Hey friends, I’m so excited. Exhausted but excited. You see I did a marathon build session yesterday creating this fantastically simple but beautiful Modern 2×4 Bench Tutorial. Let me show you how, and I finished it in just 5 hours!
Your build will go much faster since I was basically designing as I went. But don’t worry, I’ve made the detailed Build Plans available.
A few summers ago I built my first piece of furniture by myself, a 2×4 Side Table for my patio. Since then I’ve wanted to build a bench in a similar style. Since our At Home DIY Challenge was to build something out of 2x4s I knew it was the perfect time.
This is a great beginner project that requires a few power tools. When it’s finished it will be 48″ wide, a comfortable 2 butt bench 🙂
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Modern 2×4 Bench Supplies
- 2x4x8 Boards Per the Plans
- Pocket Hole Jig
- Right Angle Clamp
- Miter Saw
- Table Saw (optional)
- Cordless Drill
- Exterior Soft Wood Pocket Hole Screws
- Exterior Wood Screws
- Wood Glue
- Bar Clamps
- Two 24″ Bar Clamps
- Palm Sander
- Wood Filler
- Wood Glue
- Spackle or Wood Filler
- Palm Sander
- Sandpaper and Sanding Sponge
- Putty Knife
- Exterior Paint or Stain
Step 1: Cut all 2×4 boards.
Step 2: Make pocket holes.
Since 2×4 lumber isn’t the prettiest wood for making your 2×4 Bench you want to find the best side that will be seen. Using your Pocket Hole Jig make double pocket holes in the following boards.
- Inside top of all four Legs
- Inside of Cross Leg Supports, both ends
- Back side of Center Support, both ends
Step 3: Trimming the 2x4s (optional)
You can cut off some of the dings and gouges that you find in construction lumber. Plus it saves a lot of sanding.
If you choose NOT to trim the 2×4’s then you’ll need to lengthen the seat slat supports, or reduce the gaps between the bench slats as outlined in the Build Plans.
Assembling your Modern 2×4 Bench
Step 4: Assemble the legs.
It’s really the legs that makes this a Modern 2×4 Bench. Slightly angled gives it an nice look that’s not boxy.
Measure and mark as noted from the bottom edge of each leg. This is where you’ll attach the cross support pieces.
- Lay a left leg onto your work surface.
- Add a little wood glue to one end of the cross support, align it to the edge of the leg and using a right-angle clamp in one hole clamp it to the work surface.
- Insert a pocket hole screw into the open pocket hole. Remove the Clamp and add the second screw.
- Lay down the right leg and follow the same steps to complete one set of legs.
- Follow the same process with the other leg pieces.
Step 5: Assemble the 2×4 bench top.
On a flat surface lay out the bench top with the best side facing down. This will be the top.
- Clamp a spare piece of 2×4 to your work surface on which you will align your bench top slats.
- Use 1/2″ wide spacers between the boards and use the 24″ Bar clamp to clamp them together.
- Use a mallet to nudge all 2x4s snug against the clamped 2×4. Follow that with a Carpenter’s Square against the bench top and the clamped 2×4 to ensure your bench top is square.
- Install the Seat Slat connector as outlined in the plans.
- Apply wood glue to the slats, lay down the seat slat connector and pre-drill two holes for each slat 2″ deep. This will keep your wood from splitting.
- Install the wood screws
Step 6: Attach the legs.
- Place the legs onto the slat connector and measure and mark where the leg will connect with even spacing on both sides.
- Apply wood glue to the tops of both legs and attach with the pocket hole screws. You won’t be able to use the right-angle connector at this point so get a helper if needed.
Step 7: Installing Center Support
This 2×4 bench is pretty wide so it will need a center support to keep everything square.
- Measure and cut your center support piece and drill pocket holes into both ends on the back side.
- Find something tall enough to use as a support on the other end. If you have two right-angle clamps that will work also.
- Apply wood glue to both ends and attach using the right-angle clamp and pocket hole screws.
Step 8: Sanding and Finishing
I’ll say that sanding all your individual pieces before assembly is really the way to go. But again I was rushed building this project so I did my sanding last. It’s going to be outside so I’m only concerned that no one gets splinters in their butts.
When I paint I’ll be filling the pocket holes with wood filler or spackle so I get a smooth look.
Enjoying your Modern 2×4 Bench
Click to Access the Plans so you can build your own 2×4 bench.
Now that I’ve built the first one I might make one for inside using poplar or something like that. Or maybe redwood for a second outdoor bench.
PIN IT FOR LATER!!
Now that you’ve seen my 2×4 Project don’t forget to click below to see all the great 2×4 projects made by my talented friends.