3 Power Tools, 1 Great Outdoor Sofa

A tutorial by .


Hairpin Legs 3-Rod


semi exact Get The Product


Tape measure
Circular saw
Orbital sander
  • 4 – Hairpin Legs, 3-Rod, 3/8" diameter, in desired height and finish (we used 12" in jet black satin)
  • 2x6 lumber (we used premium kiln dried cedar)
  • Cushions
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler or straightedge
  • Circular saw
  • Speed square
  • Clamps
  • Orbital sander and sanding discs (we used 150-grit)
  • Drill/driver
  • Doweling jig
  • 3/8" Wood doweling kit
  • Wood glue
  • Screws (such as 2-1/2" finish screws for the base and 3-1/8" finish screws to attach the side panels)
  • L-brackets
  • Safety gear such as eye protection, a mask/respirator, and gloves

Ben Uyeda

Ben Uyeda stepped away from the award-winning architecture firm he co-founded, as well as an Ivy League teaching position, to develop media companies that deliver affordable designs to the masses. In the last four years, Ben’s design ideas have reached more than 50 million people and the free designs he gives away are being built on six different continents. Despite the populist and affordable nature of his work, Ben’s designs have been featured in an exhibition and workshop at the Vitra Furniture Museum in Germany.

We designed this project so it could be built with just three power tools and a few accessories. You can easily adjust the design to fit cushions of any size, and paint or stain the sofa if you like.
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Step 1:
Cut the wood to size

Use a circular saw to cut your 2x6 lumber to size. For the three-inch-wide front piece, clamp one 2x6 down on top of another. Use it as a guide, and cut the 2x6 underneath into two pieces. Use the leftover piece to make supports for the underside of the seat.

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Step 2:
Sand it down

Use an orbital sander and 150-grit sandpaper to sand everything smooth.

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Step 3:
Drill dowel holes

Use a dowling jig to join three of the 2x6 pieces together, to create each of the two side panels. Drill three holes in the first piece, insert the metal markers, and then press one piece against the other to transfer the mark onto the holes perfectly.

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Step 4:
Glue the pieces together

Use wood glue and clamps to join three of the pieces together side by side. Be careful not to apply too much glue, so it doesn't ooze through the cracks and create extra sanding work. Repeat to create the second side panel.

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Step 5:
Make a seat

Assemble the sofa upside down, driving screws in from the bottom. Next, screw on the front piece of the sofa. Add extra wood pieces so that you can screw in from the back and hide the screw heads. Attach the side panels.

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Step 6:
Angle the backrest

Cut a 2x6 into a piece that's 20 inches long. Draw a line corner to corner, and cut it into two pieces with a circular saw. Place a piece of wood underneath that's one and a half inches thick. Draw a line so you how much to trim off. Use the angle on the piece of wood to set the angle on your circular saw, and cut the top of the backrest.

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Step 7:
Add backrest supports

Screw the backrest supports to the side panels. Then add the 2x6s that will create the backrest.

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Step 8:
Assemble the sofa

Fasten the top piece using L brackets, to hide the screw heads. Then flip the sofa over, and add some more short pieces of 2x6s to the bottom to create a nice wide surface for attaching your Hairpin Legs.

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Step 9:
Attach the hairpin legs

Use a drill/driver to drive screws through the Hairpin Legs base plate holes. Check that the legs are secure and turn the sofa over.

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Step 10:
Add cushions

Drill holes in the backrest to thread your cushion strings through. Finish up sanding, clean away the dust, and tie your cushions securely to the sofa. And you're done! A stylish outdoor sofa with an angled backrest for added comfort.

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