Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Benched

Phew!

I think I'm officially over my Spring Fever.

Actually, I think that I'm really loving Spring so far, and sitting outside while the girls play in our freshly planted grass is amazing, but.. I really needed somewhere to sit!

While browsing Pinterest, I was led to this adorable little bench.


Which may have only caught my eye because it's blue, but I was quickly obsessed!

Upon further research, I found that Home Depot sells a similar bench, but I wasn't sold on it. Or it's $255 [clearance] price tag.


Also, it was just too wide for our teeny yard.

So what's a girl to do?

Email Ana White and ask her to draw up plans for the perfect bench, of course!

Which she did.

And I built it.

And it's perfect.



For just under $30 (I used stud-grade 2x4s and spruce furring strips with an outdoor stain/sealer).

If you know me, you'll know that I wanted to paint this blue (actually, you would know that if you follow me on Twitter, too). Mr. Goats wanted it stained, so the deal was that I would stain it, but if I hated it, I could paint it.

Well, the stain's growing on me.


It's the same stain that I used for my shed. Unfortunately I spilled the can of stain all over myself before I could finish assembling the bench (staining before assembly is a MUST with this kind of woodwork!) so I couldn't add a support beam between the legs (without going and spending $25 more on stain that I won't use again). Fortunately, the bench is SOLID, so I don't feel like it's immediately necessary.

Maybe I'll add it when I paint the bench blue ;-)

Oh, and let me tell you, this was surprisingly easy to build! Yes, there are a lot of cuts, but it was really, really easy. The part that seems to throw most people off is the back legs.


I just marked the transition line and traced a 2x2.


Done! Seriously, it's super simple. The not-so-simple part is the cutting, but it's not that bad.


Cut it with a circular saw and finish up that small portion the circular can't get with a jig saw.

Or, if you have steady hands, you can do it all with a jig saw.

And you have major bragging rights.

The back really isn't bad. I promise :-)

And the effort totally pays off..


It adds a ton to the look and comfort of the bench.

Head over to Ana's site to see just how easy the bench is!

In the meantime, I'll just be outside sippin' some sweet tea.

Yuuummmmmm...

So what are your outdoor furnishings? Any Springtime additions? Do share!


16 comments:

  1. I love this bench. I would love to have it made so that it can be used for a swing on my front porch, this would be perfect. Any ideas as to how I could do that?
    Debbie
    daubin56@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Debra, Thanks! I love it, too! My thoughts on converting this to a swing would be to shorten the legs 11 3/4". That way they would stop right where the bottom of the seat aprons are, and you can attach the hardware.... however you attach swing hardware ;-)

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    2. Remove leg material below seat, you then have a porch swing l am making my daughter a nice A frame swing porch for her photo shoot found nice web sites how to make different swing porch seats with or without A frame with A frame and undo chains put on porch setup or have in middle of yard as swing frame setup email me at jimswoodworking@yahoo.com will send u links l have.
      jim

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  2. Love this bench! Going to have hubby get started on one for the yard! What wood did you use? Pine? Is it treated wood?

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  3. Amazing Gina! It really is beautiful! I love the blue bench too, but I also love the stain as well! Did you nail in the x and y pieces on the back or just glue them in? I appreciate the picture of how you did the back legs, I am such a visual learner! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks girly! The big "x" pieces are screwed in with pocket holes on all ends. The small part of the "y" is screwed into the long piece, and the long piece is screwed into the bench (the short piece isn't fastened to the bench, but is held firmly in place by the long piece being fastened - if you build it, you'll get what I mean ;-)).

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  4. Can you build this without a kreg jig?

    Renee in Michigan

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  5. Any way to add rockers to this? Thanks for the wonderful project and explanation.

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  6. That bench is gorgeous! I have been looking for something for our front porch all winter. This one looks so much more stout than the ones you can get in the store. I'm not a fan of furniture that rearranges itself every time the wind blows! Ha ha! I can't wait to tackle this, but I am wondering, what kind of stain did you use? I love the color! I have some indoor/outdoor stain in a cedar tone but I worry it might look too orange. But if that's what you used, then I have no worries. It's gorgeous!

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  7. I am working on the bench back right now but am having trouble making my point cuts perfect. One side or the other is longer. Can you give me any hints to measure and cut the 45 degree cuts to make the points? I am using a miter saw. Thanks in advance...

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    1. Oh, this could be any number of things. I'm going to grill you with questions before I can think of an answer :-) The first thing to check is whether everything is built square. Take a carpenter's square and check. If it's not, you'll have to disassemble it, re glue and assemble it squarely (what sucks about using pocket holes is that it'll probably just end up going back to the same position you started in, so you *might* have to predrill some more... let's hope that's not the case and it's an easy fix ;-)). If it is all square, is your miter saw squared up? The fastest way to check is to make a 90 degree cut on a deep board (a 1x6, for example) and use your square to check that it's a perfectly square cut (if it's not, you'll have to square up your saw blade - just google "how to square [your miter saw brand/model] blade" and there should be a ton of help). Finally, are the boards straight? warped/bent boards can change the angle of your cut... If it's all too frustrating and you don't want to do all of that, what you could do is hold the board in place, mark where it *should* be cut and then customize the angle on your miter saw to match. That's easier to do with two people (one to hold, one to mark). And make sure you're holding the board straight (place it just at the back of the opening it should fit into, not inside, angling it).
      I sure hope that made some sense. Let me know if I confused you more than helped, I'm here to answer your questions!!

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    2. Thank you for the help. As it turns out, my saw blade wasn't squared up. After adjusting it as best as I could, my cuts are much better. They're still a tiny bit off (maybe my blade is slightly warped...) but all the cuts are working now. Thank you for your quick reply and the great design. I'm almost finished with the build as well as some of the finish work...

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  8. If you don't mind, I have one more question. I have to transport the finished bench 1200 miles. It will have to be partially taken apart to fit in/on my van. Do you have any suggestions on how/where to pull apart the finished bench for travel?

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    1. I'm so glad you got it figured out! It took me forever to realize that there was something wrong with my blade and that I had to square it up. Now I check every time I move my saw (after you do it a few times, it gets easier to check/fix). For assembly/disassembly, what I would do is to keep the sides, back and seat apart and then drill through the sides to assemble it in place. Or you could predrill the pocket holes in the seat and back and assemble via those when you're there. Does that make sense?

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    2. Yes and it matches up to what I was thinking. I don't want to spend a lot of time finishing it once I get it to my parents house so I will complete the bench, paint and seal, then take apart in the sections you mention and transport. Just a few screws to put it back together. Again - thank you for the help!!

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    3. Perfect! If I can make a suggestion, it might be more simple to "finish" it before assembling it. That way, if things are a little "off" you don't have any unpainted/stained sections? And if you predrill the pocket holes in inconspicuous locations, you should be able to assemble it with little to no additional finishing. Good luck and have a safe trip!

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