A few weeks ago, I dragged my little potting bench inside to use in my mudroom. Since I'm beginning to landscape my property now (finally!), I needed a new bench PRONTO. Soooooo time to build! Here's what I came up with:
I searched Google for some plans that I liked and found a whole bunch of 'em. I chose this one - click HERE - and then modified it to suit me and the little touches I wanted to incorporate. This was a bit of a difficult plan to work with because I had no one to help me. If you have a helper, this is a great plan to use.
I bought new wood for this - 2x4s, 1x4s, 1x2s - because I didn't want to dance around with odds & ends of wood. Total cost $40 including coated screws, paint and caulking. As it was, I wound up doing the dance anyway because I added an old window frame and some metal panels from a fire screen - then I spent a ton of time trying to figure out how to secure everything. Sheesh.
I began by building the base, a rectangular box with 2x4s - the long pieces are 48" and the short pieces are 21". Then I attached the legs - the front are 36" and the back are 72". Once that was in place, I attached the 48" slats all across the bottom. I used 1x4s for the first and last pieces and 1x2s spaced evenly (I used a 1x2 on edge as a spacer). I used acrylic caulk as glue and my nail gun to attach the slats to the cross pieces. Then I covered each nail hole with more acrylic caulk - this stuff is interior/exterior and paintable.
Then I dragged this baby outside because I was never going to be able to move it by myself after I added any more wood to it.
I had a salvaged window frame that was the perfect size to fit my upper pieces. How lucky is that?! So I used coated 2" screws to attach it to the frame. Then I attached the front piece for the table top, a 51" 2x4 and another 51" 2x4 is attached across the top of the window frame.
I built the table frame in the same way as the base frame minus the front piece which is already attached. Notice the table front piece fits right across the legs and the shelf front piece does not.
Then came the jiggling part as I had to come up with a brace to hold this assembly in place so I could screw it to the legs. One trick to making things easier is to measure, drill and install your screws in place ready to screw into the frame once you have the table frame in place and level.
Once the table frame was in place, it was simple to add the table top pieces. So that I didn't have a lot of material waste (save on wood and money!), I added 2x2s to the sides so that my table top pieces would be 48" instead of 51". I also prefer not having the end grain exposed, so this method works really well!
Then I added my metal fire screen pieces and realized I was going to have to find some way of holding them in place.
Here is the broken screen. I used the two side pieces for the bench.
I came up with a pattern I liked and used 1x4s to fill in the gaps:
I picked up two flower basket brackets and built a little shelf from two 1x4s and braced them across the bottom with 1x2s. I placed the braces right up against the brackets so that the shelf could be removed easily but would sit firmly in place without any screws. Then the whole thing got painted.
|Garage Sale Find! $1.00|
|More garage sale finds - gotta love those garage sales.|
And now the photo you've all been waiting for!
For Part II, adding a roof, click on the photo: