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Back to How To....    |   How to Build a Five Board Garden Bench

This classic garden bench is easy to build and doesn’t take many materials.  You will need the following to build it:

1X12X8’ board

1X4X6’ board

#6X 1 1/2” wood screws

Wood glue

Paint or finish of your choice

Cut the boards as follows:


(2) 1X12X16”

(2) 1X4X30”

Draw a line on the two 16 inch pieces 10 inches from the edge. 

Rip along that line leaving you with two 1X10X16” pieces of wood.

Take the edge of a gallon paint can and draw a semicircle on one end of the 16” board, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches on either side of the semicircle.

Cut out the semicircle on each 16” board.

Now you are going to lay out the joints for the sides.  Measure one end of the 1X4 against end board A.  Mark the footprint of the 1X4 in the upper right corner.  Make sure and mark both boards with a letter or number so you can match the pieces together.  Do this with both 1X4s so you have all four side joints laid out.

Cut the notches out of each side of the end boards.

Mark a one inch line on each end of the 1X4s.  This is the overhang.

Put glue on one notch and screw the corresponding side of the 1X4” board into the joint.  Do the same for each corner.

Take the top board and draw a line four inches from each end.  Draw a line one inch in from each side.  These are the top overhangs.

Put glue on the top of the frame and carefully set the top in place.  Screw it to the frame on all four sides.

This is the finished bench.  You need to either paint it with the color of your choice, or sand it and finish it with an exterior grade varnish.  Traditionally, this sort of bench was painted because pine was used.

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Check Light Availability

Most shrubs can grow in both sun and shade to varying degrees.

Many flowering shrubs, however, tend to need some sun to flower.

Be sure to double check the amount of light you have available to the shrubs you are planning to plant so you are happy with the outcome.

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