Warmer weather means it’s time for outdoor projects! Last summer I made a chevron table for my parents’ backyard, and it’s holding up so well. So, this year I decided to make a matching bench with a torched base! I don’t know what it is about chevron, but I’m clearly obsessed. Ready to see how I made this bench? Let’s get started!
How To Make A Cedar Bench
Want to see this project in action? Check it out on my YouTube channel!
One of the things I love most about working with cedar for outdoor projects is mixing the lumber with fire for a burnt look. Not only does it look awesome, but torching wood (also known as “shou sugi ban”) is a Japanese art of applying fire to cedar to waterproof it and protect it from the elements.
I chose to use this technique on the base of my bench and I couldn’t be happier!
Ready to see how I made this bench? Let’s do it!
What I Used:
(3) 2 x 4 x 8′ Cedar Board
(2) 1 x 4 x 8′ Cedar Board
1 ½” Brad Nails
2 ½” Exterior Pocket Hole Screws
2 ½” Decking Screws
Exterior Wood Glue
Exterior Spar Urethane Spray
1. I started by ripping my lumber into the dimensions I needed for this project.
Frame Pieces: 2 x 4 boards into 1 ½ x 1 ½” boards
Legs: 2 x 4 boards into 3″ wide boards
Chevron Pieces: 1 x 4″ boards into 2 ½” wide boards
Border Pieces: Leftover 1 x 4 boards into ½ x ¾” strips
2. Next, I cut my frame pieces to the following sizes :
(2) Long Frames @ 42″
(2) Short Frames @ 12″
(1) Middle Support @ 39″
(2) Small Middle Supports @ 5 ¼”
3. I then drilled pocket holes in the short frames and all of the middle support pieces and attached them all together using wood glue and pocket hole screws.
4. Next, it was time to cut and attach the small border pieces (these will act as a ledge to attach the chevron pieces to). I cut some leftover cut-offs from the 1 x 4 boards into ½ x ¾” strips and measured and cut them to fit exactly inside the frame openings.
I then attached them using wood glue and brad nails.
5. Once the border pieces were dry, it was time to start cutting the chevron pieces for the inside of the frame. I started by cutting the inside corner pieces at 45 degrees and then moving outward from there (you can check out my YouTube video for a visual for this step).
6. I attached the corner pieces (as well as all of the other chevron pieces) using wood glue and brad nails from the underside.
7. Next, I cut the rest of my chevron pieces. I cut them each at 7 ½” long (at 45 degrees), and adjusted as needed.
Tip: Always check these measurements before moving ahead. My frame pieces were not perfectly straight, so I had to do some adjusting as I cut.
8. I then attached them with wood glue and brad nails and spaced all of the pieces out using a ½” spacer.
9. I then cut the last few triangles and attached them to the outside corners.
10. Once the frame was complete, I sanded and flattened the entire bench. I worked from 80 grit to 120 grit, making sure to raise the grain before final sanding to 220.
11. Next, I finished the top using a spray urethane.
12. While the top dried, I cut my leg pieces from the 3 ” wide 2 x 4’s to the following sizes:
(4) Legs @ 16″
(2) Top Frames @ 10″
(2) Bottom Frames @ 10″
13. I then attached the frame pieces and leg pieces using pocket hole screws and glue (these were drilled into the top and bottom frame pieces).
14. Next, I used my Bernzomatic TS4000 torch with propane tank to apply the heat to the cedar and create a charred effect. This helps to waterproof the piece and preserve it from the elements.
15. I then removed any excess char from the planter with a hard bristled brush.
16. Next, I sprayed the legs with urethane to help protect them even more.
17. Last step was to attach the legs to the top of the bench using decking screws.
I’m super excited about the way this bench turned out! I love that it matches the chevron table without looking exactly like it.
I also love the way the natural cedar contrasts with the torched wood.
Now that I’m on summer vacation I cannot wait to have some more time to build fun projects and share with you guys! Until then though, make sure to Pin This project for later!
Until next time, friends! Happy DIY’ing!