Child's Outdoor Bench with Arbour
By Rob Brown
Your little prince or princess can rule their kingdom from this garden bench made for pint-sized fun. Create an outdoor space where imaginations soar and creativity blossoms, whether your majesty is in need of some ‘me time' or just hanging out with friends.
What You'll Need Materials
- 2 x 4 x 10' (4) spruce
- 2 x 4 x 8' (1) spruce
- 1 x 6 x 8' (5) spruce
- Beauti-Tone Acryl-Lok Block iT Primer Sealer 1850-791
- Beauti-Tone Exterior Designer Series silk 1859
- #8 x 21/2" exterior screws 2178-887
- #8 x 15/8" exterior screws
- exterior wood glue 2020-068
- Cut the upper and lower horizontal rails to finished size.
- Lay out and cut the arcs in the upper rails. (photos 1 & 2)
- Cut the vertical supports to finished size.
- Glue and screw the upper and lower horizontal rails to the vertical supports. (photo 3)
- Cut the side rails to finished size, and glue and screw them to the vertical supports. (photo 4)
- Fasten a piece of scrap wood to the top of the upper horizontal rails to temporarily keep the bench square.
- Cut the seat slats to finished size, and glue and screw them to the tops of the lower horizontal rails. (photo 5)
- Cut the side strips to finished size, and glue and screw them to the vertical rails. (photo 6)
- Remove the temporary scrap piece of wood.
- Cut the lower seat cleat to finished length. Rip a 10° bevel on its front edge and fasten it to the top of the seat slats, between the back vertical supports. (photo 7)
- Cut the upper seat cleat to finished length. Rip a 10° bevel on the front edge, cut the notches to fix the upper seat cleat to the vertical rails (photo 8), then glue and screw it in place. (photo 9)
- Cut the back seat slats to finished width, but leave them extra long.
- Lay the back seat slats on a flat surface side-by-side, with their lower edges aligned, and draw an arc on the upper ends. (photo 10)
- Cut the arcs in the slats and glue and screw them in place.
- Cut the top strips to finished size and glue and screw them to the top of the upper horizontal rails.
- Cut the side seat strips to finished size, then glue and screw them in place.
- Ensure all sharp edges are eased.
- Apply a coat of Beauti-Tone Acryl-Lok Primer Sealer to the entire bench.
- Apply a few coats of Beauti-Tone Exterior Designer Series silk to the entire bench. Colour shown: Eames Blue VF106-0.
|Draw an Arc |
With a few stop blocks clamped to the upper horizontal rail you can use a long metal rule to mark an arc.
|Outer Arcs |
In addition to the main arc, you can use the opposing upper horizontal rail to mark outer arcs.
|Square and Strong |
Using waterproof glue and exterior screws fasten the horizontal rails to the vertical supports at a right angle.
|Side Rails |
Cut the side rails to length, then glue and screw them between the main rail sub-assemblies.
|Seat Slats |
Secure the seat slats to the bench with a small gap between each slat.
|Side Strips |
Use glue, and then either screw or air nail the side strips in place.
|Lower Seat Cleat |
Once the lower seat cleat is cut to length and a 10° bevel has been added to its front edge, position the front edge of the cleat in line with the front of the vertical supports.
|Upper Seat Cleat |
Rip the bevel on the upper seat cleat, and then square off a face at either end of the piece. The two squaring cuts can be made on the table saw or with a hand saw. Next, use a hand saw to create two shoulders that will fit between the rear vertical supports, and remove the waste.
|Attach the Upper Cleat |
Mark a line on the rear vertical rails 10" above the seat slats. Glue and screw the top surface of the upper seat cleat even with this line.
|Mark the Seat Back Slats |
With the seat back slats cut to size and aligned on a flat surface, mark an arc onto the pieces. Ensure a small gap is between each slat.
Rob Brown designs and builds custom furniture and is editor of Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement magazine.