Easy ways to big up your small garden
An outdoor bench makes every garden look complete and you can make one yourself. We’ll take you through the tools and simple steps required to build a solid and attractive outdoor bench without using nails or screws.
After you have chosen the timber, you can get the timber pre-cut at selected Bunnings stores. You can always customise the bench to suit any size space. In this case our finished bench is 500mm high x 1890 long x 405mm wide. That means we need 10 x 1800mm lengths for the bench and 10 x 500mm and 10 x 410mm lengths for the legs.
TIP: Straight timber makes for a straight bench. When choosing your timber, look down the length for any cupping (side-to-side curve) or crowning (up-down curve). If you spot either of these, put those pieces back.
Line up 5 pieces of both the long and short timber you cut for the legs next to each other. Make sure you alternate the lengths between the long 500mm and short 410mm pieces. Before you start gluing, organise the pieces so you can see how they will fit together.
To make drilling holes for the rods easier, make a template with a 90mm x 45mm piece of timber. This is to make sure your holes are in exactly the same location at either end. When creating your template, use a 35mm spade bit to the depth of the cap, then continue through with a 22mm spade bit. Then repeat this process for the second rod.
Clamp one of the 500mm pieces of timber for the legs onto the saw horse. Put the template in place and drill two holes into the timber. Make sure you keep the drill straight as you do this, it will make it easier to insert the rod. Repeat this step for all of the 500mm pieces of timber for your legs.
Put glue on the sides of the timber. Then place them next to each other making sure they are flush. Use the clamp to secure them. Insert the rod through the holes and leave to dry overnight.
After the glue has dried, scrape off any excess between the joints with a chisel. This will make it easier when it comes to sanding your outdoor bench.
Repeat the above steps to build the top of the bench.
Once the glue for the legs and the bench top have dried, it's time to assemble the pieces. Lay the top of the bench on the saw horses and insert the legs into the box joint. Use a rubber mallet to tap the legs into place so that they're flush. Insert the rods into the holes, using the mallet to push them through if you need. Put the caps on the ends of the rods. Use a socket wrench to tighten the caps.
To give your outdoor bench a professional look, use the hand sander to smooth over the surface and get rid of any splinters or excess glue. After you have sanded it back, wipe the bench down with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust.