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 Shooting Bench 
 2011 Paul Schultz

Feel free to print out these plans and build one bench for yourself.  Please email any suggested improvements and pictures of your completed bench to kd8kuf@gmail.com so I can add them to this website.  These plans must not be copied or reproduced or sold.
 
 

I designed this shooting bench in Google SketchUp & this website in Google Sites.  Hats off to Google for creating fantastic & free$$ software!  
BASIC WOODWORKING SKILLS ARE REQUIRED FOR SAFETY.  PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

This bench has the following features:
Easy to build with basic tools on a weekend or a couple of evenings.
Made from treated 2x4's for long outdoor life.  
Very comfortable shooting position due to the 45 degree angles on the back side.
V notches on the sides are gun racks which can also be used as a clamping surface.
Very stable due to having 3 legs.
The bench simply sits on top of the ground but you could easily lengthen the legs if you want to bury them.
The stool, being independent of the bench can be positioned for maximum comfort for each shooter and is much easier to sit down and get up than a picnic style bench. Enough material to build two stools are included in the plans.
Azek stool top doesn't absorb moisture so will be dry most of the time. 
Dimensions are 4' wide x 5' long x 34" high.  Stool dimensions are 19" high x 19 1/2" wide x 16 1/2" deep.
Material cost is about $100.00
Designed for right & left handed shooters.  For a right-handed shooter only bench click here: https://sites.google.com/site/kd8kuf/projects/shooting-bench-2x4  This bench is only 3' wide.

Tools Required
Safety Glasses.
Miter Saw.
Drill (Driver).
Tape Measure.
Pencil.
Large and small squares.
Router - this tool is optional - if you're not comfortable using it safely or if you don't have access to one.
1/2" Roundover bit.
Dust Mask.
Jig Saw & Blade - optional - for rounding over the stool top.

Materials

Get on down to your locally owned lumber store and purchase these materials:

 Qty Description Material Part
 (1)
 4x4x10'
 If you're going to bury the legs in the ground then purchase (2) 4x4x8'.
Treated Legs
 (5) 5/4x6x8' decking boards Treated Top
 (7) 2x4x8' Treated Sides & Stool Legs
 (1) 1x6x10' Azek Stool Top
 (2) lbs 3" deck screws Hardware 
 (1) lbs 2" deck screws Hardware

Bench Cut List

CheckPart #QtyDimensionsMaterial Diagram - top view
- click to enlarge
End Angles
RightSide135 1/2"2x490 & 67 1/2 (22 1/2 setting on miter saw)
Inside1126 7/8"2x4 90's
Inside2112 7/8"2x4 
45's
FrontSide138"2x4 90's
LeftSide135 1/2"2x4
90 & 67 1/2
AngledRightSide129"2x4
45 & 67 1/2
  




AngledLeftSide
 




1     
 




29"
 




2x4
 




45 & 67 1/2
Inside3 & 4238"2x4 90's
  






Inside5







 2
 






9"
 






2x4
 
 






45's
  Inside6 2 3 1/2" 2x4  90's
Leg333"4x4 90's, If you're going to bury the legs then cut to 48".
T1-7748"1x6 (4) 45's
T8143"1x6 (2) 45's
T9131"1x6 (2) 45's
T10119"1x6 (2) 45's


Assembly Instructions

  Bench 
 Step # Directions 
 1Cut all shooting bench parts to length per the Cut List except T1-10.  Refer to the drawings to see the details of the cut angles.  The stool parts will be cut later.  Choose the good side for the outside and clearly label all parts on the inside with a black magic marker in large letters for easy identification. Place a check in the "Check" column as each part is finished.  

Hold your hand well clear of the miter saw blade at all times.  Tip: To cut the 67 1/2 degree angles set you miter saw at 22 1/2 degrees and hold the 2x4 vertically against the fence.  
 
 2Secure RightSide & LeftSide to FrontSide & Inside3 with (3) 3" deck screws at each corner.  Work upside down on bench, sawhorses, floor or any large, flat surface.  End grain shows of sides. Click on image at right to enlarge. Read through step 4 first. 
 3 Detail of Inside3 to sides. 
 4Note that the widths of the boards may not be exactly the same. Just ensure that the bottoms are all flush and aligned - this will later become the top after you turn it over. 
 5Check for square by measuring from outside corner to outside corner. Measurement should be very close to the same (about 4' 6 1/4").  Adjust if necessary.


 
 6Secure a scrap board approx. 4' long between Leftside and FrontSide to hold it square.

 


Step # Directions 
 7Secure both Inside5's to Inside3 with 3" screws.  The scrap board was removed from the drawing for clarity. 
 8Secure Angled sides.  Use at least four 3" screws at each corner. 
 9Secure the back leg into the inside corner of the sides with two 3" screws through each side.  Tip: Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise, wrap and tape this around the end of the leg.  This will serve as a spacer so that the legs can be easily removed which will make it easier to transport.  If you don't use the paper spacer it will be difficult to remove and re-install the legs.

Make sure the bottom (top) is flush or slightly below so that it won't stick up above the top after the bench is placed on its legs.  Tip: start two screws before holding the leg in place then drive the first screw in then square with a large square then drive the second screw in.  Repeat the squaring process on the other side of the leg (90 degrees).  No more than two screws in each side are needed at this time.  Later, after the leg and the paper are removed, more screws should be added for strength.  Mark a large "1" on the same side of both the leg and one of the sides.  This will allow you to put the leg back into the proper location later.
 
 10Secure Inside2 with 3" screws from the inside (through Inside2 first and then into the angled sides.  Secure two more 3" screws through Inside2 and into the leg. 
 11Secure the other two legs as above.  Use the paper spacer if your'e planning to remove the legs for transport.  Mark a large "2" on one side of the second leg and on the corresponding table side.  Repeat for the third leg.   
 12Secure Inside1 to the center of Inside4.  Test fit into bench.  Trim if necessary. 
 13Secure Inside1 and Inside4 with two 3" screws at each of the three ends.  Secure both Inside6's.  Secure two more screws through each of the two Inside6's and each side of Inside4 into each leg.  Remove the scrap diagonal board that was installed in step 6. 
 14Turn the bench over onto its legs on the floor.  Now's a good time to take a break and admire your progress.  It's starting to look like a bench now!  Congratulations!  You're now 1/2 way done.

 

 Bench Top 
 Step #Directions 
 15Cut parts T1-7 to length at 90 degrees on the miter saw. 
 16Draw a vertical center line on one end of T1 with a square.  This will be very close to 2 3/4".  Measure 1/2" one each side of this line and draw vertical lines on each of these.  Draw a 45 degree angle from each of these onto the top.  It's only necessary to do this on one end of T1. 
 17Set the miter saw to 45 degrees.   
 18Make the first cut on the 45 degree angle that you drew on T1.  After making the cut don't move the board.  Secure a stop block on the left end of the board.  Flip the board as needed to make the four cuts per board on T1-T7. 
 19An alternate method to using a stop block is shown in this photo.  Mark a vertical line in from each end at 10" (or any length) and on each side of T1-T5 (4 lines/board).  Make the cut on the 45 degree line on T1.  Don't move the board.  Secure a piece of tape on the miter saw table and mark a line on the tape lined up with the 10" line on the board.  To complete the remaining cuts just align the line on the board with the line on the tape.  This will be the method to make the cuts in one end of T6-T10. 
 20Cut T8 per the drawing at the right (43" on the long side).  Choose which will be the top side of T8 (place any defects or knots down and the best side up) and place a large X on the bottom side.  Repeat for T9 & T10 (31" & 19" on the long side). 
 21Draw lines on the top of the RightSide and the top of the LeftSide beginning at the FrontSide at 4", 10", 16", 22", 28", 34", 40", 46" & 52".  Note that beginning at 40" you'll have to draw the lines on the Angled sides.  These lines will mark the board spacing. 
 22Choose which will be the top side of T1-T7 (place any defects or knots down and the best side up).  Mark the bottom side with a large X.  Draw lines at 3 1/2" in from the ends of T1 and draw one line at 2" in from one side on the ends - click on the drawing at the right for details.  These lines will be used to position T1 on the RightSide and the LeftSide.  Secure T1 in this position with seven 2" screws (2 @ RightSide, 2 @ LeftSide, 1 in the middle & two more centered between these).  Tip: Start with one screw on each side to hold the board in position.  Note that the 4" line marks the beginning of T2, not the end of T1.
 
 23Draw a line on the bottom side of T2 at 3 1/2" in from one side.  Position T2 on this line and on the 4" lines on each side and secure with 8 screws (3 @ RightSide, 3 @ LeftSide & 2 in the middle).   
 24Repeat for the remaining T3-T10 boards securing the boards at the lines you drew in step 21.  T10 should have about a 2" overhang above the BackSide. 
 25Route a 1/2" round over around the whole perimeter of the bench top.  Move from left to right in a counter clockwise direction.  Wear safety glasses and a dust mask & hold the router firmly with both hands at all times - no exceptions!  Be prepared for a lot of dust.  Go slow and turn off the router when necessary to re-position.  Unplug the router when you're finished but leave it out because you'll need it one more time for the stool tops. 
 26Cut seven 7" blocks from the left-over 1" x 5 1/2" bench top pieces.  Stack these on top of the bench to position the height of your shooting bag.  Add and remove as necessary to obtain the proper height.  Drill 1/4" or so holes in the corner of each one.  Screw seven 3" screws into the front of the bench to store these blocks.  Alternately you can cut one scrap leg piece and four scrap bench top pieces. 
 27Turn the bench over - get some help because it's very heavy.  Remove the screws from the legs, remove the legs and remove the paper.  Line-up the "1"s "2"s and "3"s later when it's time to re-install the legs.  Secure additional 3" screws at this time.  

Caution: Do Not sit or stand on the bench because it may tip.


Stool Cut List (total for 2 Stools)
 Completed Part # Qty Dimension Material End Angles
  SL 8 20 3/4" 2x4 (2) 30 degrees
  S1 4 8 1/2" 2x4 (2) 30 degrees
  S2 4 12 1/2" 2x4 (2) 30 degrees
  ST 6  Azek 90 degrees

  Stool 
 Step # Directions 
 1Cut SL (StoolLeg) per these two drawings with the miter saw set at 30 degrees to the right.  Since the angles are parallel set the mitersaw stop for at 20 1/4".  If you want one or both stools to be a little higher (for a youth) you could lengthen each SL by as much as 2 1/2" and still be able to get 4 legs from an 8' board.  Tip: See step 24 above for an alternate method to using a stop block.


 
 2Cut parts S1 & S2 with the miter saw set at 30 degrees to the right.  Turn the board over and end for end after making the first cut.  That way you don't have to adjust the miter saw. 
 3Screw S1 into S2 with at least (5) 3" screws.  Assemble only two of these.  Work upside down on a flat bench (the legs, not you!).

 
 4Note that the legs are mirror images of each other.  
 5 Now assemble the other two S1 to S2 like this.  Note that these are on the opposite sides of the two you assembled in step 3. 
 6Now add a stool leg to each of the four assembles and don't dilly dally, we got shootin to do! 
 7Add the other leg.  Install at least two 3" screws through each side where the legs cross.  Tip: Screw them in at an angle so they don't come out the opposite side. 
 4Cut Azek to length.  Draw a 4" line in from each end on the bottom (smooth side) of one piece.  This is the center board.  Draw the center (2 3/4") of each of these two lines.  These lines will be used to mark the leg locations 
 5Draw lines at 4 3/4" and 6 1/4" in from each side on the tops (rough side) of all ST's.   Draw a cross line in the center (2 3/4") of each 6 1/4" line.  These marks screw locations. 


 
 6Draw cross lines at 1" in from each side of the 4 3/4" lines on only the center piece.  These mark screw locations. 
 7Draw a cross line at 1" in from one side and in the centers on the outer, 4 3/4" line on the two end boards.  These mark screw locations.  So that's six screws in each piece. 
 8Use a round object such as a glass to mark a radius with a pencil on the two corners opposite the 1" line on each of the two end boards. 
 9Cut on each line with a jig saw. Sand the cut smooth.  
 10Mark the center of the top side outside of each stool leg.  Line up the centers of the legs with the center StoolTop and and with the 4" line and screw the top down with 2" screws.  Tip: Pre-drill and countersink all screws first.  Start the two center screws first. 
11Screw the remaining two ST pieces into the legs.  Spacing between the pieces is not necessary. 
12Round over the entire perimeter of the stool top with a 1/2" roundover bit working in a counter clockwise direction (from left to right).  Wear safety glasses, go slow and always hold both hands on the router.  Be prepared for a lot of dust to fly. 

Congratulations and Safe Shooting!

Paul Schultz

Kingsford, MI


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