The one board bench

One board bench
Beginner Projects
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Build a simple yet stunning bench using one board, a scrap 2x2, and a couple of screws.

I had a friend ask me if I could build her a bench for her wedding that would be used in place of a traditional guest book. She gave me a picture to use as a starting point and told me to just go with it. Rustic was key. Luckily I had an old and weathered oak board that was perfect for the job! Sorry for the lack of photos... this build was just TOO MUCH FUN to stop!

The cost to build this bench as is, with oak, would run $50-$100, BUT can also be done with pine for as little as $20!!!

While I am calling this a one board bench I did add a 2x2 pine stretcher, from my scrap pile, just for looks and long term strength. More photo's can be viewed at my blog;


Shopping List

1- 2"x10"x8' board (oak was used in this project but pine would also be fine and much cheaper)
1 length of 2x2 pine (mine was 30" long)
screws and glue
sand paper
tung oil

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Decide on the size you want for the top piece and cut it off your 2x10 (mine is 42").
Then cut 2 legs at 16" long from the same board.
Using a jig saw cut a tapered design at the tops of each leg and also a cut out at the bottom or each leg.
Sand even and smooth.

Step 2

Assemble using 3 pocket holes on the inside of each leg.
If needed/wanted a stretcher can be added using 2x2 pine. Pocket holes could be used. I simply screwed through the legs into the 2x2.

Step 3

Just for fun I added square head nails to the top and into the legs. this is mostly just for looks.

Step 4

After lots of sanding I applied tung oil to bring out the natural color in the oak.
The 2x2 stretcher was finished with vinegar steel wool stain plus tung oil.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Fri, 03/14/2014 - 09:53

This plan is great! Here's a link to my version - A buddy and me left it in a park so others may enjoy it (photo credit: unknown user who found the bench). Thanks for sharing!