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By Toni

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Hey friends, I’m so excited. Exhausted but excited. You see I did a marathon build session yesterday creating this fantastically simple but beautiful Modern 2×4 Bench Tutorial. Let me show you how, and I finished it in just 5 hours!

A few summers ago I built my first piece of furniture by myself, a 2×4 Side Table for my patio. Since then I’ve wanted to build a bench in a similar style. Since our At Home DIY Challenge was to build something out of 2x4s I knew it was the perfect time.

This is a great beginner project that requires a few power tools.

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Modern 2×4 Bench Supplies

2×4 Bench Cut List

All cuts are from 2×4 lumber.  

  • Bevel* Cut at 10 degrees four (4) boards to 16” long for the Legs.
  • Miter* Cut at 10 degrees two (2) boards to 14″ long at the widest point for the Cross Leg Supports.
  • Cut five (5) boards to 47-1/2″ long for the Seat Slats.
  • Cut two (2) boards 17-1/2″ long for Seat Slat connectors.
  • Cut one (1) board to 34-3/4″ for the Center Support (measure and cut this after both legs are attached)

*To make Bevel Cuts set the Miter Saw blade to 10 degrees and stand your 2×4 on the short side.
* To make Miter Cuts set the Miter Saw blade to 10 degrees and lay your 2×4 on the long side.

Step 1: Cut all 2×4 boards.

Cut all your boards according to the dimensions in the cut list with your Miter Saw. Remember that you want to cut the 34-3/4″ piece last because you’ll need to measure and ensure the proper fit.

Step 2: Make pocket holes.

Since 2×4 lumber isn’t the prettiest wood for making your 2×4 Bench you want to find the for 1 last update 2020/08/05 best side that will be seen. Using your Pocket Hole Jig make double pocket holes in the following boards.Since 2×4 lumber isn’t the prettiest wood for making your 2×4 Bench you want to find the best side that will be seen. Using your Pocket Hole Jig make double pocket holes in the following boards.

  • Inside top of all four Legs
  • Inside of Cross Leg Supports, both ends
  • Back side of Center Support, both ends

roofdownloadgambrelhow to roofdownloadgambrel for Step 3: Trimming the 2x4s (optional)

For my 2×4 Bench, just like with the 2×4 Side Table, I used the table saw to trim 1/8″ from the short side on all my boards. This is optional but it really gives a more finished look and can knock off some of the dings and chunks that you find in construction lumber. Plus it saves a lot of sanding.

Assembling your Modern 2×4 Bench

Step 4: Assemble the legs.

It’s really the legs that makes this a Modern 2×4 Bench. Slightly angled gives it a little elegant look.

Measure and mark 2″ from the bottom edge of each leg. This is where you’ll attach the cross support pieces.

  • Lay a left leg onto your work surface.
  • Add a little wood glue to one end of the cross support, align it to the edge of the leg and using a right-angle clamp in one hole clamp it to the work surface.
  • Insert a pocket hole screw into the open pocket hole. Remove the Clamp and add the second screw.
  • Lay down the right leg and follow the same steps to complete one set of legs.
  • Follow the same process with the other leg pieces.

Step 5: Assemble the 2×4 bench top.

On a flat surface lay out the bench top with the best side facing down. This will be the top.

  • Clamp a spare piece of 2×4 to your work surface on which you will align your bench top slats.
  • Use 1/2″ wide spacers between the boards and use the 24″ Bar clamp to clamp them together.
  • Use a mallet to nudge all 2x4s snug against the clamped 2×4. Follow that with a Carpenter’s Square against the bench top and the clamped 2×4 to ensure your bench top is square.
  • Install the Seat Slat connector 3-1/2″ in from either end. Mark with pencil first.
  • Apply wood glue to the slats, lay down the seat slat connector and pre-drill two holes for each slat 2″ deep. This will keep your wood from splitting.
  • Install the 2-1/2″ wood screws

Step 6: Attach the legs.

  • Place the legs onto the slat connector and measure and mark where the leg will connect with even spacing on both sides.
    • Mine were 2-1/2″ on one side and 2-5/8″ on the other.
  • Apply wood glue to the tops of both legs and attach with the pocket hole screws. You won’t be able to use the right-angle connector at this point so get a helper if needed.

Step 7: Installing Center Support

This 2×4 bench is pretty wide so it will need a center support to keep everything square.

  • Measure and cut your center support piece and drill pocket holes into both ends on the back side.
  • Find something tall enough to use as a support on the other end. If you have two right-angle clamps that will work also.
  • Apply wood glue to both ends and attach using the right-angle clamp and pocket hole screws.

Step 8: Sanding and Finishing

I’ll say that sanding all your individual pieces before assembly is really the way to go. But again I was rushed building this project so I did my sanding last. It’s going to be outside so I’m only concerned that no one gets splinters in their butts.

When I paint I’ll be filling the pocket holes with wood filler or spackle so I get a smooth look.

roofdownloadgambrelhow to roofdownloadgambrel for More Woodworking Projects
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Enjoying your Modern 2×4 Bench

Now that I’ve built the first one I want to make one for inside using poplar or something like that. Or maybe redwood for a second outdoor bench.


Now that you’ve seen my 2×4 Project don’t forget to click below to see all the great 2×4 projects made by my talented friends.

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NOTICE! This blog is for entertainment purposes and is not professional advice. Reader assumes all responsibility for personal safety, injury or damages when attempting to re-create a project(s) by Girl, Just DIY! or other Guest Authors. Care should be given to follow all tool/product safety warnings.
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the 1 last update 2020/08/05 ——————————

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  1. Cristina says

    Toni, I love for 1 last update 2020/08/05 this bench! the angled legs give her lots of style. ?Toni, I love this bench! the angled legs give her lots of style. ?

  2. Lisa says

    Toni this is such a great build! Love that you were able to pull this off using only 2x4s. Can’t wait to see it stained!


    I love this bench. Pinned it as soon as I saw it. The angle and squared edges make the for 1 last update 2020/08/05 finished look so pretty!I love this bench. Pinned it as soon as I saw it. The angle and squared edges make the finished look so pretty!

  4. Christine Cook says

    roofdownloadgambrelhow to roofdownloadgambrel for

    roofdownloadgambrelhow to roofdownloadgambrel for Oh Toni!! The 2×4 bench is absolutely WONDERFUL!!! Your build marathon was totally worth it! I just adore it!!

  5. Susanne says Susanne says

    roofdownloadgambrelhow to roofdownloadgambrel for I love the look of your bench! I love all things modern style so those angled legs are all the heart eyes!! I love color, but is it better to stain outdoor furniture so the weather doesn’t affect it like it would paint?

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