Tag Archives: al borland

Anna E. Makes a Tree Bench

While I love doing projects for my house, it’s much more fun to make them for my friends and family! My sister, Nina, and I have been talking about doing some kind of outdoor project for her yard for awhile. While we were talking on the phone, she showed me this picture on her Pinterest:

I really enjoyed the androgyny of this carpenter.

With my amazing internet detective skills, I found the project on the This Old House website.

Now, my process in woodworking projects is to read the instructions, get a vague understanding of how it works, and kind of just go from there.  First, I decided to build the bench out of 2x4s. While it wouldn’t be as sturdy as decking, it was a cheaper and more easily available option. And I knew that Nina would end up painting it anyways. So when figuring out how much wood to buy, the directions say to take the diameter of the tree, add 6-12 inches, divide by 1.75, and that would give you the length of the smallest board.

This led to my first mistake where I actually used the circumference, instead of the diameter. I ended up buying way too much wood, and this led to multiple recuts, but luckily, I had already cut the 30 degree angle on the other end. To make all the cuts, I used my miter saw. Without it, cutting all of those angles would be been almost impossible for me. If you want to do this project, I highly recommend it.

I wish I had more pictures of the process, but just imagine me cutting a crap ton of boards in my sister’s garage.

It was exactly like this.
It was exactly like this.

All in all, the project took me about five hours. The things I didn’t do were sand, paint, or dig out the soil under legs. If I could do it again, I would try and make it a little more sturdy. I ended up not buying enough carriage bolts, so I instead attached the legs with screws. I’ll have to end up adding more more pieces of wood for support. 

photo 2 photo 1

Hooray for making things! I’ll update with new pictures after it gets painted.