Hill Lumber’s bench with centre table

double seater with a table in the middle made out of 150x25 timber

A two seater bench with built in table made out of 150×25 fence palings
Note: There is another version suited to North America here

A Hill Lumber project  By Les Kenny

Made solely out of inexpensive rough-sawn readily available fencing timber.
An easy to make project.

Built by a beginner

photo of a double seater with a table in the middle made out of 150x25 timber

Follow these easy step-by-step instructions to build this inexpensive two seater bench with a built in middle table.

Materials you will need

• 13 only standard 150 x 25 fence palings 1800mm long.
• 3.6m of standard 100 x 50 fence rail.
• 80 only 65mm wood screws.
• 52 only 50mm wood screws.
• Tube of glue suitable for wet timber.

This bench was first built by Zoe, a first time woodworker. See a photo of her proud handiwork at the end of the instructions

Identifying the parts

drawing with all the compoment identification for a two seater bench with middle table made from 150x25 timber

All pieces are 150mm x 25mm timber except for pieces [B], [E], [K2] which are 100mm x 50mm timber.

[A] seat-frame front and rear members: 2 pieces @ 1510mm.
[B] seat-frame cross members: 4 pieces @ 460mm angled back 15deg one end.
[C] front leg: 2 pieces @ 600mm.
[D] rear leg: 2 pieces @ 665mm overall, angled back 15deg both ends, parallel.
[E] armrest support: 2 pieces @ 540mm angled back 15deg one end.
[F] armrest: 2 pieces @ 600mm.
[J] table frame upright: 2 pieces @ 375mm.
[K] table frame front-rail outer: 1 piece @ 470mm.
[K2] table frame front-rail inner: 1 piece @ 470mm, ripped down to 100mm wide.
[L] back rail: 1 piece @ 1510mm.
[M] backrest top rail: 2 piece @ 470mm.
[N] seat slats: 6 pieces @ 520mm.
[O] table slats: 3 pieces @ 600mm.
[P] backrest slats: 6 pieces @ 890mm.

Step 1. Cut the pieces

drawing with all the individual compoments for a two seater bench with middle table made from 150x25 timber

Cut all the pieces to the lengths given in the drawing above.
Note that pieces [E] and [B] have one end angled back 15° off square, and piece [D] has both ends angled back 15° off square. All other pieces are square cut.
Also note that pieces [K] is narrower than all the other pieces of 150×25 timber. It will have to be ripped (cut lengthwise) so it is 100mm wide.

Out of 13 150x25x1800 fence palings

bench seat component cutting detail

The above drawing shows how to cut all of the 25mm thick pieces from 13 standard 150 x 25 x 1800mm fence palings

Step 2. Make the side frames

the seat side frames for a two seater bench with middle table made from 150x25 timber

Make up the side frames as shown in the drawing above. The left side is a mirror image of the right side.

Step 3. Make the seat frame

the seat frame for a two seater bench with middle table made from 150x25 timber

Make up the seat frame as shown in the drawing above.
Note that one end of pieces [B] (the cross members) are angled back 15° off square.
Note that the distance between the two intermediate cross members [B] is 470mm. This is an important measurement.

Step 4. Join the side and seat frames

the seat frame joined to the side frames of a two seater bench with middle table made from 150x25 timber

Fix the side frames to the seat frame as shown in the drawing. Position the top of the seat frame 380mm up from the bottom.

Fixing detail: This applies to every step.
Apply glue to every joint before fixing with screws. Each step shows the screw holes marked with a black dot.
Pre-drill all the screw holes in the face piece of wood at each joint. The face piece is the piece where you will see the screw head (the screw hole dots shown in the drawings).
Refer to the drawing in each step for screw placement.
Use 65mm screws in steps 2,3,4,and 8.
Use 50mm screws in steps 5and 7.
Use 50mm screws in step 6 except for fixing piece [L] where you will use 65mm screws.

Step 5. Make up the table front frame

bench seat middle table front frame

Referring to the picture above, first screw pieces [J] to [K2] with two screws at each joint and likewise screw [K] to pieces [J].

Step 6. Attach the table front frame and back rail

complete frame of a bench seat with middle table

Screw the back rail [L] to the back ends of pieces [E] with two screws at each joint. Screw the front table frame uprights [J] to the back of piece [A]. The top of the front table frame, the top of the back rail [L], and the top of pieces [E] should all be the same height.

Step 7. Add the back slats

bench seat with back slats in place

Two of the backrest slats [P] will need a bottom corner cut out in order to fit around the intermediate cross members [B]. Make the cut-out with a jigsaw or a handsaw.
Apply glue and lay the backslats [P] in place against pieces [A] and [L]. This can best be done with the bench resting on its back.
Fix the slats with screws and then stand the unit upright.
Fix pieces [M] to the back of the backrest slats, about 170mm down from the top, to prevent the slats from warping.
They can be held in place with clamps (after glue) until screwed.

Step 8. Add the seat & table slats, and the armrest

bench seat with center table completed

This is the last step, and pretty straight forward. A look at the drawing tells you what goes where.
Simply apply glue to where the table slats, seat slats, and armrests are to go, then place them and fix with screws.
The drawing gives a good idea of where to screw. Refer to step 4 for fixing detail and what size screws to use.

All done!

The plans

front elevation plan for a two seater bench with middle table made from 150x25 timber

side elevation plan for a two seater bench with middle table made from 150x25 timber

A variation if you like

wooden bench seat

A variation can easily be made to this project.

If you want to do away with the center table (but why would you?), the task actually becomes easier.

To do so…
Make the seat slats longer to cover the length of the bench.
Make the backrest slats shorter (to suit) and add another three.

Easy peasy

Novice woodworker Zoe made this

bench seat built by beginner Zoe

Zoe was the first person to undertake this project.
Considering she had never built anything in her life, or had never used a power tool before, she done a pretty good job.

See her brief video at YouTube

About the author
Les Kenny with a background in building, has been authoring DIY projects for his website www.buildeazy.com since 2001. He wrote two “DIY for Kids” books (co-authored with his daughter Roseanne) published in 2004 and 2005 respectively by Harpercollins.
www.buildeazy.com is populated with his work.

This content was authored specifically for Hill Lumber. © All rights reserved

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