Build a Wooden Bench for Less

Need extra seating in a hurry? This simple bench, based on author and ecologist Aldo Leopold’s classic design, can be constructed in a couple of hours, even if you are a novice woodworker. All it takes is two boards and 18 screws

Cut the legs from a 2×8 x 10-ft. piece of rot-resistant wood (Photo 1). Cut the seat and backrest from an 8-ft. 2×8.

Lay out and assemble the sides as mirror images, using the seat and back pieces for alignment (Photo 2). Join the legs with three 2-1/2-in. deck screws and construction adhesive. Predrill all the screw holes with a countersink bit to avoid splitting the wood. Finally, set the sides up parallel to each other and glue and screw the seat and back into place. Finish the bench with a coat of exterior oil or stain.

A Cutting List is available in Additional Information below.

Wooden Bench Design Additional Information

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Circular saw
  • Countersink drill bit
  • Drill/driver – cordless
  • Speed square

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • 2-1/2-in. deck screws
  • 2x8s
  • Construction adhesive
  • Exterior finish