Simple Potting Bench

DIY Potting bench plans!

Shopping List: 

7 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long (Cedar or exterior treated works best for exterior applications, but well sealed lumber can also work if properly treated and maintained)
1 - 1x6 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x2 @ 4 feet long

2 inch screws
2 1/2 inch screws
wood filler
120 grit sandpaper
primer
wood conditioner
paint
paint brush
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
circular saw
sander
level
countersink drill bit
General Instructions: 

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Dimensions: 
Dimensions shown above.
Cut List: 

10 - 2x4 @ 36" (Shelf Boards)
4 - 2x4 @ 19 1/2" (Shelf Supports)
2 - 1x2 @ 19 1/2" (Center Shelf Support)
2 - 2x4 @ 36" (Front Legs)
2 - 2x4 @ 48" (Back Legs)
2 - 1x6 @ 39" (Top Shelf)
2 - 1x3 @ 39" (Back Supports)

Cutting Instructions: 
Cut largest boards first to minimize waste.
Step 1: 

Begin by attaching the shelf boards to the side supports as shown above. Choose exterior decking screws installed correctly (see packaging) to prevent water damage. If you have a Kreg Jig™, you could also fasten from the underside and completely hide all screw holes. Take care to ensure that both (Yes, make two) shelves are square. Glue is advisable.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Mark the center underside of the shelves as shown above. Attach the center support with 2" screws.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Mark the back legs 36" from the bottoms. Then to hide your screw holes, attach the shelves to the legs as shown above from the insides. Predrill and countersink all screws.

Step 4 Instructions: 

First things first, make sure that you potting bench is square by measuring diagonally accross the back and leveling the legs with a level. You should do this at every step.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Back supports are necessary to keep the project square. You could also do simple cross bracing for the bottom if you prefer that look. The most important part is that you 1x3s supports are flush to the top of the shelf tops, and you screw into legs, shelf boards and shelf supports.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Attach the top shelf side supports to the top shelf as shown above. Trim corners off to avoid a sharp outside edge. And your potting bench or gardening station is done!

Preparation Instructions: 
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed. Because this project is likely to be used outdoor, treat with an exterior finish for added durability, and refinish as needed to protect the wood.
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Truss Shelves

Four open large shelves in the shape of truss.

After Sheri shared this amazing photo of her Ipex Bookshelf

 

I got super inspired to draw up plans for something very similar, but easier to build

 

And HammerTime built the truss shelves and shared on our Community!

And here is a money saving idea . . . how about purchasing standard MDF shelving in 4' lengths for the shelves?  Then all you would have to do is build the 2x4 frame (and 2x4s run about $2 each).  So easy!  And how about a bright paint?

Author Notes: 

Shopping List: 

4 – 2×4 Boards, 8′ or Stud Length
2 – 1×12 Boards, 8′ Long OR 4 – 4′ Shelves OR 2 – 8′ Shelves (12″ wide)
16 3″ Screws
24 2″ Screws
Wood Glue and Finishing Supplies

wood filler
120 grit sandpaper
primer
wood conditioner
paint
paint brush
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
hammer
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
circular saw
sander
Dimensions: 
Dimensions are shown above
Cut List: 

4 – 2×4 @ 66″ (Legs, ends cut at 10 degrees off square parallel to each other)
8 – 2×4 @ 11 1/2″ (Shelf Supports)

And as far as amount of storage per cost of materials, I’m not sure you can beat this one. Because all the wide width boards (the pricy boards) are used fully as storage, and all the supports are cheap (but sturdy) 2x4s. Win win.

Step 1: 

Cut Legs

Cut the legs as shown above, with the legs cut at 10 degrees off square, parallel to each other. If you do not have miter saw, you can use a protractor and a jigsaw or circular saw. Cut four legs.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Supports

The supports are all 2x4s, 11 1/2″ long. Make sure you shelves are 11 1/2″ wide first and cut the supports to match (for example, you buy 12″ wide shelving, then you would cut the supports at 12″ long). Then measure each of the legs and mark as shown above. These marks are to the tops of the supports. Screw the supports to the legs. Supports will NOT be parallel to the leg sides, but rather, parallel to the leg tops and bottoms. You can additionally use your protractor to mark the angle – it will be 80 degrees from the top of the shelf to the leg. Use either 3″ screws and glue or 2″ pocket hole screws (for pocket holes) and glue.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Shelves

If you survived step 2, this bookshelf is built! Now simply mark each of the shelves from the ends as shown above. These marks will line up with the shelf supports. Screw the shelves to the shelf supports with 2″ screws. And that’s it, your done!

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Grant Base Plans

The base for the Grant collection. Features three drawers and two doors, decorative footer, and is useable without the hutches.

Finally, today, I got to go out to the garage and make some sawdust.  And I'm so excited to share with you my next project . . . but the paint is still drying.  So in the meantime, I thought I would take on what I do believe is the longest standing plan request . . .

This project is quite a big one, both time and size wise, so we'll break it into steps.  Also, that enables someone who might just want the base as a baby changing table or buffet to build that plan,

or someone who wants just the base and secretary hutch (under a window perhaps?) to combine those plans,

and then of course, someone who wants the whole piece to have at it . . . piece by piece.

This is an advanced plan, so please don't tackle this project as your first project.  It's not so much that you can't build this, it's more a problem of precision.  The larger a project is and the more pieces that work together, the more precise you have to be.  For example, let's say your base is just slightly off square, and your secretary hutch a tad crooked in the opposite direction. . . when you go to put the two not perfect pieces together, you are going to have noticeable problems.  So be cautious about tackling a big project with lots of pieces until you are confident in your ability to build with precision.

Author Notes: 

Shopping List: 

2 – 3/4″ Plywood or MDF @ 4×8 Sheets
1 – 1×4 @ 4 feet long
1 – 1/4″ plywood @ 4×4 Sheet
2 – 3/4″ Wide Moulding @ 8 feet long
2″ Screws (Drywall for MDF) or 1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
1 1/4″ Finish Nails
Wood Glue
Wood Filler
3 – Sets of 18″ Drawer Slides
2 – Sets of Hinges
5 Knobs
Finishing Supplies

Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
hammer
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
circular saw
compound miter saw
sander
countersink drill bit
Dimensions: 
Dimensions are shown above. This project is designed to work with the hutch system.
Cut List: 

2 – 1×20 @ 24″ (Divider Sides)
2 – 1×20 @ 14″ (Drawer Box)
1 – 1×20 @ 46 1/2″ (Bottom Shelf)
1 – 1×20 @ 48″ (Top)
2 – 1×20 @ 29″ (Sides)
1 – 1×4 @ 46 1/2″
1 – 1/4″ plywood @ 48″ x 29″ (Back)
Moulding, Door and Drawer cuts are located within the instructions as you should build to fit.

Step 1: 

2 – 1×20 @ 24″ (Divider Sides)
2 – 1×20 @ 14″ (Drawer Box)
1 – 1×20 @ 46 1/2″ (Bottom Shelf)
1 – 1×20 @ 48″ (Top)
2 – 1×20 @ 29″ (Sides)
1 – 1×4 @ 46 1/2″
1 – 1/4″ plywood @ 48″ x 29″ (Back)
Moulding, Door and Drawer cuts are located within the instructions as you should build to fit.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Center Drawer Divider

Adding shelves to your center cubbies does add weight to the piece, and isn’t entirely necessary, but if you have the boards (and we do because you have to buy 2 sheets of plywood/MDF) it can add structure and stability and give you a better aligned drawer box.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Top and Bottom Shelf

Carefully mark out the top and bottom shelf as shown above and attach the center divider to the top and bottom. Use 2″ screws and glue or 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws and glue.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Sides Cutout

Mark the sides as shown above and carefully cut out with a jigsaw. Make sure the sides. Note that the sides are different than the front footer cutout.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Sides

Attach the sides to the side of the project. Use 2″ screws or pocket hole screws and glue. This cabinet is not face framed, so you should not use finish nails to build the box.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Front Footer

Attach the front footer to the bottom, inset as shown above. Mark and cut out (I would cut in place – if you are confident of your jigsaw skills – because you won’t have to worry about clamping and such). You can use a nailer and 1 1/4″ or 2″ finish nails and glue here.

Step 7 Instructions: 

Back

Attach the back with either 1 1/4″ screws or 1 1/4″ glue. It is important that you attach to the shelves and dividers to help keep the piece square. Be certain that your project is perfectly square at this point. You will only need to make one cut here.

Step 8 Instructions: 

Moulding

You should cut your moulding to fit perfectly. What I do is start by getting the center piece (the one with both ends mitered at 45 degrees) right, then doing the sides to fit perfectly to the center. Sometimes I make a half dozen cuts before I’m satisfied with the fit. Check out my Mom’s Bed to see moulding in action and more details on choosing moulding.

Step 9 Instructions: 

Doors

There are many ways that you can build doors. Because you will have some scrap 3/4″ plywood leftover, why not use it up on this project? Measure the door opening and cut a piece of the 1×20 3/4″ stock to fit the door opening, leaving approximately 1/8″ to 1/16″ gap around the door (you may need to adjust depending on the type of hinges that you use. When you are satisfied with the fit, cut 1/4″ plywood into 2 1/2″ wide strips (you’ll have some leftover from the back) and glue and clamp to the face of the door, making sure that the corners are securely clamped (TIP: Don’t clamp so tight that all the glue seeps out and you have nothing to glue the wood together with!). You will need to build two doors.

Step 10 Instructions: 

Drawers

From the 3/4″ plywood strips cut at 7 1/4″, build the drawers. The bottoms of the drawers should be cut from leftover 1×20 stock from building the box, and will be inset to the sides (as in you will nail or screw through the sides into the drawer bottom). The above drawer is designed to work with standard drawer slides, but you should always measure the drawer box before constructing your drawer to be certain that you are leaving 1/2″ on either side of the drawer for drawer slide clearance (standard drawer slides require 1/2″ clearance on each side of the drawer). Also, I like NOT attach the face until the drawer is fully installed, so I can attach the face floating in the drawer box, with an equal gap around all sides.

Step 11: 

Finishing

Remove the doors and drawers and fill and exposed holes with wood filler. If you used plywood, fill exposed plywood edges with wood filler. Sand and apply edge banding to plywood edges (for a stain) or prime and paint as desired. Replace doors and drawers and add hardware.

Project Type: 
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