I can’t remember when I’ve been so excited to finish a project. This wooden slat bench with a back has been on my list for months. I pass a similar one every day on my walk with Lulu Mae. I had wanted to make one with repurposed chairs until I got this scrumptious reclaimed wood from a neighbor that I showed you in yesterday’s post Recent Finds September 2017.
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I recently got these free bench slats from a neighbor. I’m not sure if they were from a glider, bench, or porch swing. They were already dismantled when I got them. In addition to the slats, I ripped some reclaimed 2×4’s down to 2×2 size.
Many of you have asked for dimensions on my projects. I asked Mindi to draw up wooden slat bench plans for us. I gave her the measurements of the finished bench. My slats were a little smaller than 1×3’s, but you can use these measurements using 1×3’s and 2×2’s from the store.
Cut List to make Wooden Slat Bench with Back
Begin with 1×3’s
- 14 5/8” (2) side skirt
- 35” (6) (4) for back of bench, and 2 for front and back skirt
- 38 3/4” (6) for seat
The following will all be 2×2’s
- 35” (2) for back legs (and back)
- 16 7/8” (2) for front legs
- 14 5/8” (2) side braces
- 35” (1) cross brace
- 15 3/8 (1) middle brace/seat support
Tools and Materials to make an Easy Wooden Slat Bench
- Drill (bits and screw head)
- Rubber Mallet
- Tape Measure
- Compound Miter Saw
- Kreg Jig
- Pocket Hole Screws 1 1/4”
- Wood Screws 1 5/8”
- Gorilla Wood Glue
- Paint (optional)
Cut legs and skirt pieces
This image shows me getting ready to cut a reclaimed 2×2 for the back legs.
Mark and Drill Pocket Holes on 4 skirt pieces
New to the Kreg Jig? check out my How To Use A Kreg Jig article.
Assemble slatted bench frame
This was the design stage, because although I have a sketch later to show you, I never draw anything up. As soon as I set it up this way, I knew it was wrong. I used the full length of the slat for the front skirt. In other words, the other slats won’t fit from left to right-they will fall through. Back to the saw I went to trim the front skirt to 35”.
Assemble the entire frame, including the rear skirt piece (not shown here)
Cut back wooden slats, drill pocket holes and assemble
The back slats are also cut at 35” because I wanted them to rest in between the back uprights. They are attached with pocket holes and pocket hole screws. I thought this would look more like my inspiration bench than if I had attached them to the front of the uprights.
I used Gorilla Wood Glue and pocket holes for most of the construction of the bench.
Attach seat support
After getting all the back slats in place, I tested the seat slats and realized that I would need to add a brace in the middle. NOTE: I have the pocket holes on top, but because my slats are spaced, the pocket holes are visible. You may want to turn your brace upside down and have the pocket holes facing the ground.
Drill pilot countersink holes
Attach seat slats with wood screws
For years I used drywall screws, but now I use exterior wood screws for projects like this.
My reclaimed wood slats were a little askew, but I like the character it adds. I used a scrap piece of wood to help me get consistent spacing between the slats.
Install side braces and cross brace
Then I used wood glue and my Ryobi Nail Gun to attach the side braces and cross brace.
Sand rough edges of wooden slat bench
I sanded all of the rough edges and the blemishes with my orbital sander.
DIY Wooden Slat Bench Plans
Paint to suit
Finally it was time to paint. I chose to use my white wash paint and a cheap chip brush. I always know which bucket is the white wash because of the green cansealid. The flexible lid makes it easy to reuse this paint can over and over.
NOTE: I always start painting my projects upside down. Raising the project up on a work table makes life easier.
I love, love, love the new wooden slat bench. I finally got that out of my system.
Please excuse the blurry picture of the inspiration wooden slat bench. While on a walk I snapped this picture on a day where it looked like nobody was home. I had already built the bench on the day I snuck this picture.
Oh, I looked on Pinterest, and I found another tutorial you might like from The Creative Mom. Her slatted wood bench has arms.
I’m so ready for Fall! I’ll be taking this sweet wood slat bench to Glendale in October. Rustic items are always the first things to sell.
I already want to make another! Will you make one?