Step 1: Make Pilot Holes for the Post Anchors

screwing together a template to make pilot holes in the post anchors
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Cut and screw together four scrap 1x4s to make a rectangular template sized to the bench's footprint, per the cut list. Drill a centered 1-inch hole in each corner. Lay the template on the ground and push a large nail or stake through each hole. Remove the template and set it aside.
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    Tools List

    • sledge hammer
      sledgehammer
    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • jigsaw
      jigsaw
    • drill
      drill/driver and 1-inch paddle bit
    • caulk gun
      caulk gun
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level
    • hand clamps
      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.