Little Creek Maple Farm

Our adventures around the homestead.

Garden Bench 2.0

Garden Bench

Assembly of our garden bench continued this morning.  I continued to follow the plans mentioned in my earlier post, but given my realization that everything on the internet may not be true, I took a little more time laying things out rather than trusting measurements provided by the original site.

Garden Bench Leg AssemblyWith an iced coffee almost complete and my two helpers chomping at the bit to hammer things we were off and running.  The first step was to drill a pilot hole for the the 3/8” carriage bolts that would hold the legs together.  I did each joint separately making sure everything was tight and set the way I wanted it prior to drilling.


After drilling the 3/16” pilot hole through the joint, I flipped the leg assembly over and used a 1-1/4” spade bit to drill a counter bore that was about 1/2” deep.  The purpose of this counter bore is so that the bolts, nuts and washer will be recessed in the wood and not protrude out from the face of the 4×4’s.  With the counter bore complete I than drilled through the pilot using a 3/8” bit which is the same diameter of the carriage bolts.


Once the drilling for a single bolt was done we drove the carriage bolt in, flipped the leg assembly over and place a single washer and hex nut on the bolt.


The 1″-1/4” spade bit gives just enough room for the washer and the nut.  It’s also the widest bit you want to use because you will eventually be counter boring on the 2x stretcher for the seal which is 1-1/2” thick so it gives you solid 1/8” of material on the sides of the counter bore.


There was a lot of drilling, hammering, and fire trucking on this project.  With the legs bolted together I got to work on the seat.  I mocked up the bench prior to drilling any holes to get the space of the 2×8’s on the seat and back part of the bench.  I started with the first board of the seat pushing it to to the seat back 4×4’s.  with that in place I took some 3/4” scrap boards I had laying around and arbitrarily chose that as my spacing between the boards.  I laid the entire bench out with 3/4” gaps and liked the look so we started drilling using the same process as above.

Garden Bench Mock-up

First drilling a pilot hole through the lumber.


Than a counter bore with the spade bit.


Next drilling the full diameter of the carriage bolts (3/8”).


None of my drill bits were long enough to go all the way through the 2×8, I think I had a max depth of about 4”, so I then had to unclamp the 2×8 move it out of position and finish the 3/8” hole going only though the 2×8 like in the photo below.


When all the holes were drilled I simply tapped the 4” carriage bolts into the 2×8 hammering one bolt on each end about a 1/2” beyond the 2×8.  This allowed me to align the bolts with the holes I drilled and a few quick taps and the 2×8 was in position.


Flipping the bench over it was a simple matter of placing a washer on the bolt and tightening the nut.


This is a sturdy heavy bench that serves as a jumping off platform and should hopefully last a long time…



June 16, 2013 - Posted by | Gardening, Woodworking | , , , , ,


  1. Love your new bench and ‘yes’ your boys will think of all kinds of things to do off that bench. 🙂

    Comment by Judy @ GrandparentsPlus2 | June 17, 2013 | Reply

  2. […] To learn more about the process you can refer to Building a Garden Bench Part One or Building a Garden Bench Part Two. […]

    Pingback by Garden Bench 3.0 « Little Creek Maple Farm | June 21, 2013 | Reply

  3. You can never have too many garden benches. I found a set of plans from a book, that even I could build. It justified buying a router to ’round-over’ the edges, and of course, belt and palm sanders. I’ve built about 10 of these benches now. We’ve kept four, the kids wanted some, and the community garden needed a couple. (My wife keeps volunteering me.) 🙂

    Comment by solarbeez | June 27, 2013 | Reply

    • Its amazing how fast the orders for a project start to come in after you have successfully made one! I am not sure I will reach 10 but so far there will be another 2-3 in my future. he proportions just seem to work on this bench.

      Comment by billcarpenter4 | June 27, 2013 | Reply

  4. Hey Bill, it looks like I mistakenly made two comments when I thought I was adding to my first one. Does that make sense? Probably not…anyway, can you please trash the first one…as well as this one? It points out the risks of making a comment using an iPod.

    Comment by solarbeez | June 27, 2013 | Reply

    • No problem. I have been there and done that before.

      Comment by billcarpenter4 | June 27, 2013 | Reply

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