As spring is coming, I wanted to make a bench for our balcony, as we needed some seating there.
I made everything out of douglas fir, as this is a good and affordable wood for outdoor furniture. I used 54 x 54 mm lath for the base structure and 100 x 18 mm slats for the seating. Additional materials were 8 mm dowels and 4×50 mm stainless steel screws to attach the seating.
First I cut all parts for the base structure to size with my mitre saw. An impromptu stop block came in handy to cut all equal parts to the exact same length. The slats for the seating were just cut to rough size, as I would trim them once they were assembled.
In the next step, I marked and drilled all the 8 mm holes for the dowels. I glued them in with a water resistant wood glue. The legs and stretcher were first assembled separately. Then, I could mark the dowel positions for the two stretcher, after which I attached the legs to the stretchers. The glue could dry overnight and the base structure was basically done.
Next was the seating. I positioned and attached the two outer slats first, so I could measure and calculate the gap I needed between all 4 slats. To position them with an even gap, I locked my calliper to the right width. That helped a lot with positioning. After all boards for the seating where screwed down, I used my track saw to cut off the ends on both sides. This way, all boards are the same length and have the same overhang.
The final step was to sand everything to a 240 grid and apply finish. For this I used boiled linseed oil, as this gives a nice colour with douglas fir and protects the wood from weather etc. It will probably grey over time, but that’s ok. Here’s a little trick for oiling boards on both sides: Oil the underside first. Then, screw some (3-4) wood screws with a couple of turns into the underside. Flip the board over and apply oil to the topside. The screws keep the underside off the ground and make your life easier.
After reattaching the seating, I could finally place the bench on the balcony and enjoy having a seat there. The bench is build high enough, so we could store our gardening tools and supplies underneath.
You can check out the YouTube Video here: