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Backless Outdoor Bench

The sleek, simple and modern design of this backless bench adds architectural interest and a comfy seat to your outdoor living space.

General Instructions

Cut and label the parts as needed, using the Cut List and Cutting Diagram as guides, adjusting for fit.

1. Build the side assemblies.

  • Glue three pieces of 1-by-3 stock to create each (01) leg.
    • Rip each (01) leg to 2 inches wide by 2 inches thick.
    • Using glue and pocket hole screws, assemble two side assemblies with the (01) legs and (02) short rails as shown in Figure 1.

    2. Assemble the body.

    • Using glue and pocket hole screws, assemble the bench body with the (03) long rails and side assemblies as shown in Figure 2.
    • Using glue and countersunk 1-5/8-inch screws, attach the (04) cross braces as shown in Figure 3.

    TIP: Evenly space the cross braces, and use two screws for each end. Countersink the screws approximately 1/4 inch below the surface.

    • Evenly space and attach the (05) seat slats to the (04) cross braces, (01) legs, (02) short rails and (03) long rails. The (05) seat slats should extend 1/2 inch over the two ends.

    3. Add finishing touches.

    • To plug the screw holes, apply glue inside the countersink, and then insert the 3/8-inch dowel, rotating as you insert it.
    • After the glue has set, use a flush-cut handsaw to cut the dowels flush.                                       

    TIP: To keep the saw teeth from scoring the project’s surface, drill a 3/8-inch-diameter hole into a couple of note cards, and slip these over the dowels before you saw; the cards will protect the wood as you saw off the excess dowel. Remove the cards, and sand the plugs flush.

    • Sand, apply stain, and allow to dry.
    • Apply a coat of polyurethane, and allow to dry. Sand lightly, and apply a second coat.
    • Predrill and attach nail-on furniture glides to the bottom of the legs.




    Part Material Size Quantity Notes
    Legs3/4 x 2 x 15 1/41 x 3 x 612**Glue three pieces together to create each leg.
    Short Rails3/4 x 2 1/2 x 12 1/21 x 3 x 82 
    Long Rails3/4 x 2 1/2 x 421 x 3 x 82 
    Cross Braces3/4 x 2 1/2 x 151 x 3 x 63 
    Seat Slats3/4 x 2 1/2 x 471 x 3 x 86 

    Finished Dimensions

    • Height: 16 inches
    • Depth: 16 1/2 inches
    • Width: 47 inches

    Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Please read our terms of use.

    Article Contents

    Related Projects & Articles

    Project Resources

    • Outdoor Bench Illustration
    • Outdoor Bench Cutting Diagram

    Project Details

    • Lumber (Availability varies by market.)
    • 4 Boards, 1 x 3 x 6
    • 4 boards, 1 x 3 x 8
    • 1 dowel, 3/8-inch-diameter x 36-inch-long

    Hardware and Supplies

    • 1 Box of 1-1/4-inch Kreg Pocket Hole Screws, Coarse Thread
    • 1 Box of 1-5/8-inch Screws
    • 1 Package of 1-1/8-inch Nail-on Furniture Glides
    • Wood Glue (Titebond II)
    • 1 Quart of Stain (Cabot Australian Timber Oil, Jarrah Brown)
    • 1 Quart of Exterior Polyurethane (Cabot, semi-gloss)


    • Table Saw (or circular saw with a straightedge guide)
    • Miter Saw (or handsaw with miter box)
    • Power Sander and Various Grits of Sandpaper
    • Drill / Driver With Bits Including #10 Countersink Bit
    • Kreg Jig R3
    • Flush-Cut Handsaw
    • Note Cards
    • Tape Measure
    • Paintbrush / Rags
    • Gloves (when applying stain)
    • Pencil

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