You could buy one of the ready-made options offered in a range of outdoor-friendly materials. But if you're like most This Old House readers, you'll probably want to assemble stock lumber and sturdy bolts into one big enough to seat the entire clan. Either way, you'll end up with family-style seating that leaves enough room for the dog to run laps while waiting for the first hot dog to drop.
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    Tools List

    • jigsaw
    • drill
      Drill/driver, fitted with a 7/16-inch drill bit
    • adjustable wrench
      Adjustable wrench

    Shopping List

    1. Pressure-treated 2x8 You'll need three 8-footers to build the bench crosspieces and legs.

    2. Pressure-treated 2x6 You'll need nine 6-footers to build the top and benches.

    3. Pressure-treated 2x4 You'll need three 6-footers to build the top crosspieces and the braces under the top and bench. 4. 3/8 x 3½-inch exterior grade carriage bolts to attach the bench crosspieces to the legs. You'll need 8.

    5. 3/8-inch washers and nuts. You'll need 8 of each.

    6. 2½-inch deck screws to attach the top, benches and braces.