DIY: Stock Tank Pool Bench

Guys, this stock tank pool bench is a game changer. Last year we just had the pool without any seating around it and our friends were left to either get all the way in the water or sit on the very uncomfortable edge. Can't blame a stock tank- it's not really what it was made for! Anyway, we decided to build a bench this year. It has been FANTASTIC. Being able to sit on the edge with your feet in the water means you'll be using the heck out of your pool. I'm going to be telling you the steps of what I did, but you will have to tailor it to your needs/pool size. There won't be amounts for the wood you will need because yours may be different. Anyway, let's get to it.

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You will need:
- Pressure-Treated 1x6s for the bench top
- Pressure-Treated 2x4s for the stands and bracing
- 2 inch Deck Screws
- 2 1/2 inch Deck Screws
- Miter Saw
- Tape Measure
- Ruler
- Pencil
- String
- Duck Tape

You also might need:
- Jig saw
This is the design I started with. The idea was to have 8 stands to hold the bench up, each of which bumped right up the the pool's side. These stands are just tall enough to allow for the bench top to sit over the top edge of the pool.
1. The first thing I did was take some string, and mark out 8 even sections. Now to be honest, my sections weren't really all that even. When I measured across our pool, I got a couple different measurements, meaning our stock tank isn't a perfect circle. So definitely keep that in mind. I started this project with a perfect sketch and strategy and soon realized I was going to have to sort of play it by hear. Anyway I just taped the two ends of a piece of string right in the middle of the pool and repeated that four times until it seemed like the sections where all even. This is where the stands for the benches will go.

2. The next thing I did was measure a piece of wood for each section. I took a 1x6 piece of wood and laid it on the edge of the pool where the bench would start closest to the pool. I measured the length between the two strings and then took a ruler to trace the angle where the string met the wood. Then I repeated that on each side and ended up with 8 pieces- one for each section. Then I cut each angle with a miter saw. When laid out, these pieces all create an octagon.

3. Next I laid three pieces of wood side by side and spaced them out about 1/4 inch. I made a spacer by taping together a bunch of business cards. I used a ruler to trace the same angle on each piece of wood. Make sure you are tracing where the angles both go outward and not inward. Each piece should be bigger than the next. Then I cut where I had traced. I ended up only doing a couple sections and then cut the rest of them as I was assembling the bench. This seemed to work best for me so I could be more exact. It's also a good idea to mark the tops of these pieces as you want the angles to match up correctly. I labeled all three pieces with the section where they belong. I assigned each section a number (1-8), and labeled the bench seat/top pieces according to where they were supposed to go. So I had 3 pieces labeled '1' and 3 labeled '2' and so on.

4. Next I assembled the stands. You'll have to decide how tall you want your bench to be. Ours it 26" tall and that seems to be the perfect height for sitting and dipping your legs in the pool. So you'll need to cut two pieces of 2x4 to the length of your bench height -2.5, so our pieces were 23.5". Then I cut a piece of 2x4 to 16.5" because that is the width we wanted. That was the easiest because 16.5" is 3 1x6 pieces laid side by side. Then I also cut a piece of 2x4 to be 13.5". This will make more sense when you watch the video, but the 16.5" piece goes on top. I screwed in 2 screws half way on each end of that piece and then put the edge of the 23.5" pieces up against the 16.5" piece and finished screwing the screws in. Then I placed the 13.5" piece in between the 23.5" pieces, right up against the 16.5" piece and screwed them together. Just watch the video, because this is starting to sound crazy. But once you've assembled these four pieces, you'll need to do it 7 more times.

5. Next I attached the bench seat/top to the stands. I took the three pieces of one section and placed the edges along the center of the top of a stand. Then I screwed the pieces down and turned the bench over.

6. Then I added the brace pieces. I cut three pieces for the bracing. One for the larger outside section between the two stands, one for the smaller inside section between the two stands, and then one between those two pieces. Again, refer to the video to see this is action. The ends of these have to be measured to the angle of the stands to fit in perfectly. I just laid a 2x4 on top parallel to the bench top pieces and then traced the angle underneath. I know it may be more time efficient to cut all of the wood at the same time, but this is just what worked for me. Like I said, I just kind of had to go with the flow on this project. Also, make sure that your smaller brace piece that will be nearest the pool isn't right on the edge. If it is, it will bump against the pool and won't allow for the stands to go right up to the pool.

7. Once I screwed the braces in, this section was complete and ready to be put in place. Our pump outlet is pretty high and came into contact with one of the braces, so I had to cut out the wood where the pump was. You definitely don't want a bench putting pressure on your pump connections. You'll want to line up the center of the stands with the string you placed on the pool earlier. If you measurements are correct, the bench section should reach from string to string. But if it doesn't, don't get too worried about it. You can adjust the next section you work on to be a little longer or shorter, depending on what you need. The strings are more of a guideline to get you started.

8. Next I made another bench section that was two sections away from the one I just put in place. I lined it up with the strings in it's section. I made sure my bench seat/top pieces that belong in the section between these two sections would fit into the space between and it turned out they were a little too big. I placed them on top of the other sections and traced the right angle from underneath, and then cut the wood.

