How To Make A Cedar Bench

 

Make a modern Chevron Cedar bench with a torched ‘shou sugi’ base.

Steps

  1. I started by ripping my lumber into the dimensions I needed for this project.
    • Frame Pieces: 2 x 4 boards into 1 ½ x 1 ½” boards
    • Legs: 2 x 4 boards into 3″ wide boards
    • Chevron Pieces: 1 x 4″ boards into 2 ½” wide boards
    • Border Pieces: Leftover 1 x 4 boards into ½ x ¾” strips
  2. Next, I cut my frame pieces to the following sizes:
    • (2) Long Frames @ 42″
    • (2) Short Frames @ 12″
    • (1) Middle Support @ 39″
    • (2) Small Middle Supports @ 5 ¼”
  3. I then drilled pocket holes in the short frames and all of the middle support pieces and attached them all together using wood glue and pocket hole screws.
    Pocket holes
  4. Next, it was time to cut and attach the small border pieces (these will act as a ledge to attach the chevron pieces to). I cut some leftover cut-offs from the 1 x 4 boards into ½ x ¾” strips and measured and cut them to fit exactly inside the frame openings. I then attached them using wood glue and brad nails.
  5. Once the border pieces were dry, it was time to start cutting the chevron pieces for the inside of the frame. I started by cutting the inside corner pieces at 45 degrees and then moving outward from there.
  6. I attached the corner pieces (as well as all of the other chevron pieces) using wood glue and brad nails from the underside.
    Frame
  7. Next, I cut the rest of my chevron pieces. I cut them each at 7 ½” long (at 45 degrees), and adjusted as needed. Tip: Always check these measurements before moving ahead. My frame pieces were not perfectly straight, so I had to do some adjusting as I cut.
  8. I then attached them with wood glue and brad nails and spaced all of the pieces out using a ½” spacer.
    Chevron pieces
  9. I then cut the last few triangles and attached them to the outside corners.
  10. Once the frame was complete, I sanded and flattened the entire bench. I worked from 80 grit to 120 grit, making sure to raise the grain before final sanding to 220.
  11. Next, I finished the top using a spray urethane.
    Urethane
  12. While the top dried, I cut my leg pieces from the 3” wide 2 x 4’s to the following sizes:
    • (4) Legs @ 16″
    • (2) Top Frames @ 10″
    • (2) Bottom Frames @ 10″
  13. I then attached the frame pieces and leg pieces using pocket hole screws and glue (these were drilled into the top and bottom frame pieces).
  14. Next, I used my Bernzomatic TS4000 torch with propane tank to apply the heat to the cedar and create a charred effect. This helps to waterproof the piece and preserve it from the elements.
    Burning wood
  15. Next, I sprayed the legs with urethane to help protect them even more.
  16. Last step was to attach the legs to the top of the bench using decking screws.

Complete project

What You'll Need


TS4000
TS4000

High Heat Torch for Fast Work Times

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TX9
TX9

14.1 oz. Propane Hand Torch Cylinder

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Tools

  • Table Saw
  • Miter Saw
  • Brad Nailer
  • Sander & Sandpaper
  • Pocket Hole Jig
  • Tape Measure
  • Wire Brush

Materials

  • (3) 2 x 4 x 8′ Cedar Board
  • (2) 1 x 4 x 8′ Cedar Board
  • 1 ½” Brad Nails
  • 2 ½” Exterior Pocket Hole Screws
  • 2 ½” Decking Screws
  • Exterior Wood Glue
  • Exterior Spar Urethane Spray
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