Canadian Woodworking

Back door bench

Author: Steve Siddall
Published: February March 2002

This is an easy to make bench you can use at the back door – or just about anywhere else.

When preparing yourself for the great outdoors, this little bench is a perfect place to lay hats and gloves. It’s also an ideal height to rest your foot on while tying laces.


I built this one from standard lumber yard pine. Four feet of 1 x 6 and six feet of 1 x 10 is all it takes. Be sure to have the top and legs all the same width. The board I used was of uniform width so I didn’t have to trim it. This is important because you want the side skirts to fasten up tightly to all three pieces.

Some of you may have noticed the lack of fancy joinery. It’s surprising how strong this bench is without structural joints locking the skirts to the legs. Some readers may have a limited variety of tools, so I designed this project so that anyone can build it.

If you have the tools to cut dadoes and rabbets, I suggest that each skirt have a rabbet where the top fastens and two dadoes for the legs to lock into. Why didn’t I show the details on this? If you have the tools to do it, you’ve likely built something with dadoes and rabbets before and you’ll know exactly what to do! If you’d like a diagram, just give us a call.

Fastening the bench together requires 18 – #8 x 1-1/2” wood screws, countersunk so you can cover them with 3/8” wood plugs. I’ve given you an idea of where I fastened this one together but don’t hesitate to add a few if you think your bench is going to experience rough use – such as size 13 boots or the neighbourhood kids.

Don’t forget to do a good sanding of all the pieces before assembly. It’s hard to sand the legs properly if you wait until after the bench has been assembled.

Assemble, plug screw holes, stain and finish.

There you have it … a handy little back door bench!

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