DIY The Patio Bench – Part 1

Last August I started another Do It Yourself (DIY) project. But I need to rewind just a little. The current placed we live has a great view in Tucson. My wife and I live in a 2-story home with a balcony and we back up a flood-controlled area. What does that mean? Simply put it is an area that can’t be developed. So, we will always have desert behind our home. 

Ever since we moved in, I have been on the quest for some patio furniture. I wanted a couch type bench. Plus, some chairs, love seat, etc. But I never found anything that fit my style or within my budget. So, then I started searching for some DIY projects. I found one I kind of liked. The more I dug into, it had a lot of wasted wood. And it did not fit the size cushions I could buy online or at Walmart or Home Depot. That’s right Home Depot, my go to place.

My next approach was to do double duty, I combined two designs to maximize the wood and fit standard cushions. The seat is needed to be increments of 24”. At first pass, I based the design on a standard 2x4 by 8’. I was struggling with reducing the waste. I went on line to see what my options were. Because I wanted exterior grade lumber, either pressure treated or redwood, I knew I had options. Home depot offered 2x4x6’, this was a great solution to reduce waste.

One of the things I noticed about DIY projects on the net is much material. Then what are the dimensions? This was pretty consistent, I fired up good ol’ AutoCAD and started to work the size. Then I would go back and forth the maximize the lumber. Below is the breakdown of what I ended needing:

  • (14) 2x4x6
  • (1) 2x4x8
  • (1) 4x4x10

Very simple, plus all of these parts would fit in my Dodge Journey. I went to Home Depot, they were having a wood working shop for the kids. The 2x4x6 boards were right in the middle of the shop. I found a manager and asked for help to get the wood. Here is the frustrating part of today’s customer service. One kid would have need to move for 10 minutes and the lumber could be safely retrieved. The manager said it was too hot outside and this is why they were in side. I agreed, it was hot outside, but only one kid needed to move. 

I decided to move on and get the lumber at a different time. I had all of the tools except for a pocket jig. I checked on line and there were 9 in stock. I went to the tools area and the peg was empty. My daughter and I went searching for help. Finally found someone and they said they sold the last one yesterday. I disagreed and said they are on the top shelf and online says there a 9 of them. They scanned the bar code and said, yes, we have 12 of them. I said I know, I just need a ladder to get one. He then said it was not his department and could not get the ladder. So then 20 minutes later the department guy came and said they sold the last one yesterday. Here we go again… same explanation, same check. Finally, the ladder and I got my jig. Another customer in the store said, with all that trouble I should go to Lowes.

The kids were still doing the work shop, so I bought the jig and headed on over to Lowes. I don’t go to Lowes very often, so I don’t know where things are at. But I found the wood type I was looking for, but not the right length. There was gentleman in the lumber department ready to help. I asked about 2x4x6 boards. He replied that in the redwood, they don’t sell that size. But they do have 2x4x12. I noted that that is too long for my vehicle. He said, no problem. He would cut them in half at no additional charge. I got seven of the 2x4x12 and he them cut in half. Picked out one 2x4x8 and a 4x4x10. 

My daughter and I loaded up the Journey. In fact, a gentleman came out with us to help load the lumber. Customer Service goes a long way in my book. With all of the online shopping and do it yourself stuff in this world. It is always nice when someone goes out of their way to help. Next week I’m going to roll up the sleeves and share the construction of bench. It turned out to be a great father daughter project.

…and now for something completely different.
Bob Marley’s last words to his son before he died were “Money can’t buy life.”

P.S. Happy Birthday Sophia!


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Saturday, 13 July 2024