Farmhouse Potting Bench

Submitted by Ana White on Sun, 04/19/2020 - 10:59
Difficulty
Intermediate
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Build your own potting bench for about $50!  This farmhouse style potting bench features a slatted bottom shelf, upper shelf with hook bar, and X detailing on the ends.  Simple construction uses basic tools and off the shelf materials.  Free plans by Ana-White.com

farmhouse potting bench

Why I Designed This Potting Bench

Last winter, I built a farmhouse style coffee table for our living room.  We have loved it and get so many compliments on it!

farmhouse coffee table

As spring showed up, guess what started happening???

I noticed a TON of people building the farmhouse coffee table as an outdoor coffee table!

I don't know why I didn't see that sooner - with it's slatted design, 2x construction - this is the PERFECT outdoor coffee table!

You guys are so smart.

I've been wanting to build a potting bench, and my friend suggested with the beauty and success of the farmhouse coffee table, why not build a matching potting bench?

farmhouse potting bench

I've got such smart friends!  This potting bench is absolutely gorgeous!  

And it was a fairly quick and easy build!

farmhouse potting bench

Other Uses for This Potting Bench

We love how it turned out and can see it used indoors and out!  Wouldn't it be gorgeous as an indoor console table, as an outdoor bar, as a drop zone, or even as a baker's rack?  SO MANY POSSIBILITIES!

Video Tutorial

We filmed this build so you can see it come together:

And the free plans follow.  

Dimensions
Potting bench dimensions
4 feet wide, standard counter height work surface, shelf suitable for tools about 14" hanging heights

Preparation

Shopping List

3 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long

4 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long

4 - 2x6 @ 8 feet long

About 120 - 2-1/2" long #8 self tapping wood screws (I recommend these from Home Depot)

Exterior appropriate wood glue

Cut List

2 - 2x4 @ 34-1/2" - front legs

2 - 2x4 @ 53-1/2" - back legs

10 - 2x6 @ 15-1/2" - slats 

3 - 2x2 @ 40" - front/backs

1 - 2x4 @ 40" - back

1 - 2x4 @ 47" - top back (recommend cutting this board to fit when you get to this step in the build)

3 - 2x6 @ 48" - tabletop boards

1 - 2x4 @ 50"

NOTE: This cut list has been corrected per user comments for the 3-2x6 tabletop boards

Cutting Instructions

Cut longest cuts first to maximize use of all boards

Tools
Tape Measure
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Drill
Miter Saw
Power Sander

Instructions

Step 1

Build the two leg sets as shown in the diagram with 2 screws per joint and glue.  The two legs need to be built in mirror.

Step 2

Attach the two legs sets together using the 2x2s with screws and glue on a level surface.

Step 3

Measure up 1-1/2" on the back legs from the tops of the 2x6s.  Attach 2x4 back with screws to the 2x6.  Also recommended is a screw at an angle from the top of the 2x4 into the back legs.

Step 4

Attach 2x6 slats inside the bottom shelf.

Also recommended in another 2x6 support in the center of the tabletop so you have something to screw your tabletop boards to.  It is shown as a 2x4 in the diagram, but you can use a 2x6 as you will have the scraps leftover.

Step 5

Measure and cut the back from the 2x4.  Attach with screws and glue along the top edge.

Step 6

Scribe the 2x2 X detailing and cut on the compound miter saw.  This step is shown in detail in the video, so please watch if you are having issues. 

Use glue to attach the middle X and a screw or a brad nail (if you have a brad nailer).

Step 7

Space out the tabletop boards and attach from underneath.

Attach top shelf to the tops of legs and the back top piece with glue.

Finishing Instructions
Finish Used
Golden Oak by Varathane (not suitable for direct exterior use though)

Comments

lbmots

Sun, 03/07/2021 - 12:15

This was my first woodworking project and it went really well thanks to the detailed instructions! However, the other comments are correct: the last item on the cut list should be 1 2x6 @50, NOT 2x4. The shopping list is correct.

I skipped the X and did vertical 2x2s there instead. The whole project took about 5 hours and cost more than anticipated (about $100) but I don't know if there are more affordable places for lumber, or if Seattle is just expensive.

Anyways, love the finished product, thanks for the detailed plans!! Highly recommend this project.

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