Two-by-Four Benches

  • Advertise with us
Project by Mottom posted 05-01-2008 12:25 AM 3278 views 8 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

New England winters beat the tar out of good wood, so lacking adequate storage I decided to build something on the cheap that could be left outside (and that I wouldn’t feel too guilty about). I built the first for the neighbors who wanted a 2-seater w/ a table; then my wife wanted a 5-foot bench in a dark red stain; finally, the neighbors on the other side wanted a 7-footer that all four of them could sit on (2 adults + 2 kids). They’re nothing special, but each one was a fun exercise – to see if something “purdy” could be made with 2 by 4’s. They are constructed with screws dowels and glue. The only regret I had was that the red and brown benches did not take stain well (even with the use of a conditioner) – I guess that’s a hazard of fir. All told, I think we have about $125 total in the three benches.

-- A novice at the craft and loving every minute!

13 comments so far

View flink's profile


94 posts in 3714 days

#1 posted 05-01-2008 12:37 AM

Hi Mottom,

I really like your furniture, especially the two-seater with the table. What did you use for the finish on these pieces?

-- Made lots of sawdust and pounded some nails. Haven't finished anything, though.

View Mottom's profile


30 posts in 3896 days

#2 posted 05-01-2008 12:43 AM

Used Minwax glos poly on all three. Clear poly on the first. The two stained benches, I used Minwax poly with gel stain, which I don’t recommend for 2×4’s; even with conditioner, the gel stain doesn’t absorb evenly.

-- A novice at the craft and loving every minute!

View Loogie's profile


100 posts in 3773 days

#3 posted 05-01-2008 12:57 AM

Those look nice! I tell you what, the 2×4’s in your area have a LOT less knots than the ones in my area! I would have to step up to Select Pine 1×4’s to get that kind of quality @ about 3X the price. Nice job.

The best finish I’ve managed for pine was shellac sanded and then stained twice and finished with Spar Poly. The shellac kept the stain from absorbing at all so it was consistent but vulnerable to damage.

-- Mark

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 3792 days

#4 posted 05-01-2008 01:42 AM

GREAT looking benches and fantastic use of 2×4’s – Curious did you surface plane the 2x?? -because they really look stellar. NICE Post

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3815 days

#5 posted 05-01-2008 01:54 AM

These are nice benches. You did a pretty good job with these. At one time I would have been surprised by something like this but after seeing the projects posted here for the 2×4 contest the quality and type of projects that reside inside a common 2×4 is simply amazing.

Nice project. Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Mottom's profile


30 posts in 3896 days

#6 posted 05-01-2008 02:12 AM

No surface planing, though I did cheat by using some 1×4’s for the slats. I just sanded everything down to 220 before finishing. I think I did anger the lumber manager at Home Depot though because I picked through about 4 pallets of 2×4’s to get the ones I wanted. I’m stubborn (anal) that way.

-- A novice at the craft and loving every minute!

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4070 days

#7 posted 05-01-2008 02:45 AM

these all look great…you stuggled with the red bench (finishing) but it does not show in the photo…it llooks grreat…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View jjohn's profile


390 posts in 3707 days

#8 posted 05-01-2008 03:26 AM

You would never know that the finish didn’t do what you wanted it to. Great looking 2×4 benches.

-- JJohn

View DiGi's profile


1 post in 3687 days

#9 posted 05-01-2008 05:26 AM

Shipmate, AWESOME work, thanks again for a great retirement gift!! After Japan you need to come back to Whidbey Island and we can kick around some saw dust!! Talk to you soon.


View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3681 days

#10 posted 05-01-2008 06:07 AM

very nice benches indeed

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 3816 days

#11 posted 05-01-2008 01:15 PM

They look great to me.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View Bsmoot's profile


64 posts in 2935 days

#12 posted 06-14-2010 12:16 AM

i am impressed with your furniture do you use plans or design your own plans i like that 2 seater bench its really good

-- Bryant north carolina

View a1Jim's profile


117085 posts in 3570 days

#13 posted 06-14-2010 01:30 AM

Good job and happy wife an neighbors are good too.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics