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How to build an
Old Style Park Bench
park bench seat
How to build an
Old Style Park Bench - ft and inch version
See video
For the metric (mm) version visit our sister website here
bullet Page 1: introduction and material list
bullet Page 2: Plans - the individual pieces
bullet Page 3: Plans - elevations and details
arrow Page 4: Instructions - making the legs
bullet Page 5: Instructions - making the arms
bullet Page 6: Instructions - the cut-outs
bullet Page 7: Instructions - back and front assembly
bullet Page 8: Instructions - seat boards and braces
bullet Page 9: Instructions - arms and back infill
bullet Page 10: User Photo/Comments

Step 1: Make the front legs

Out of 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" wood, cut two pieces (the legs) at 19" long.

They will each need a hole (mortise) cut through them to house the side rails.

To do this, first mark the mortise hole positions on the legs.

The holes will need to be marked on both sides of each leg, so they can be worked on (drilled and chiseled) from both sides.

The top mark of each hole will be 16" up from the bottom of each leg.

The hole size will be the same as the side rail width and thickness, which is 1 1/2" x 3 1/2".

Mark the holes accordingly on both sides of each leg.

front leg plan

Cut out the holes (mortises)

Drill out the waste, drilling from both sides of the legs.

Drill inside the marked areas, as close to the marks as possible.

Clean up the holes in both legs with a chisel, coming through from both sides, bit by bit, until the mortises are formed and the side rails can fit snugly into the holes. Then slightly round the tops of the legs with sandpaper (see drawing above).
mark the mortise in the front legs
drill out the holes
chisel out the holes

cut and shape the rear leg Step 2: Make the back legs

Shape the back legs out of 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" wood.

Cut two pieces 36" long.
Draw a grid on one of the pieces with the grid spacings 2" apart.

Using the picture below as reference (or using a clearer picture here), approximate the points between the grid lines on the leg piece. Then draw lines from point to point so that you have a pattern on the leg piece similar to the pattern drawing below.

rear leg plan

Then cut the wood along the lines using a power saw, jig-saw and handsaw where needed.

Once you have cut out the first rear leg, use it as a pattern to mark and cut the second leg.

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