Know How To Make a Tailgate Bench


Spring is right around the corner, and so are backyard BBQs and outdoor gatherings. Why not enjoy those parties in style? The following plans will guide you through the process of making a unique, one-of-a-kind tailgate bench.

1. Pick Up the Materials

Obviously, before you can get started on this project, you will need a spare tailgate. These plans are for a tailgate that is 50-3/4 inches long by 19-1/2 inches wide. Besides the gate, you will need the following items:

  • Pocket hole jig

  • Miter saw

  • Brad nailer

  • Jigsaw

  • Wood glue

  • 2-inch lag bolts and washers

  • 2-inch angle brackets

  • 2 1/2-inch pocket screws

  • 2 1/2-inch deck screws

  • 1 1/12-inch brad nails

  • 1 2x6 (8 feet long)

  • 1 1x4 (6 feet long)

  • 2 4x4 (8 feet long)

  • 2 2x4 (8 feet long)

  • 3 1x6 (6 feet long)

2. Cut the Pieces

This project requires several similar cuts, making the miter saw useful. You need to cut the 4x4s into four pieces: two at 37-1/2 inches long for the back legs, and two at 23-1/4 inches long for the front legs. Then, cut the 2x4s into six pieces: two at 13-1/2 inches for the side rails, two at 50-3/4 inches for the front and back braces and two at 17-1/2 inches for the center supports. Follow this by cutting the 1x6 boards into three pieces at 57-3/4 inches for the bench seat. Next, cut the 1x4 to 57-3/4 inches, also for the bench seat. Finally, cut the 2x6 into two 18-inch pieces for the armrests.

3. Drill the Holes

With the pieces cut, set up your pocket hole jig. Predrilling allows the project to go faster. Drill 1-1/2-inch pocket holes in the side rails, armrests and braces.

4. Build the Frame

Measure up 17-1/4 inches from the bottom of the legs and mark them. Attach the side rails with 2-1/2-inch pocket screws and wood glue. Next, mark the legs at 17 inches up, and attach the front and back braces the same way. At 16 inches in from either side, attach the center supports, again with the wood glue and 2-1/2-inch pocket screws.

5. Create the Seat and Arms

Notch out the front and back seat boards to go around the 4x4 legs, and evenly space the rests. Also, shape the arms. Attach the seat with brad nails and glue. Attach the arms with glue and pocket screws.

6. Stain and Waterproof the Bench

To protect the bench, add your favorite outdoor stain. Use a stain with waterproofing for the best results.

7. Attach the Tailgate

Finally, attach the tailgate using the lag bolts, washers and brackets. Be sure to secure the piece at a comfortable angle.

Outdoor projects are what make the spring and summer fun. If you want to make this project or something similar, check out TSC Stores for all of your supplies.