Fancy a bit of extra bench space in your outdoor area? Then this project will be right up your alley! Made from decking boards, its sleek design is compact enough to be tucked away when not in use. You can lay out nibbles for a small gathering or set up a serving station for a summer feast. And there’s an extra shelf for bonus storage. Anyone for drinks?
Gather your supplies
88 x 88 x 3600mm primed H3 treated pine
66 x 42 x 2400mm primed H3 treated pine (2)
66 x 30 x 2400mm primed H3 treated pine (2)
138 x 19 x 5400mm Merbau decking
138 x 19 x 3600mm Merbau decking
Legs 88 x 88 x 885mm pine (4)
End rails 66 x 42 x 524mm pine (2)
Side rails 66 x 42 x 1164mm pine (2)
Shelf end rails 66 x 30 x 500mm pine (2)
Shelf side rails 66 x 30 x 1140mm pine (2)
Cross rail 66 x 42 x 440mm pine
Shelf cross rail 66 x 30 x 440mm pine
Bench boards 138 x 19 x 1204mm decking (4)
Shelf boards 138 x 19 x 1140mm decking (3)
You’ll also need
Painting equipment; Dulux Weathershield Low Sheen Exterior Acrylic in Monument; measuring tape; power saw; hammer; chisel; PVA glue; drill and various drill bits; countersinking bit; 75mm galvanised batten screws; 65mm galvanised wood screws; 50mm decking screws; natural decking oil; deck cleaner
Notes When using power tools, wear all safety gear required. Prepaint timber with exterior acrylic prior to assembly. Check all components against actual unit as it is being built before cutting to size. Glue, predrill and countersink all joints before screwing.
Step 1 On 2 adjacent faces at 1 end of 1 leg, mark out for a rebate 30mm deep and 66mm high. To cut rebate, set saw to cut 30mm deep and make multiple passes with saw. Knock out waste timber and smooth rebate using chisel. Repeat for remaining 3 legs.
Step 2 On same faces as rebates and 200mm from other end of leg, mark out for 30mm deep, 66mm high notches for shelf rails. Cut through timber and smooth with chisel as done in Step 1.
Step 3 Using power saw set at 45°, cut 1 end rail and 1 shelf end rail. Make angled cuts go in opposite directions across the timber. Glue and screw end rail to rebates at top of legs and shelf end rail into notches near bottom of legs. Screw from inside of legs using 75mm batten screws so they will be less visible. Repeat to create second leg assembly.
Step 4 Repeat Step 3 to make angled cuts on side rails and shelf side rails and use to join leg assemblies. Make mitred joins in corners tight then screw through end rails into side rails across the mitre, using 65mm wood screws.
Step 5 Fit cross rail and shelf cross rail in position at centre of their corresponding side rails. Screw through side rails and shelf side rails into cross rails to secure.
Step 6 Cut an 88 x 88mm rebate out of 1 corner at both ends of 1 shelf board. Ensure the rebates are on same side of board. Place in position on shelf frame so rebates fit around legs. Make side of board flush with shelf side rail and ends flush with shelf end rails. Screw board into frame using 50mm decking screws. Repeat to attach second rebated shelf board to other side of shelf frame. Screw remaining shelf board to frame, evenly spaced between other boards.
Step 7 Place bench boards on top of table so they overhang frame by 20mm all around and gaps between them are equal. Screw through boards into table with 50mm decking screws.
Step 8 Touch up screw heads with exterior acrylic to hide them. Apply 2 coats of decking oil to bench boards and shelf boards unless your bench will be exposed to weather. If so, wait for 6–8 weeks to allow tannins to leach out from timber before cleaning and coating with oil.