Work together on a simple project to create long-lasting garden furniture that’s designed for two.
The busy pace of modern family life means that many couples struggle to set aside enough time to spend with each other.
Here’s a project that you can build together, creating a place in the garden to share some quality time in peaceful relaxation.
This two-seater is a simple design, constructed using lengths of 140 x 45mm H3 treated pine and 75mm x 14g stainless steel bugle screws.
Designed for the outdoors, it can handle just about any extremes of weather and, like all great romances, will stand the test of time.
Prepare the timber
Cut the parts to length using a sliding compound mitresaw, and use an impact driver rather than an ordinary cordless drill to assemble the bench.
Use heavy-duty bar clamps to hold the pieces prior to drilling 4mm pilot holes for the bugle screws, and cut scraps of 3mm plywood or use dedicated spacers to keep the gaps between the slats consistent.
Being treated pine, the bench doesn’t cost much to build and is highly durable. Leave it unfinished to weather naturally, or give it a few coats of stain or decking oil to enrich the sheen and colour of the timber.
To create a bright and colourful feature piece for the garden, it could even be primed and painted in exterior acrylic.
The mitre joints between the seat and legs are reinforced with rails cut from 70 x 45mm timber, while the backrest and one-piece side panels make the legs more rigid and help keep them from splaying.
This means there’s no need for a brace between the sides as the bench will easily take the weight of two people without buckling.
On the side panels, mark the cutout 450mm from the base, 45mm deep, at an angle to 70mm from the back at the top. Use a circular saw with a straightedge guide to cut along the line, finishing the cut with a handsaw.
Use a mitresaw to cut the seat slats with opposing 45º mitres. Square-cut the infill slat, seat rails and front rail. Position the rails, securing with exterior PVA adhesive and bugle screws. TIP Use 3mm spacers between the slats.
Clamp the seat assembly upright then use adhesive and bugle screws to secure the side panels to the infill slat. Square-cut the back slats and clamp the first one in position. Secure with exterior PVA adhesive and bugle screws.
Stand the bench the right way up and temporarily prop or clamp it so the seat is parallel with a level surface. Working from the front, clamp the leg pieces to the seat rails then secure with adhesive and bugle screws.
Clamp the remaining top and centre back slats in position, using spacers to position them 3mm apart. Secure the back slats to the side panels using exterior PVA adhesive and bugle screws.
Clamp the leg rails in position, centred with their bases 100mm from the base of the legs. Drill pilot holes then secure the leg rails using exterior PVA adhesive and bugle screws. TIP Let the adhesive cure for 24 hours.