Thursday, July 30, 2009

Build A Potting Bench From Recycled Lumber

Build a potting bench so you don't have to bend down when preparing potted plants.

A potting bench built from recycled lumber lessens the environmental impact of your woodworking project. Also, recycled lumber adds beauty to a project because the wood has weathered and shows signs of wear. A potting bench can be built on one side of your garden shed for convenience and to best use your materials. The bench will consist of a frame, boards across the frame for a bench surface, and a shelf on the back edge against the wall of the shed. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Inspect the recycled lumber for any nails or other fasteners from the recycled boards. Remove them with a hammer and/or pliers.

2. Measure up 36 inches from the ground at the spot on the garden shed or outbuilding wall where you plan to build the potting bench. Mark the measurement onto the wall.

3. Place a 2-by-4-by-48-inch board horizontally onto the wall with the 4-inch side flat against the wall at the measurement mark. Set a level on the board and adjust it so it's level.

4. Drive carriage bolts every 6 inches through the board and into the side of the garden shed. Make sure the board is level prior to tightening the bolts. Tighten the bolts after making any necessary adjustments. This is the back support board.

5. Mount a 2-by-4 joist hanger on each end of the back support board. Measure in 12 inches from each end and mount the remaining two hangers. Use coated deck screws.

6. Slide a 2-by-4-by-24-inch board into each joist hanger so the 2-by-4-inch end is flush against the back of the hanger. The boards should be parallel to the ground. Fasten the boards by driving screws through the joist hanger holes, through the boards and into the back support board. These are the table supports.

7. Place the remaining 2-by-4-by-48-inch board across the front of the table supports. This is the front support. The 4-inch side should be flat against the ends of the table supports. Drive screws through the front support into the ends of the table supports. Use two screws per joint.

8. Place a 2-by-4-by-36-inch board on the inside corner of each end where the outside table and front supports form a joint. These are the front legs. The legs should be parallel to the side of the shed. Fasten the legs in place by driving two evenly spaced screws through the inside face of the leg into the outside table supports.

9. Align the 1-by-4-by-48-inch boards with the 4-inch side flat against the table support frame. The length of the boards should run parallel to the shed. These are the table boards. Space the boards evenly across the table support frame. Drive two screws per joint through the table boards into the support boards.

10. Place the three 1-by-6-by-48-inch boards parallel to each other approximately 6 inches apart with a 1-inch side resting flat on the work surface. These are the horizontal shelving boards. Align a 1-by-6-by-18-inch board on either end of the shelf boards. These are the sides of the shelving assembly. Fasten the sides to the ends of the shelving boards to form a rectangular assembly, with a horizontal board across the center.

11. Place the shelving assembly at the back of the bench so the unit is supported by the shed wall. Fasten the bottom horizontal shelf board to the bench top using two evenly spaced screws on the ends and in the center.

Tags: table supports, potting bench, 4-inch side, back support, back support board, flat against, garden shed