9. Next I proceeded to add the brace pieces before screwing on the tops. I measured as needed, cut the wood and then screwed in the braces. Then I put the top pieces in place and screwed them in.

10. Repeat these steps in whatever order you prefer until you've completed all sections.
When I got to my last two sections, I realized that they were a lot bigger than I wanted them to be, so I ended up adding a 9th section so there wasn't so much spaced between the stands. This is definitely a project that you need to tailor for yourself and your pool. Once it's all done, you should have a sturdy (and pretty heavy) bench on your hands. We actually plan to paint our bench so it will keep longer- I definitely don't want to be making one of these every other year. 
This bench easily sits 8 people, and techincally you could have 8 people sitting in the pool at the same time. Not saying we've done it, but it could definitely be done. This may have been the best thing I've built in a while, it has literally changed our stock tank pool game. Anyway, I've tried my best to explain this madness. I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have! 

If you liked this post and would like to see more like it, please pin the image below.

xo, Savannah

P.S. If you haven't built your stock tank pool and need help, we have a whole tutorial RIGHT HERE!
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8 Things You Must Do In Tulum Travel Guide

Well, this is our last post for our Tulum guide. We hope you are able to visit one day but for now you can live vicariously through our posts. Today we are talking about the places you should visit. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but this is what we personally did and recommend. What I love most about Tulum is that there is much more to do than just lay on the beach, but if that's all you want to do- this is the place for that too. Here's a little video of our time there!

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1) Go to the beach. Duh. We recommend going to La Zebra beach club even if you are staying somewhere that has beach access. They don't charge you for using their beach club and they have great food and drink options.
2) Visit a cenote. Or two. Or three. Tulum has a plethora of cenotes and picking one to visit can be overwhelming. We visited Casa Cenote and Nicte-ha, but if I had to pick one I would definitely recommend Nicte-ha. There are many other more popular cenotes than Nicte-ha but that is what we loved this most- that it wasn't crowded. When we went, we had the whole place to ourselves. We read about all the different cenotes online, and we kept seeing people talking about how you needed to go really early because they get so crowded. Also, they do charge an entry fee but the fee was small (I think it was around $5/person) but it was less expensive than other cenotes.
This is Casa Cenote where you can kayak down the channel. Casa Cenote is long rather than being one giant opening like most cenotes are. I will say that Casa Cenote was not as pretty as Nicte-ha and renting the kayaks cost a little more than we expected (I can't remember how much we ended up paying).
3) Visit Soliman Bay. We heard of Soliman Bay from one of servers at El Pez. He was also the one who recommended that we visit Casa Cenote + Nicte-ha. You get to Soliman Bay by turning down this one lane road that you drive down for a while, and you also have to go through a guard, but just tell them you are going to Chamico's. You will then pass by a bunch of beautiful homes. The road dead ends into this area that just looks like a bunch of trees on sand. What is tucked away in those trees is a restaurant called Chamico's that is located right on Soliman Bay. The restaurant is very casual but the food is very good. You can buy cold coconuts and drink the water right out of them. The bay had a large sandbar so you could walk out far into the ocean. Soliman Bay is about a 20-30 minute drive from where we were staying but visiting was well worth the drive. This is my highest recommendation of places to visit.
4) Lay in a hammock. You've got to go somewhere there are hammocks and you must spend at least an hour laying in one. There is something magical about being by the ocean and swaying back and forth in a hammock. It is good for the soul. Luckily you won't have any trouble finding hammocks. Coco Tulum where stayed had them right on the beach. Chamico's had plenty of hammocks as well.
5) Watch a sunrise. Savannah and I are not early risers. I can't remember the last time we saw the sunrise in America. You must watch the sunrise in Tulum, and our birdie friends made sure we never missed one. Watching the sunrise over the ocean is spiritual and helps you remember all the beauty that God has surrounded us with. Sunrises and sunsets can put life back into order.
6) Take a day trip to Valladolid. We stayed in Tulum for an entire week, so we felt like taking a day trip to another city was okay. If you are staying for less than a week in Tulum, you may not want to take this trip. The drive from Tulum to Valladolid is about 2 hours and we are so glad we made the trip. Our biggest regret was not going on a different day. We went on a Sunday so several shops were closed. Valladolid has this old world vibe and it is completely different from Tulum. Savannah and I ate street tacos and fresh mango juice for basically no money.
7) Buy goods from the local artisans. In the town of Tulum there are several local artisans but the best place for local artisans is on the drive to Valladolid. Even if you don't take the whole trip there, drive in that direction to see all the local artisans on the side of the road. We came across this stand that sold dream catchers and we were able to watch them being made. We had a hard time picking only one to buy. We would have bought many more but we didn't have enough room in our suitcase. This is also where we found authentic street corn. It was delicious, of course.

8) Spend time in the town of Tulum. As we've mentioned before there are 2 main parts of Tulum- the beach/jungle side and the town side. Just spending time on the beach/jungle side is tempting but the town of Tulum is so amazing. There are tons of shops (where you can haggle for good deals) and bars and restaurants. At night this section pictured above is lively and full of people walking in the streets.

Thank you for staying tuned for all four parts of this guide! If you missed the others you can visit them here- Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3. If you enjoyed this guide, please Pin it on Pinterest or share with others!

Peace, Casey