How to Build a Bench for Your Dock

  • 3-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 65-100
What You'll Need
Treated lumber
Power drill
Circular saw
Tape measure
Paint or stain

Looking into dock accessories, you’ll find that to build a bench makes for a great addition to any wooden dock. Building a wooden bench is a fairly easy process, and even the most novice of handymen can put something together that looks good and works great.

Step 1 – Plan and Design

It is important for any woodworking project to put on paper exactly what you plan to do, assuming you aren’t already following a set of instructions. Decide on how wide you want it, how tall you want the seat, how tall you want the back, etc.

Step 2 – Measure and Cut the Legs

You’ll need a leg support section for each end, plus one for every 3 feet of your bench. So for a 6’ bench, you’ll need 3 legs. supports
Start by measuring and cutting the sections for your legs. These pieces will each have 2 4x4’s (which will be vertical in the end) and 2 2x4’s. For the length of the 4x4’s, cut them about 6 inches shorter than the height you want your seat to be. So if you want a 24” high seat, cut your 4x4’s to 18” long.

You will need 2x4’s that lay horizontally across the top and underneath your 4x4’s as they stand on end. Cut these 2x4’s to however deep you want your bench seat to be, plus 4 inches. So if you want 18” to sit on, you’d cut these 2x4’s to 22” long.

With your 4x4’s standing on end, screw your 2x4’s to the top and bottom to form a rectangle.

Step 3 – Attaching the Seat

Measure and cut the boards for the seat. Lay the first board across the top of all your legs, making sure that the legs are evenly spaced. Set the board either flush with front edge of your legs, or you can have it hang over the front slightly. If hanging over the front, you should use wider planks such as 2x6’s instead of 2x4’s.

Once the board and the legs are lined up, screw the first board into place. Add more boards until you get to the back, leaving about ¼” to ½” between them. If the last board hangs over the back edge, you’ll have to cut it lengthwise so it is flush with the back of your bench.

Step 4 – Attaching the Back

Cut your back supports however tall you want your backing to be. Cut one for each leg and screw them in to the back of the legs. Make sure each is perfectly vertical and flush with the bottom of the legs.

Cut your planks for the back to the same length as your seat. Starting at the bottom of the back, screw your first board onto your back supports. If necessary, you may want to use shims to keep the spacing between more boards as you add them. When you get to the top, the last board can either hang above the supports or be cut lengthwise so it is flush with the top of the back supports.

Step 5 – Bolt to Your Dock

Once your bench is fully constructed, get an extra hand and move your bench into position on your dock. Once perfectly in position, bolt the bottom of the legs to your dock.

Step 6 – Paint or Stain

This step can actually be done before or after bolting the bench to your dock. Use a paint or stain that works well visually with your dock, and your bench is all set!