Hey y’all! As usual, work is crazy- crazy enough that we realized we have a few projects we totally spaced on and never posted about. One that we are super excited to share is our DIY bench!
We wanted to create some flexible additional seating that could be used inside or outside. So these were our requirements for the bench:
1) it had to be ok to use outdoors and indoors
2) it had to fit 2-3 people
3) it had to be relatively cheap and easy to make
We pictured in our mind something industrial looking using metal and wood. Basically we pictured this: (spoiler- it’s our finished bench)
We went to Home Depot and found some aluminum angle stock that we could use for the legs/frame. Totally did not know that’s what it was called until writing this post, but hey we are all learning here! Anyways, this stuff is great because it’s lightweight, cheap, and rust-proof. Perfect!
For the top of our bench, we got some pressure treated wood. It’s a little more expensive than normal wood, but it will hold up outdoors against the elements so it was a must. And it’s fine to use indoors too unless you’re preparing food on it, which we didn’t plan on doing.
So first off, we decided what size we wanted our bench to be. Based on research of what’s out there, we decided about 4 ft wide by 10.5 inches deep (the depth of three 2×4’s) and 14 inches tall. So we measured out 4 legs and 4 pieces for the frame. The aluminum is pretty light/thin, so we were able to just cut it with our jigsaw.
We cut our legs first. And got really excited about it :D
The cuts were pretty rough, but we sanded them down. You can see the difference between unsanded and sanded in the photo below.
For the legs, we left the cuts at right angles. But for the frame pieces, we cut them at 45 degree angles for a nicer looking seam.
Once our frame was cut we could see it coming together!
We laid it upside down on the garage floor so that we could fit the legs into place. We tucked them inside each corner and used a sharpie to mark where we wanted to screw in the screws to hold it all together.
Each leg was attached to 2 pieces of frame. In the photo below, you can see the leg (the vertical piece) and one side of the frame (see the 45 degree cut in the corner?). Hope this helps make sense of how everything was attached.
The awesome thing about this frame is it is so light!
To add a little extra stability to the legs, we also took these flat aluminum pieces and attached them about 1/3 up the legs on both sides.
Woohoo finished frame!
Next up we tackled the wood we wanted to use for the top. I was on sanding duty while Evan made the cuts.
We used three 2×4’s with a short trim piece on each end to finish it off, which we attached with pocket screws. We may have gone overboard with the pocket screws… but the kreg jig was still new at the time and we got excited.
We set it on top of the frame to test the size… perfect fit!
We took it one step further and gave it a nice stain.
With the wooden top upside down on the ground, we sat the frame on top of it and screwed through the aluminum into the wood.
And tada, finished bench!
Not the most glorious completion photo since it was late at night in a dirty garage, so we got some nice photos of it where it used to live on our patio:
And where it currently lives in front of our living room windows:
Evan even 3D printed some little feet for it so it doesn’t scratch our floors (you can see them in the photo above). But you could also use felt pads (or just not worry about the feet if it’s gonna live outside full time!)
Well there you have it! A simple industrial bench that was easy to build, can live inside or outside, and didn’t cost much at all.