Time to Complete
With our backyard ice rink up and running this winter, an outdoor bench to take a break on was a priority project. I wanted to use this opportunity to come up with a design that would be easy and cheap to build, look good, and be comfortable. After doing some research I stumbled a design called the Leopold bench (plans here) which was named after the conservationist Aldo Leopold who built them for birdwatching and nature photography.
I liked the simplicity of the Leopold Bench but wanted to modify the design a little by varying the angles to make it a little more comfortable and have a proper seat and back. So this is the design that I came up with.
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Disclosure: This project was sponsored by Diablo Tools however the design and opinions are 100% my own.
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Time needed: 30 minutes.
This is an easy yet sleek looking bench that can be built for around $30, in about 30 mins, and with only 3 tools (drill/driver, circular saw, and speed square).
- Cutting the Wood
The 2x8s should be cut down per the following diagram. The angled cuts can be cut with either a miter saw or marked with a speed square and cut with a circular saw.
To make the angled cut marks you can used a speed square, by pivoting the corner until the correct angle is aligned with the edge of the board, as shown below.
- Cutting the Taper
Rather than leaving the longer leg a full 2×8, we need to cut a taper at the top of the back. Not only does it look nicer but it will be the correct angle of the back. Using the diagram below, mark the line with a straight edge and cut the taper with a circular saw.
- Assembling the Legs
The legs are assembled with (4) 2-1/2″ exterior wood screws each, as shown below.
Use the dimensions in the diagram above to mark the line that the shorter leg will fall on (as shown below).
The 6″ measurement on the shorter leg should get the legs pretty close to the correct alignment. Before securing, use a straight edge to check the bottom of the legs to assure they are in the same plane (will sit flat on the ground when upright). Then secure with (4) 2-1/2″ exterior wood screws each.
- Attaching the Seat and Back
The seat and back can now be installed with 2-1/2″ exterior wood screws as shown in the diagram below.
Overhand the front of the seat by 1-1/2″ and space the boards about 1/4″ – 1/2″ apart.