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5 Board Bench

The "Five Board Bench" is a common design that can have many variations.  The five boards are the top, the (2) legs, and the (2) rails.

The pictures below show examples:


Sample Materials List (for a bench that is 3' wide, 18" tall, and 10" deep):
1@1x10"x3' (this will be the legs) = half of $9 for a 6'
1@1x12"x3' (this will be the top) = $7
1@1x4x6' (this will be the two rails) = $4

General Procedure (for a 3 foot wide and 1.5 foot tall bench with rails set into the legs and even with top):
1. View then draw sample 5 board benches and the variations for the top, legs, and stringers.

1. Get a 3 foot section of 1x10 that will become the two legs.
2. Mark the legs to a symmetric shape of your choosing.  I suggest ~2" leg bases.
   (you can create your own pattern or you can use one of my 4 templates)
3. Cut the legs slightly outside your lines so you can sand and/or trim to legs to their final shape.
4. Use a 1/4" quarter round router bit to round any edges that don't touch the top or rails.

Top and Rails:
1. Get a 1x12 that is about 3 feet long; decide if you want it shaped
2. Decide where the legs will fit and then measure the length of the rails.
2. Cut the two rails from the 1x4 board
3. If the rails go beyond the legs, cut a 45 degree angle off of each end of each rail, leaving 1 3/8" on the end.
4. If the rails go between the legs, drill pocket-holes in the ends
5. Use a 1/4" quarter round router bit to round any edges that don't touch the top or legs.

Sand, Assemble, Finish:
1. Sand each faces (150 grit) with a random orbital sander and each of the edges and corners by hand
2. Screw the rails into the legs using either the pocket screws OR trim screws (for interior rails or flush rails, respectively).
3. Screw the pocket screws into the top, making sure none protrude through the top of the top.

Day 1:  Drawing it and rough-cutting legs.  Chris trims to template.
Day 2:  Cut benchtop corners, round-over edges and sand the top and legs.
Day 3:  Measure, cut, and pocket-screw stretchers. 
Day 4:  Assemble.

Some Video Tutorials:

Other Plans: