The Farmhouse Bench is designed to work with this Farmhouse Table, but there is no reason you could not modify the dimensions or use it as a coffee table or outdoor bench. For those of you who have a pocket hole system, you can use the pocket holes to build your bench seat separate. If you have a pocket hole system, you would attach the breadboard ends directly to the seat boards in step 6. If you are staining, be very careful to not let glue dry on the project, as these areas will not take stain.
Purchase the Wedge-Tenon Bench Woodworking Plan, including step-by-step instructions, detailed illustrations, and a complete materials list.
Post your projects & plansShare your projects and plans with others in the Start Woodworking community. I had wanted to build a sturdy workbench for some time but was put off by the cost and complexity of a traditional hardwood bench. An advantage of this design is that the piece can be built without a planer or jointer, perfect for someone just getting started in woodworking.
This project originally appeared in the Tools & Shops 2006 issue of Fine Woodworking (FWW #181). Design the bench, create a cut plan, and beginBench dimensionsFinalize your design: This method of construction can be adapted to almost any size and type of benchbench and form can be used interchangeably to refer to backless and elongated wooden seating. Glue the three pieces of each component together, being careful not to get any glue on the tenon ends. The benchtop should rest on the aprons, not the legs, so if the top of a leg is higher than the apron tenon, trim it flush. If you are not using pocket screws to attach the top, prepare a couple of 2-in.-square battens with countersunk holes in two directions. To protect the soft edge of the MDF top, I screwed a solid wood edging around the entire benchtop, leaving a gap for the vise. Abel Mann writes: My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. Our rock-solid workbench incorporates two vises, a laminated top, and options for a hanging tool tray or under-bench cabinet.
Purchase the full Traditional Workbench Woodworking Plan, including detailed diagrams and complete material list. A laminated maple top, bench dogs, and a bench vise make this a fitting centerpiece for any home workshop. Purchase the full Simple-to-Build Workbench Woodworking Plan, including detailed diagrams and complete material list. Purchase the full Basic Workbench and 6 Ways to Beef it up Woodworking Plan, including detailed diagrams and complete material list. Make sure you follow us on Facebook to be the first that gets our latest plans and for some other exclusive content. Also, follow us on Pinterest to get many ideas for your backyard from all the internet!
A planter bench is a great addition for decks and small gardens, as they add character and enhance the look of any backyard.
To Tip: You should adjust the size of the bench planter to your needs, but use the same carpentry techniques to get the job done. You can also add some 1×4 pieces under the frame to create a small clearance space between the ground and the frame. Fit 2×2 supports under the frame, if you really want to enhance the rigidity of the frame. As you can see you can learn how to build this garden bench in just one weekend, if you follow my step by step plans and instructions.
The secret for a neat result is to select perfectly straight slats and to take accurate measurements before making the cuts. Top Tip: Apply several coats of wood stain to protect the wood from rot and to enhance its rustic appearance.
My 9 year old son and I built this in a weekend, because I needed to get him away from screens. If you are all about saving money and minimize waste, you could make the slats for the planters 24″. If you plan to build the Farmhouse Table, starting with the bench will give you a chance to test out your skills on a smaller version.
Assemble the bench using eye-catching joints that feature keys and wedges in contrasting woods.
I knew that such benches derive much of their strength and rigidity from the mortises and tenons that join the framework, and I wondered if there was a way to combine this joinery with the inherent strength, rigidity, and dimensional accuracy of plywood. For under $250 including a vise, I have a bench with the rigidity I desired without breaking the bank.


Originally a bench may have been freestanding and movable, whereas a form referred to a bench fixed to the wall. Turn the assembly on edge so that the plies are facing up and insert one end in the apron jig. Be sure to check that the frame is square by measuring the diagonals between opposite corners; adjust until the distances are even, then tighten the clamps. I really like it and it has been our center piece in the garage for every chore and project that needs to be done. If you like to spend time in your garden, but a simple outdoor bench is a little too common for your tastes, you should consider building a nice wooden bench with two planters attached on both sides. There are many designs and shapes you could choose from, starting with a simple bench adjacent to a large planter, up to more complex constructions, such as a wooden bench attached to two planters. Work with good judgement, making sure all the components are aligned, before driving in the screws. In order to add personality to the planter bench, we recommend you to build the trims from 2×4 lumber. Make sure the large planters are aligned properly, before building the wooden bench between them. This outdoor bench is extremely sturdy and if you invest in weather resistant lumber, such as cedar or redwood, it will be the attraction point of your backyard for many years in a row.
In addition, you need to make sure the edges are perfectly flush before inserting the screws and nails. You don’t have to fit large containers to the planters, as you have an easier alternative to fill them with lively flowers. Therefore, fill the head of the screws with a good wood putty and let it dry out properly for several hours. If this design is not what you are looking for, I suggest you to take a look over my other projects. If you want to see more outdoor plans, check out the rest of our step by step projects and follow the instructions to obtain a professional result.
I would be thrilled to see how your planter bench looks like so feel free to send a few images. Another method would be to assemble the panels by attaching the braces to the slats and them joint the four sides together. The design I created has a base of laminated sections of plywood and a top of plywood and medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Then turn the top over and mark the holes for the vise(s) on the bottom side so that you can drill small holes through. If you plan to use this bench primarily for glue-ups or finishing, a good choice would be to laminate the top; otherwise, apply a clear finish or just leave it natural. We relied on inexpensive lumberyard stock and rugged mortise-and-tenon joinery to construct the base. I like the way it was designed and I have built many other things using this design as a template. After selecting the right plans for your needs, you should buy quality materials for the job, such as cedar, redwood or pine slats. Work with great care, making sure the corners are square and the joists perfectly aligned one with another. Use a spirit level to make sure the walls are perfectly plumb, otherwise the planter won’t be symmetrical. Use a spirit level to plumb the supports before securing them with screws to the planters, otherwise the seat won’t be perfectly horizontal.
Drill pilot holes trough the slats, countersink them and insert the 2” screws, or drive the screws trough the supports in the slats. You can 1×2 fit cleats to the interior of the planters and then create a false bottom just a few inches from the top. If you have a pocket hole system, you would build your bench seat separate, and then attach. Add the shelves Stand the front and rear assemblies on their legs on a level floor, and cut two pieces of plywood to fit between the stretchers and aprons and to the desired width of the frame. Make sure the wooden components are perfectly straight and in good condition, before starting your project. Moreover, don’t forget to countersink the head of the screws, before inserting the wooden screws. The best part is it looks great on my deck, my wife loves it, and I may have started a new passion with my son. When the glue is dry, run both exposed-ply sides of each component through the tablesaw to clean them up.


