Mark Powers assembles the backrest pieces
Photo: Matthew Benson

Step 11: Cut and Install the Backrest

Set the edge of a framing board flush with the back edge of an inner seat board. Scribe the angles of the cut ends of the seat board onto the backrest’s bottom edge, and bevel the ends of the backrest following the 30-degree cut lines you marked. Glue the backrest to the back edge of the seat board. Lift the pieces from the bench and clamp them together. Drill 3⁄32-inch pilot holes through the underside of the seat board and into the backrest. Drive 3-inch deck screws through the holes. Set the assembly in place; repeat for the adjacent seat board and backrest. Glue together the mitered edges of adjacent backrests, and drill 3⁄32-inch pilot holes diagonally through the joint at the top and bottom. Drive a 2-inch deck screw through each hole. Repeat until the entire backrest is fastened together. Then screw the inner seat boards to the stringers, as described in the 9th step.
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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Compound miter saw or circular saw

    • drill
      Drill/driver with a 3⁄8-inch spade bit and 3⁄32x3-inch bit

    • speed square
      Speed Square

    • adjustable clamp

    • adjustable wrench
      Adjustable wrench

    • four-foot level
      4-foot level

    • garden spade
      Garden spade

    • sandpaper
      120-grit sandpaper

    Shopping List

    strips of scrap lumber or cardboard to make a template and spacers

    ¼-inch-thick scrap lumber or shims

    5⁄4x6 decking by Kebony for the seat and stringers for the leg assemblies. Measure your tree so that you know how much to buy.

    2x6 framing by Kebony for the backrest, legs, and apron 3⁄8x4-inch galvanized carriage bolts

    3⁄8-inch galvanized locking washers

    3⁄8-inch nuts

    2-inch stainless-steel deck screws

    3-inch stainless-steel deck screws

    wood glue