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Friday, June 28, 2013

2x4 outdoor bench

Doing my part to brighten up my front yard and the world.

Inexpensive woodworking
Depending on where you get your lumber, you should be able to build this bench for under $30. It is made using seven 8-foot long 2x4s. You will also need some deck screws and a 3/4" dowel.

I made the seat by lining up the boards on  their sides, which makes this one sturdy bench. I think it also makes it look more bench-like: similar to what you might find on a city sidewalk.

To simplify my assembly, I attached the legs with pocket holes and screws using my Kreg Jig. If you don't have a pocket hole system, you can screw in the leg assembly using long lag screws.

Free Plans

Protecting the wood
Since this is an outdoor project, it will need some sort of finish. You can stain it, apply a clear finish, or do what I did and apply a couple coats of latex house paint. I mulled over the various options and decided to make a bold statement with humble 2x4 studs by painting them knock-your-socks-off purple. Whatever you decide, it's a good idea to apply the paint or finish as you are building the bench: there are a lot of hard-to-reach places.

Purple paint?
I realize there will be a lot of people who will not approve of my color selection or the fact that I painted wood but I am prepared for the onslaught of YouTube comments. If  my goal was to showcase the wood's natural beauty, I probably wouldn't have chosen 2x4 studs. We define beauty in our own lives. Amongst all the negativity and competition for blandness, a little color can  go a long way to brightening up the world. At least a little.



  1. great little project.

    Gonna pick up a purple shirt for my wife. When are you going to have the safety third shirts in tall sizes so I can get one?

    1. I am another Br[i/y]an that would appreciate tall shirts.

  2. "Well good morning" to you too, Norm! B-)

  3. Not to be a garden party-pooper but in the UK, 7 of those 4x2s from the most economy supplier would cost £45....that's $68.50. I like the colour though.

    1. One of many reasons to move out of the UK.

    2. They are about $21 where I live for 7 2x4's. And I will be making this as my first project... can't wait to get started.

  4. The same basic concept would make for an excellent Pallet Wood project too.

    Also... I must admit to being a tad disappointed.

    I was expecting a closing video gag from Steve after he got up from the bench and walked away from the camera. Complete with horizontal purple stripes on his shorts.

  5. After reading your explanation:

    Go purple!

    Although I woulda done blue or something myself. :D

  6. Trim it with gold and you can be an official LSU Tiger fan. Go Tigers, gresebaul

  7. What would you suggest if you wanted to put it into the ground? Make the legs a bit longer and then fill the hole with cement?

  8. I had a wonderful weekend making a customize bench for my deck based on your initial plans. I made some tweaks that made it cheaper and easier:
    1) 2x3 instead of 2x4 -- this decking material was $2 a piece
    2) 4x4 deck posts for legs

    You also opened up my eyes to the kregg jig which my father-in-law had with squared everything up.

    Check out the pics --> https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/1146824_10201117228470515_356934881_o.jpg

    1. That bench looks very nice. Question: did the 2x3's come with the groove routed in them already, or did you do that? It's a nice touch either way.

      Nice looking kids too :-)

  9. Great job. Looks good. I'm going to make one for my patio.

  10. Very nice. Will be trying this one.

  11. i happy to see your family in your video