Hey, hey, hey!! Looks who’s back, and it hasn’t taken a month!! Lol!! I am back today to share the matching x base outdoor concrete bench plans to the table that I posted last Monday!! I mean you really can’t have one without the other, so I totally understand why everyone was wanting the plans asap!!
Don’t mind all the puddled water everywhere…it has been super rainy here!! I couldn’t be happier with this set that I built for the backyard and I cannot wait for the rain to end so I can get out there and try it out!!
So, things have been a wee bit crazy around here and I haven’t had much time to spend building… I was having some major building withdrawals!! Lol!! I had to homeschool my kiddos for the last two months of school and help take care of my grandma who had a major set back in her liver cancer…but she is doing better now and the kiddos are out of school for the summer… so I’ve had a little spare time to run into the garage and build a few things, hopefully I will have a couple more plans coming at you over the next month!! Yay!! Now that we have caught up, let’s quit wasting time and get busy building!!
You can download the printable plans for the bench click = X base concrete bench! The plans for the table can be found at BuildSomething.com
Let’s get this building started!!
Materials List: (This list is to make 2 benches, if you would only like to make one bench please calculate amounts before heading to the store…not all amounts can be just cut in half)
-1 – 4×8 sheet of melamine
-4 – bags of quickrete 5000
-1 roll 18″ hardware cloth
-5 – 2x3x8
-2 – 2x4x8
-2 – 2x2x8
-1 – 1x2x8
-2 – 16″ x 72″ pieces of melamine
-4 – 2 1/4″ x 16″ pieces of melamine
-4 – 2 1/4″ x 73 1/2″ pieces of melamine
-2 – 14″ x 70″ pieces of hardware cloth
– 8 – 2×3 @ 16 1/2″ mitered 10 degrees off square, ends parallel
-4 – 2×3 @ 6 1/6″ (longest side end to end) mitered 10 degrees off square, ends not parallel
-4 – 2×3 @ 9 13/16″ (strange measurement because I wanted it 3 1/4″ from the ground) measured longest end to longest end, mitered 10 degrees off square, ends not parallel
-4 – 2×4 @ 46″
-4 – 2×3 @ 46″
-4 – 2×2 @ 20″ mitered at 60 degrees of square, ends parallel
-4 – 1×2 @ 10 3/4″ mitered at 38 degrees off square, ends parallel
-4 – 1×2 @ 6 15/64″ mitered at 38 degrees on one end and 13 degrees on the other end…MAKE SURE AND MEASURE YOUR SPACE!
-4 – 1×2 @ 3 57/64″ mitered at 38 degrees off square on one end 13 degrees on the other…MAKE SURE AND MEASURE YOUR SPACE!
Alright to get started, I made the mold for my concrete and poured it so that it could set while I built the benches! Then once the concrete had cured, my benches were ready to go!! I must state here that I would probably make my tops of my benches slightly shorter than I did, simply because I don’t care for the look of the ends hanging over so far…or you could make your bench bases slightly longer and solve the problem that way as well!! Or, if you like the look of how they are…by all means, don’t change a thing!!
To make the concrete mold, I ripped a sheet of melamine down into two pieces of 16″ x 72″ (if you build the table, you can reuse the table top mold and create two new sections inside of the mold instead of buying more…but my mold was ruined in a severe storm we had) and then we ripped the leftovers down for the sides! I ripped the sides at 2 1/4″ wide and 16″ long for the short sides, and 73 1/2″ for the long sides!
Screw this frame together with 1 1/4″ drywall screws every 6-8″ and silicone around the entire inside, anywhere there is a seam!
Once that dries, the mold is ready for concrete!! Woohoo!! I mixed my concrete by hand, it is not the most fun when doing it all by yourself…it’s much more fun to have a helper!! Just mix it according to the instructions on the bag, and pour it into the mold…or dump it…or scoop it…whichever way you want to do it!! LoL!! Make sure and really jiggle the concrete, I don’t think that’s the actual term for it but it’s what it seems like I’m doing, so I am going to call it like it is!! I tested out this method…I didn’t vibrate the bench tops to see if it made any sort of difference! Well, the results were kinda interesting!! The table top was vibrated for an hour by two people and had quite a few air bubbles, but we didn’t work the concrete as much as I had on my vanity top (see it here) which had virtually no air bubbles and was vibrated for an hour by one person! So, I thought let me try working the concrete really well and seeing if that makes any difference…and boy did it ever!! Let me make a graph to help you see my experiment!! Lol!!
So, what I gathered from my own experiment is that I will spend a ton of time working the concrete into the mold vs spending a ton of time vibrating the mold!! You can do as you wish though!! LoL!! Now I was rushing to pour this concrete because I had a trip planned to Ikea as soon as I finished pouring the concrete…so that was it…the only picture I took!! Haha!! I was just too excited…and had a three hour drive to get there, so I’m sorry but I really wanted to go!!
Where were we? That’s right, pouring and WORKING the concrete! After filling the mold about half way, make sure and place your hardware cloth inside the form… you want to cut the hardware cloth 2″ smaller than your mold making it 14″ x 70″ so that you don’t have to worry about it touching the sides! Continue pouring your concrete until the mold is full, screed the concrete until smooth, cover and let set for at least 48 hours!!!
While that is setting, you can start building the benches!
Okay! First take two legs, a 2×3 @ 6 1/6″, and a 2×3 @ 9 13/16″. Drill pocket holes on the two pieces inside the legs as in the picture below! Drill 1 1/2″ pocket holes, and attach with plenty of wood glue and 2 1/2″ outdoor pocket hole screws! If you have not used a Kreg Jig before to drill pocket holes see this post!
Repeat the above step three more times and you will have all of your bench legs, and then we can put them together! Using the two 2×4 @ 46″ boards as top stretchers, drill the same pocket holes (1 1/2″) and attach them the same way (wood glue and 2 1/2″ screws) as in the last step!
You will be attaching the first 2×3 @ 46″ same pocket holes and all as above, attach in between the 2×4’s you placed in the last step! I don’t have a picture of this step because on first design this wasn’t included and then I decided that I probably needed a little extra support since the top was going to weigh around 130 pounds…and have people sit on it!! So this step was at the end of my project!! Lol!! But you can do yourself a favor and add it now!!
Then attach the other 2×3 @ 46″ as the bottom stretcher. I used a 1 x 2 scrap piece of wood to set it down 3/4″ before attaching! Attach the same as above!
Try not to be distracted by the MESS in all my photos!!
Next come the braces (2×2 @ 20″)…again, this wasn’t in my original plan, so they missed a real picture!! Lol!
And, my actual boards were 20″ but sketchup said it should have been 20 1/6″ …not sure who is wrong here!!
To attach the braces to the stretcher I counter sunk screws from the top 2×3 and the bottom 2×3!
Here is a view of the counter sunk holes on the top 2×3, it’s a little blurry!
Last is the decorative X on the base! Make sure and always measure your own project, don’t go off the measurements of someone else’s!! Trust me on this one, I am not perfect and therefore my woodworking is not perfect…so I always measure, measure, measure!! I did the solid part of the X first and then did the smaller split pieces! I also ripped my 1×2 down to 1″ instead of 1 1/2″ on the table saw…it just looked like a better fit!
Again, I clearly was rushing and didn’t take pics of the rest of the X! So finish the X with the two pieces and look at the printable plans if you have any questions!! Then the woodworking part is complete!!
Now, I stained mine! I used provincial by Minwax!