PHOTO: J. Keeler Johnson
January 31, 2017

I’ve always been fond of simple but productive carpentry projects that allow you to take materials you already have and create something new and useful. These projects can be particularly enjoyable if you’re taking something unfortunate, like a tree blowing down in a storm, and making something good.

One project that is remarkably easy to build is a simple bench using fallen tree trunks. If you have trees on your farm, then you’ve surely had a few fall down over the years, leaving a substantial mess to clean up. Because dealing with a fallen tree already requires you to saw the trunk into sections to haul away or turn into firewood, why not set a few aside for building benches? I am firmly of the opinion that one can never have too many benches, and placing them at strategic locations around your farm, particularly in scenic spots where you might want to sit down anyway, is always a fun task.

What You’ll Need

  • tree trunk (any recently deceased tree with a trunk diameter of a foot or more should suffice)
  • a few wooden planks (for the seat of the bench; the length of the planks will determine the length of the bench)
  • chainsaw
  • electric drill or hammer
  • screws or nails
  • tape measure

Step 1: Saw The Tree Trunk

For the base of the bench, use your chainsaw (along with all necessary safety gear) to saw the tree trunk into a few sections of equal length. The length you choose will determine the height of your bench; approximately 18 inches should be ideal, as this is the typical height of a chair. Use your tape measure to mark the location of each cut.

Step 2: Choose Your Bench Location

Because they will be heavy and difficult to move, I recommend assembling these benches at the location where they will be used. Choose the perfect location, and place the tree trunk sections exactly where you want the finished bench to sit.

Step 3: Attach The Wooden Planks

Using an electric drill and screws or a hammer and nails, place the wooden planks flat across the tops of the trunk sections and attach them securely in place. It’s that simple!

Step 4: Enjoy Your Bench!

You are now the proud owner of a handmade, woodsy bench that will blend in nicely with nature and give you a place to rest on long walks. Now that you’ve built one, why not build another? You can never have too many benches!


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