Aldo Leopold Bench Plans
Outdoor Plans January 10, 2007 WoodworkCity 18
Link to the plan at the EPA site: https://archive.epa.gov/greenacres/web/html/wo27bench.html
The Aldo Leopold bench is a very simple, yet classic, bench for any yard, park, deck or patio. This bench is simple to build and uses a small amount of material. Perhaps this is what makes it a favorite of conservationists.
After receiving a number of questions with regard to the Aldo Leopold Bench, I decided to expand on it a bit. If you are a user of the program named Sketchup, you can download plans for the Aldo Leopold bench. There are a few versions on this page, but the featured one is using the traditional size:
From the above plan, you can “scale” the bench to suit your needs and then simply measure your scaled drawing. If you use Sketchup, you will be able to scale the item while keeping the proportions of the bench.
Another reader had a question with regard to the bench height to use for a child’s size bench. That is a difficult question since there might not necessarily be an absolute standard for child size chair height. We conducted a search and came across a very nice guide at CommunityPlaythings.com. The following PDF should give you some guidance in terms of heights based on the age of the child. I would prefer that it were based on the height of the child, but this should give you some guidance.
Table and Chair Height Guides (PDF Download)
You can build the entire bench with as few as 2 2″x10″ boards (with cutting). You can customize the length to suit your needs.
Good Luck. The full plans are found after clicking on the measured drawing above.
Material List / Cut List for an Aldo Leopold Bench:
1 @ 2 x 6 x 33″
1 @ 2 x 10 x 30″
1 @ 2 x 8 x10′
6 @ 3/8″ x 3 1/2″ carriage bolts with washer and nut
12 @ 3/8″ x 31/2″ #12 or #14 flathead wood screws
The materials listed above will make a 33″ bench. If you would like to extend the length of your bench, simply alter the length of items 1 and 2 above. Going beyond 48″ will likely lack middle support on the seat and the seat back.
GillJanuary 19, 2016 #1 Author
Would love to get these plans but when I double click on them I’m sent to an EPA site. Verey frustrating.
Octavio EspinosaDecember 5, 2014 #2 Author
Just saw the guide, thank you so much.
Octavio EspinosaDecember 5, 2014 #3 Author
Five years old. Thank you.
Octavio EspinosaDecember 5, 2014 #4 Author
The 2 long sides are 33″ long and the 2 short sides are 18″ long.What are the measurements for a child bench? Thank you.
WoodworkCityDecember 5, 2014 #5 Author
Thanks for the question. I edited the original post to give a little guidance for a child’s bench. Really depends on the age/size of the child. If you aren’t able to scale, provide the age and we’ll see if we can provide a measured drawing that is scaled down.
William MayfieldFebruary 24, 2013 #6 Author
I used a large speed square to get the angle. 60 degrees wouldn’t work but 30 degrees worked just fine since 30 from 90 equals 60. Great bench plans. I built 2 in less than 2 hours.
adminFebruary 25, 2013 #7 Author
This bench design is so simple and functional. It is a fun project to build. Any youth organization or scout troop should consider this project. It is simple, safe, and doesn’t require a variety of material or hardware.
adminFebruary 23, 2013 #8 Author
There is more of a description (and material list) here: http://www.epa.gov/greenacres/wildones/handbk/wo27bench.html
PhilAugust 5, 2020 #9 Author
The epa link has been moved to here: https://archive.epa.gov/greenacres/web/html/wo27bench.html
WoodworkCityAugust 6, 2020 #10 Author
Thank you Phil. We’ll update the link. Your help is appreciated.
Carl C FergusonFebruary 23, 2013 #11 Author
Are the short pieces cut at 60 degrees and opposite cuts? Top and bottom. I am not sure also how is the 18 ? Do you start with an 18 in board? I am just starting to do wood works.
AnnJune 21, 2012 #12 Author
My husband made one of these for our daughter. He is now making one for me. They look great, don’t take up much space and are quite comfortable.
adminJune 21, 2012 #13 Author
That is terrific. This is such a simple, yet interesting design. Do you have any pictures? If so, e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will show off your husband’s work.
Pierre VFebruary 1, 2012 #14 Author
Oops! meant that the back rest cold be a few 2x4s spaced. With 2×8 sides, you keep the proportions and good looks. Thanks
Pierre VFebruary 1, 2012 #15 Author
actually, you can use what you have, made one in a couple of hours with scrap stuff. I would recommend however that the sides be at least 2×8 and the seat 2×10. The back rest can be 2×6 spaced. Make certain that the angle cuts are 60 degrees; that makes it more stable. Great bench, great fun, nice looking and above all comfortable. Everyone should have two or three of varied lengths.
Gale GreenJune 5, 2011 #16 Author
Hi– 2 2″x10″ boards. . . how long? I just found your site. Thanks! sign me up.
adminJune 6, 2011 #17 Author
Sorry we weren’t more specific on this. The Aldo Leopold Bench can be built with 2 @ 8 foot long 2″ x 10″. If you view the plan, you will see that the bench seat is 30″ wide, the bench back is 33″ (ripped down to a 2″ x 6″ dimension). The 2 long sides are 33″ long and the 2 short sides are 18″ long. Laid out properly, this would amount to less that 2 @ 8′.
Good luck with your Aldo Leopold bench. A great, and simple, bench project.
George F. BoneMarch 21, 2011 #18 Author
Getting started on wood working as a hobby. Build one Leopold bench and it came out good. Looking for new ideas and need to buy a table saw.