Reinforcing the joints in this manner may not be necessary, but it is very cheap insurance that the joints will hold forever. Turn the top back over and use a spade bit to drill recesses for the bolt heads at each of the small holes. Last but not least, add a good wood glue to the edges of the components, in order to enhance the bond of the joints. Reinforce the jointsAttach the stretchers: Stand the assembly on the floor with the stretcher pointing up. There will be space to install an end vise above the side of the benchbench and form can be used interchangeably to refer to backless and elongated wooden seating. Benchtop detail Next, add two plywood shelves, the lower one attached to the front and rear stretchers with 2-in. Place waxed paper under the apron mortise; apply glue to the mortise and insert an apron tenon, being sure the pocket holes are oriented properly. At this point you can attach the top: Place it on the benchbench and form can be used interchangeably to refer to backless and elongated wooden seating. Used to create the lower mortise on each leg, the spacer is driven out after the leg has dried.
Furthermore, the term bench has acquired the additional meaning of a work surface, such as a cabinetmaker's workbench."> if desired. Because the shelves, sides, and top are screwed on, the whole benchbench and form can be used interchangeably to refer to backless and elongated wooden seating. Furthermore, the term bench has acquired the additional meaning of a work surface, such as a cabinetmaker's workbench."> frame and secure it with the pocket holes or battens. The leg stack consists of two outside slats, the lower center piece, the spacer, the upper center piece, and two more outside slats. Locate the upper and lower mortise areas and mark both mating surfaces so that you will remember not to apply glue there. Furthermore, the term bench has acquired the additional meaning of a work surface, such as a cabinetmaker's workbench."> can be disassembled for moving. Clamp the legsReveal the mortises: A simple L-shaped jig helps to lay up the legs accurately.
Glues with extended open times (especially in hot, dry conditions) will make alignment of the laminations easier.
Assemble the frame sides and join them with plywood panelsFirst cutPre-cut plywood: If you decide to build a benchbench and form can be used interchangeably to refer to backless and elongated wooden seating. Using both sides of the jig, keep the ends and edges of each slat in perfect alignment and the center slats pressed tightly against the spacer as you apply clamping pressure.
Have your plywood seller make the first (above) and second cuts (below) as shown to ease handling the material. Reveal the mortisesClean up the edges: Placing waxed paper on your worktable will protect the wood surface.
When the glue has dried, knock out the spacer block with a mallet and a thin piece of wood to reveal the mortise. Use sandpaper to slightly chamfer the bottom edges of the finished legs to prevent splintering of the outer veneer if the benchbench and form can be used interchangeably to refer to backless and elongated wooden seating. Furthermore, the term bench has acquired the additional meaning of a work surface, such as a cabinetmaker's workbench."> is dragged across the floor.
You always will get some tearout when you cut plywood: This can be minimized with a zero-clearance insert on the tablesaw, but in any case rip with the show side of the plywood up. Assemble frame sidesReinforce the joints: Start by dry-fitting the tenon on each end of a stretcher into its respective mortise. If you do get some tearout, lightly sand away any splinters and keep the tearout side inward when assembling the components.
Pocket holesDrill out the pocket holes: The last step before laminating the components is to drill pocket holes every 6 in.
Use a carpenter’s square to bring the stretcher and leg to exactly 90°, and tighten the clamp. Glue-up and tenon workAssemble and glue stretchers and aprons: Even with glue that has a moderate amount of open time, you must work quickly, so do a dry run first and have all components in order. Remove the excess glue with a damp cloth, put the joint aside to set, and assemble the second leg and stretcher. I apply the glue to all mating surfaces with a disposable brush that has the bristles trimmed, but a roller would work.



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