Make a 5-board bench


The five board bench is a classic woodworking project. You literally only need five boards to make it: two legs are joined to two stretchers and one board is the seat. I took a little liberty with this by joining two narrower boards together to create the top and legs since I wanted the seat to be 14″ wide. Finding boards that wide (and not warped) can be a challenge. Most home centers sell 12″ wide pine boards (which are really about 11 1/2″ wide) that you could use if you wanted to shrink my design.

And modifying these benches is really the fun part. Since the actual construction of a five board bench is so basic, there is no limit to how you can spice it up with your own design ideas.

Free plans

If you would like to make this version, please download my plans. They contain the dimensions as well as full-sized cutting templates for each piece. If you need help using the templates, here’s a video that explains the procedure.


  1. Steve
    Good looking bench. I like the curved ends I tend to think square.
    I have that same biscuit joiner and have not to this day made a decent joint with it. What is your secrete?
    Please keep up the videos. Your you tube channel inspired me to get back into woodworking after a very long absents.
    Thank You

  2. Hi there- quick question on this project. I noticed you screwed/glued the top of the bench into the legs/stretcher assembly. This is what I would probably do myself, but in a class I took recently the teacher was telling me how that risks breaking as the wood of the top piece moves based on humidity, etc. Basically, the wood has nowhere to go if screwed down like this (as it was explained to me).

    Do you think this is a valid concern for projects like this (benches, tables, etc)? The teacher said those little figure 8 hardware pieces are a good solution.
    thanks in advance, love the videos

    • Steve-Chris, in this build there are no cross grain situations that would cause an adverse effect. The stretchers run with the top in the same orientation as the seat board, also the legs are situated in a cross grain along with the cross grain of the seat. Glue away…. CAH


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