Step 9: Attach the Slats

attaching the slats for a picnic bench
Photo: Kolin Smith
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In order to hide the fasteners, lay the slats rabbet-side-up on your work surface, then nestle the frame, upside down, on top of them. You may need to place scrap pieces under the slats to keep them pressed against the frame. Use spacers (we used dowels) to keep the slats a uniform distance apart. Countersink two pilot holes through each rail and into the joint at the ends of each slat. Secure the slats with ¾-inch brass or stainless-steel screws.
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • adjustable clamp
      Clamps
    • straight edge
      Straightedge
    • router
      Router with a ¾-inch straight bit
    • bar clamp
      Bar clamps
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • 3/8-inch doweling jig
      -inch doweling jig. Go to Rockler
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • 3/8-inch twist bit
      -inch twist bit
    • 1/8-inch bit with combination countersink
      -inch bit with a combination countersink
    • 1/8-inch twist bit
      -inch twist bit
    • circular saw
      Circular saw

    Shopping List

    1. 5/4x4. Get three 8-footers for the benches and one 10-footer for the table.

    2. 5/4x6. Get two 8-footers for the benches and seven 10-footers for the table.

    3. 5/4x10. Get one 6-footer for the table.

    4. -by-2-inch spiral-cut

    5. wood dowels

    6. exterior-grade wood glue

    7. ¾-inch brass or stainless-steel screws

    8. 1½-inch deck screws