overview of an arbor bench
Illustration: Gregory Nemec


Project timeline
Friday: Set and level the post anchors, and build the legs.
Saturday: Install the legs, seat, backrest, and lattice sides.
Sunday: Cut and install the rafter assembly.

Cut List
2x4 seat-base stringers: 3 @ 18 inches
2x4 reinforcement block for seat base's center stringer: 1 @ 14 inches from square edge to long point, one end mitered at 30 degrees
2x4 backrest supports: 3 @ 22 inches from long point to short point, with parallel 30-degree cuts off each end
1x4 seat boards: 3 @ 48 inches
1x2 seat boards: 3 @ 48 inches
1x4 backrest boards: 4 @ 40 ¾ inches
1x2 backrest boards: 3 @ 40 ¾ inches
1x4 backrest cap: 1 @ 40 ¾ inches
1x2 lattice: 4 @ 70 ½ inches
1x2 lattice: 2 @ 75 ½ inches
1x2 lattice: 2 @ 17 inches
2x6 rafters: 2 @ 72 inches
2x6 rafter stringers: 3 @ 21 inches
2x2 purlins: 5 @ 36 inches

Download the arbor bench cut list.
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    Tools List

    • sledge hammer
    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • jigsaw
    • drill
      drill/driver and 1-inch paddle bit
    • caulk gun
      caulk gun
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level
    • hand clamps
    • combination square
      combination square
    • flexible curves
      flexible curve to draw profile for rafter tails

    Shopping List

    All lumber listed is western red cedar.

    2x4s Get twelve 8-foor boards.

    1x4s Get at least four 8-foot boards.

    1x2s Get at least nine 8-foot boards. 2x6s Get three 8-foot boards.

    2x2s Get two 8-foot boards or five 4-foot spindles for the purlins.

    ¼-inch spacers cut from scrap.

    Post anchors Get four.

    Construction adhesive

    Stainless-steel trim-head screws You need three sizes: 1¼ inch, 2 inch, and 3 inch.