Using wood from a section of our fence that fell in a wind storm, I built a bench to encircle our large maple tree in the back yard.
Reclaimed Wood Tree Bench
Here are the weathered fence boards from the storm
The first step in building the tree bench was to decide how large to make the inside row for the seat. I measured around the tree, allowing for growth then cut 4 pieces of wood. Before proceeding, I took them out to the backyard to make sure they were the right size.
Once I had confirmed that the first row for the seat was the correct size, it was time to cut the remaining two rows. I used a thin piece of wood as a spacer to decide what size each piece needed to be to form the next rows.
I found that using my compound miter saw for the 45 degree cuts worked very well! Laying the seat out on the garage floor was a great way to view the size and also provided an even surface to work on.
Now that the seat section of the bench was cut, it was time to decide on the height. Measuring an existing bench, I cut eight 18" sections of a 2" x 4", two legs for each corner of the bench. I also cut eight 18" sections of 2" x 4" to use as supports for attaching the legs to the seat. After all the sections were cut, it was time to create the legs. I drilled holes in the supports and then attached them to the legs with nuts and bolts.
Once the 4 legs were assembled, I propped them upright on the garage floor and began screwing each seat board to them beginning with the outer row. Next to be cut was the seat back and the facia.
Seat back cut and positioned. I waited to install it and the facia once the bench was in its place around the tree.
In order to install the bench around the tree, I needed to leave one side of the seat open. After securing three sides of the bench seat to the legs, hubby and I carried it to the backyard and set it around the tree. With the 3-sided bench in place, I was able to attach the last three pieces of the seat. Next, using a nail gun, I attached the back pieces and facia to the seat to complete the bench.
The final step in this project was to apply a sealer to the wood to help protect it from the weather. I used Thompsons Water Seal and applied it with a paintbrush.
To build and assemble this bench, in addition to the listed supplies, I used:
- Skill saw or Miter saw
- Brad nail gun
- Weaterproofing sealant such as Thompsons Water Seal
- Paint brush
Since I had the wood, sealer, and screws, the only supplies I needed to purchase were the 2" x 4" board for the legs and the bolts & nuts to attach them. The cost listed is an estimate for buying new wood, screws, sealer, nuts/bolts
- Decide how large to make the inside row for the seat
- Using your saw, cut 4 pieces of wood for the inside row
- Dry fit around the base of your tree
- Cut 4 pieces of wood for the 2nd row
- Cut 4 pieces of wood for the outside row
- For legs: cut eight 18" sections of a 2" x 4", two legs for each corner of the bench
- Cut eight 18" sections of 2" x 4" to use as supports for attaching the legs to the seat
- Drill holes in the supports & attach them to the legs with nuts and bolts
- Attach 3 sides of each row of the seat to the legs with screws
- Leave the 4th side open and attach on site
- Once all rows of the seat are attached to the legs, using a nail gun, attach the seat back and facia
- Apply sealant with a paintbrush to protect the wood from weathering to quickly
I have created an instruction guide for this project. If you are interested in being able to download the instructions and pictures, you can find the guide in my Shoppe here: