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.
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.
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.
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.