleMichelle says

    You are amazing! Lovely!

  25. Pam says Pam says

    Your woodworking skills are solid! Well done! I love the way you’ve repurposed the wood into this simple faded blue bench; it’s awesome!

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