Create a cozy seating option with this patio bench. This bench is a more advanced project but can take many variations. No matter what final design you create, the Dremel Saw-Max makes cutting various lengths of material easy. To get started, make your cuts according to the cutlist provided below. If you follow our design, you'll need a total of 15 various sized lengths. We chose to use cedar as it is naturally rot-resistant. We also made our bench extra-sturdy by constructing it out of 2" thick material. You may find that 1" thick material suits your project just fine. If you go with thinner material, you'll make less passes with your Saw-Max tool.
Step By Step Instructions
If you follow our cut list in order, the first cuts you'll make will be in your 2x6" material. You'll need to make a total of 10 cuts in this material. The cuts you make here will be used to create the seat, front apron and sides of the bench. Measure and mark 4 lengths of 48" and 6 lengths of 30". All of these cuts can be made using your Dremel Saw-Max tool equipped with the SM500 Wood & Plastic Wheel. Secure your material to your work bench, turn on your tool and cut along your marked lines. You'll notice how easy it is to make these one-handed cuts, easily following your marked lines through the notch at the front-end of the tool.
If you chose to use 2" thick material as we did, you'll need to make two passes through each marked line to complete your cut. After making your first pass along your marked line, flip the board over and trace a line from your cut up the side of the board and across to mark your second line of cut. If you chose to use 1" thick material, you'll see that this step is not necessary.
Once you have made your cuts through the 2x6 material, it is time to make cuts in your 2x4" material that will become arm rests in the final stages of your project. Measure and mark 2 lengths at 23" long. Again, these cuts can be made using your Dremel Saw-Max tool equipped with the SM500 Wood & Plastic Wheel. If you choose 2" thick material as we did for the arm rests, you may find it useful to use the 2x4 cutting guide to assist in completing your second pass through the 2x4. If you do use this guide, remove the SM500 wheel and replace it with the SM600 Flush-Cutting wheel which will cut along the edge of your guide. Tip: Place the guide near your measurement marks. Leave about an 1/8 inch between the guide and line to accommodate for the kerf of the wheel and its slight offset. Clamp the guide in place. Make your first pass, then flip the board over to complete the cut all the way through the 2x4 on your second pass.
Once you have made your cuts through the 2x6 material, it is time to make cuts in your 2x2" material that will serve as cleats to support the structure of the bench. To create the a sturdy structure, we do recommend using 2" thick material as we did here. Measure and mark 4 lengths of 16.5", 3 lengths of 15" and 2 lengths of 5.5". Again, all of these cuts can be made using your Dremel Saw-Max tool equipped with the SM500 Wood & Plastic Wheel. Using the same technique as you did with the 2x6 material. At this point of the project, you have already made a considerable amount of cuts. You may notice you'll need a fresh SM500 blade.
With your cleats and structure pieces all cut, it is time to start assembling your bench. First, we used the NEW Dremel 4200 tool to pre-drill holes through which you'll screw each cleat into place. We wanted to secure the cleats in several spots, again to make the bench durable. To make your pre-drill marks, lay all of your similarly-sized cleat pieces next to each other. Mark an "X" at the center of piece. Then measure and make pre-drill marks every 2.5 inches from the center in either direction. Secure your first cleat to your workbench and you are ready to pre-drill pilot holes. Insert a 150 drill bit into your Dremel 4200 tool. Set the tool to high speed and plunge into each mark.
Next you'll need to make drill marks in an adjacent side in 2 of your 16.5" long cleats and all 3 of your 15" long cleats. Make marks in between each alternate adjacent hole from the bottom of your cleat up. With your pilot holes marked, drill into each using your Dremel 4200 tool with the same 150 bit you used in the last step.
Now you are ready to begin securing the seat of your bench together using the cleats. Lay your three 48" long 2x6" seat pieces together, aligning the edges so they are flush. Next, lay a 15" long cleat along one of the shorter edges of the configuration. The side of the cleat with the most pre-drill marks should be facing up. Using your drill and 2-1/2" long screws, secure your cleat into place in each of your pilot holes. Leaving a gap at the front edge of the seat for the apron later. Repeat this process on the opposite end. Finally, secure a cleat in the middle of your configuration.
With your seat created, configure the sides of your bench in a fairly similar manner. However, for the two sides, you need only secure cleats along the two shorter edges of the configuration, there is need to secure a cleat along the middle. For each of the two sides: Lay three 30" long 2x6" side pieces together, aligning the edges so they are flush. Next, lay a 16.5" long cleat along one of the shorter edges of the configuration. The side of the cleat with the most pre-drill marks should be facing up. Using your drill and 2-1/2" long screws, secure your cleat into place in each of your pilot holes. Repeat this process on the opposite end of the side with one of your 16.5" long cleats that only has one pre-drilled side. This will serve as the bottom of your sides of the bench.
Once your sides and seat are created, it is time to secure them together. Determine your desired height of the bench. We made our bench height in proportion to our mosaic table, about halfway up the side, or 15" high. Assemble the sides of your bench so that the cleats face outwards. Slide the seat piece into place in alignment with your mark. Hold one of the sides and the seat together, or laying the side flat with its cleats against the ground. Secure the seat into each side through the final pre-drilled pilot holes on the end cleats.
Attach your arm rests across both of the top cleats on the sides of the bench through the remaining pre-drilled pilot holes.
To give our bench a finished look, we added a skirt to the front, underneath the seat. Use your remaining 48" long piece of cedar and 5.5" long cleats for this step. Lay your cleat along each of the shorter sides of your apron. Secure the cleat into place through the pre-drilled pilot holes. Finally, set your cleat underneath the seat of your bench, with the cleats facing inward. Secure them into each of the sides of your bench through the underneath pre-drilled holes to set into place.
To reduce the risk of injury user must read instruction manuals for all tools used in this project. Wear eye and respiratory protection. Use clamps to support work piece whenever practical.