Sunday, 17 February 2013

Build an old farmhouse style outdoor seat

We had some materials left over from when we built our fence, so I decided to build a rustic "old farmhouse" bench seat to sit under the magnolia tree next to the Buddha statue.

This is a very simple design and it didn't take me long to put this together. For the top I've used two old fence palings that I had kept after we replaced parts of the front fence. The fence palings are 1.2m (4 foot) in length and were painted black. For the legs and the horizontal seat supports, I used left over "two by fours" - 100x50mm rough sawn fence railing timber.

It didn't cost me anything to make this since I had used left over materials, but if you had to buy new materials it wouldn't cost more than $10 to $15. Make sure all of the timber is treated for exterior use.

You will need:
- a mitre saw
- a hammer
- tape measure and pencil
- a drill to pre-drill the nail holes
- 2.4m (8 feet) of "two by four" (100 x 50mm) rough sawn timber.
- two 1.2m (4 foot) fence palings
- 100mm (4 inch) fence nails (flat head galvanised nails)
- 50mm (2 inch) fence paling nails. These have grooves along the shaft to give better hold for the nail.
- white exterior paint and a paint brush

1. First I cut my seat support pieces. My fence palings are 150mm wide (half a foot) so together they are 300mm (1 foot). I wanted my support pieces to be just a little smaller than the seat width so I cut the two support pieces at 280mm (11 inches) using 90 degrees on the mitre saw. I then cut the bottom corners off at 45 degrees.

2. I then set the mitre saw to cut 10 degree angles for the legs. The legs are 450mm each (1.5 feet). The 10 degree angle gives the legs a bit more stability on uneven ground compared to straight cut legs. And that is all the cutting that is required.
3. I marked the mid-point of the support pieces with pencil and then lined up the legs so that they meet at the mid-point and the tops of the legs were flush with the top edge of the support pieces.
I pre-drilled four nail holes and then used the hammer to drive the 100mm (4 inch) nails through the support piece and into the legs.
Do the same for the other side.

4. Now its a simple matter of attaching the two 1.2m palings to the top. I allowed 150mm (half a foot) of clearance on each end.
The two palings will need a slight gap between them to allow to for expansion. Lightly bang a small nail in between the two palings to create a small spacing before nailing them down. Remove the spacing nails after nailing the palings in properly.
I used two of the 50mm (2 inch) paling nails on each end of the palings. I placed one nail  through the horizontal support piece and one through the top of the leg like this:
5. I mixed up two thirds of exterior white paint with one third of water to create a white wash for my seat. The old fence palings were faded black with lichen on them, but I didn't bother with sanding before painting since I wanted a weathered look.

I did one coat of paint and left it in the sun to try. And here is the finished "old farmhouse" look:

If you want it more shabby chic, then just sand along the edges and rub some diluted dark stain into the edges.

No comments:

Post a Comment