Finished bench

Is there anything more satisfying than chilling in the garden with a glass of wine or a cold beverage on a sunny afternoon? It has got to be one of life’s simple pleasures!

Using standard tools and readily available materials, you can build your very own garden bench in no time. This method can be incorporated into a whole host of different projects such as tables. The bench is constructed from standard timber sizes (below).

Quantity Length Width Thickness Cost Use
3 2400mm 100mm 44mm €4.99/£4.12 Used for the laths on
the top of bench
1 1800mm 100mm 75mm €15/£12.40 Legs of bench
1 2400mm 100mm 22mm €3.49/£2.90 Spacers in between laths

Note that while timber is sold according to size, a 100mm wide piece may not measure that exact dimension due to shrinkage (as a result of treatment).

You will also need two M12 threaded rods (1m length), nuts and washers (€10.50/£8.70) to hold the bench together, panel pins, exterior PVA glue and a finish of your choice (outdoor paint, varnish, etc.).

Raw materials

Raw materials

You can certainly shop around to beat these prices; if you want a bench to pass the test of time and not worry about preserving it every summer, pressure treated timber is what you need. This will be a little pricier. I just went for normal kiln dried timber as I relish the time of year when it gets warm enough to start the painting of garden furniture. It really heralds the end of the winter as we look forward to the bright evenings…

Another choice you will have to make is if you want planed timber or rough. PAO (planed all over) has a lovely smooth appearance. This looks very well but can be nearly double the price. You can also make savings when bulk buying so keep that in mind if you want to make a few of these!

As well as our materials, what tools do we need to turn this timber into something useable? This project can be made with hand or power tools, the only difference is the speed of construction. I personally get more satisfaction from using hand tools but the choice is yours:

  • Chop-saw / Handsaw
  • Drill
  • 16mm & 25mm wood bit
  • Tape measure or steel rule
  • Try square or marking gauge
  • Pencil
  • 19mm socket or spanner

Let’s get to work. The first thing is to cut the long lengths of 100x44mm into three equal sizes to make up the laths for the bench or seat; use your handsaw or chop-saw to do this. It is at this stage that you can decide on how long you want your bench to be. Taking into account that you bought 2400mm lengths, when these are cut into three equal pieces, this will give you a bench length of 800mm.