Spring is Coming – Building a Potting Bench

One of the many things I admire about my Mom is her green thumb.  Her front porch is beautifully dressed with flowers that she pots each Spring.  This winter, I had the idea to build her a potting bench so that she could stand comfortably while she plants her flowers instead of spending hours bent over her pots.  I searched online for a great design but couldn’t find quite what I was looking for so I contacted the talented Rogue Engineer, Jamison Rantz to convert my vision into plans. Find them here: http://rogueengineer.com/diy-potting-bench-plans/.

I started this project by assembling the back and front frames using my K4 Kreg Jig.  I use this tool for almost every single thing I build.  It’s easy to use and creates a very strong joint.  Hooking up my shop vac up to the jig while drilling the pocket holes reduces the sawdust mess and helps me move a little faster.  When joining perpendicular pieces, Kreg’s right angle clamp is a life saver.  I need to add some more of these to my collection.

Once the back and front of the frame is assembled, I added the sides and then stood the frame up and added the 2×2 rails to the inside of the frame using 2 1/2″ wood screws.   The rails sit 3/4″ below the top 2x4x22″ on the sides of the frame to allow the slats to sit flush with the frame.

After all six rails were attached, I cut my 1x2s and 1x6s to 22″ lengths and laid them out on the rails leaving 1/8″ gaps between the 1x6s and 1 1/8″ gaps between the 1x2s.  I secured them to the rails using 1 1/4″ wood screws.

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Next, I assembled the frame for the back using 1x4s and 1 1/4″ pocket screws.  Before installing the frame and cap, I cut the hardware cloth down to size with snips.  Definitely wear gloves while working with this stuff. Ouch!  I secured the hardware cloth to the bench with a staple gun to hold it in place and then attached the back frame with 2″ wood screws (pre-drill holes first to avoid stripping the screws).  To finish, I installed the cap on top using 2 1/2″ wood screws.

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The bench is assembled.  The last assembly step is to make the crate that sits below the 1×2″ slats.  I drilled pocket holes in the 2x2x17 1/2 and used 2 1/2″ pocket screws to attach them to the 2x2x11″ pieces for the crate frame.  I then attached the 1×6 pieces to the frame using 1 1/4″ wood screws starting with the sides and finishing with the bottom.

To finish the project, I sanded the whole thing down with 120 grit and filled all the screw holes with stainable exterior wood filler.  The stain is Behr Semi-Transparent Weatherproofing All-In-One Wood Stain & Sealer in Wedgewood.

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First coat of stain.

Mom's Potting Bench

Mom loves it!  🙂

 

Mom with Potting Bench

Side view

The whole project took about 8 hours for assembly and another 6 hours for sanding, filling and staining.  The look on my mom’s face when I surprised her with a this potting bench was priceless.  She’s looking forward to Spring when she can put it to use.

Happy Building!

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9 thoughts on “Spring is Coming – Building a Potting Bench

  1. redagave says:

    I’m building this bench right now, using your plans! It’s absolutely beautiful so far and the plans are super easy to follow! I’ve never done Kreg joinery before but now I’m sold on it. This bench is so sturdy, it’s amazing! Thank you for sharing your great potting bench design! I love it!

    Like

    • No, it’s all fir framing lumber and common boards. I used a weather proofing stain and it sits in a covered patio area so it’s fairly well protected from the elements. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  2. Kim Richardson says:

    Awesome job!!! I’m in love with this idea and it turned out amazing! Do you have a idea of how much the wood costs to make this project? Thank you!

    Like

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