As we were recently in the midst of building a new patio table with ice chests sunk into it, we decided to design a plan for matching benches. I think benches are great for patio tables because you can squeeze more people onto them than individual chairs - kids pack like sardines on them. We've tested these benches and 3 adults can comfortably fit on each one. And also, patio chairs tend to lean back, which makes it hard to eat at a table while sitting in them because you are always leaning forward.
Benches are super versatile, too! Not only do they work great at a table, a bench would be perfect around a fire pit, on a covered front porch, inside a mudroom or even at the foot of a bed. And the best part of this particular plan is that it only costs about $35 per bench to build, if you use an inexpensive wood such as Douglas fir! Stain and exterior sealer would add to the cost if you didn't have it on hand already.
Spoiler Alert: Here's what the finished bench will look like!
Feel free to cut all of your material according to the cut list below at the beginning of the project.
2 - 2x6 8' length
3 - 2x4 8' length
1 - 4x4 8' length
2 1/2" Kreg screws
2 - 2x6 64"
1 - 2x4 64"
2 - 2x4 55"
2 - 2x4 6 3/4"
2 - 2x4 9 3/4"
4 - 4x4 16"
4 - 4x4 16"
Set the Kreg jig at 1 1/2" and your drill depth at 1 3/8".
On the two pieces of 2x4 cut at 55", drill 2 pocket screws in both ends. Then drill pocket screws at each of the increments in the picture below - 5", 12 1/2", 24", 31", 42 1/2" & 50". Both boards will be identical now with their pocket screws. All of these pocket screws will be necessary to attach the skirt to the bench seat.
I used the same interior wood stain that we used in our basement remodel.
Once the stain has dried on the bench, I applied three coats of this water based spar urethane. The finish will build with each coat, so if you are wanting a glossy look, don't worry if the first coat doesn't look very shiny. Every coat you apply afterwords will get glossier and glossier. Make sure to VERY LIGHTLY run a fine sanding sponge over the table in between coats of spar urethane.Plans for the table are available for now over at Remodelaholic. The benches have been sized so that they will fit under the table.