A bench for pots

So even though I’ve been working along quite steadily on all the projects I forgot to blog about (complete list here) and finished the laminate/hardwood floors indoors, I decided I needed another project. Because I’m crazy, that’s why.

This little patch of dirt was my nemesis – always messy, plants that never stay alive and a sprinkler head that didn’t work.

2015-06-07 (06)

So I cleared it out, the rocks were tossed into the plot of dirt around the tree, the plants pulled out and the dirt smoothed over. I wore gloves because I have a healthy fear of spiders in dark places. ALSO I found a very old wasp nest in this corner hiding behind the living room window frame. I blasted it to pieces from afar with the hose set to jet.


With the idea to install a beefy, sturdy, kickass potting bench here, on Thursday night I was off to Home Depot for supplies.

By the way, totally off topic but, I’ve been trying something new when I go shopping for lumber or tools. I will change all of my clothes to appear less “girly” (not that I dress all that feminine when I’m working on a project but no dresses, sandals, etc.) to see if shopping in work clothes makes a difference. I’ve been quite annoyed lately at either being completely ignored, disregarded or condescended to while shopping. Considering how much I spend and how often I shop at Home Depot, it gets frustrating real quick.

Anywho, back to Thursday night. I picked up all of the lumber I needed for a new potting bench and had them cut the 4×4 redwood posts in 2 pieces 3′ and 5′. Although the plans I’m using (here if you’re interested) called for 36′ posts all around I decided to make the back one taller for a shelf.

Friday afternoon I started working on the cuts and my stroke of genius to relocate the miter saw to the front porch was only mitigated by the fact it was 104 degrees. I wisely went to the movies earlier in the afternoon when it was a hellish 108.

Also, since I picked up another power drill, I set one up with the drill bit and a second with the screw piece so I could switch back and forth without resetting the bits. Unfortunately the batteries for the drill were d.e.a.d. so I got as much done before they both needed a charge.


Saturday morning I went outside early and finished up the cuts, screws and nailing before 10am – totally forgetting my breakfast in the kitchen. The dogs were having a tussle so I put them in time out and was able to work really quickly after that. I did need to do a jigsaw cut on the last 1×6 to notch it around the back posts but after working on the floors those cuts are cake.

One thing I did make time for is sanding down the edges of the boards which splintered a bit after being trimmed to fit. Mostly because I suffered a few nasty splinters and don’t want that trend to continue. Here’s how it looked all finished and moved into place:


There’s no much new to share, the tutorial I used is pretty accurate. My only change was using 2″ nails from my automatic nail gun instead of screws on the top boards. I figure that if I need to replace those for any reason the smaller nails are easier to remove. Also, it was faster.

It would be easier to assemble with two people, if only because holding up the wood straight + screwing it in when your drill battery is dying can be trying. It’s light enough for me to move a couple feet on my own (not unlike an empty dresser would be awkward but not overly heavy) but if I decided to move it into the garage or elsewhere I might need 2 more hands. Or wheels. I could totally install casters and then it would be easy as pie.

I used 1-1/2″ long deck screws in gray for the posts and for the most part they went in easy enough.

I measured and designed this to go right under the garden window off the kitchen and while I love this window in theory it is a pain in the ass to reach, clean and keep stocked. I love having plants in there but there’s no way to reach them in the back. Also, it’s drafty.

So soon that window will be replaced (soon is a relative term) and then I’ll use the taller posts in the back as supports for a shelf.

I had a lot of fun loading this up, mostly with things that have been all over the front porch or garage in recent weeks and all the plants I’ve been repotting indoors. I’m so glad that I can get my hands dirty without getting the whole kitchen a mess.


On the shelf below I have a bunch of succulents that are currently in the process of deciding if they’re going to live or die, a crate I stained and then threw some pillows in, a fishbowl full of fish tank rocks and a metal tub with various garden tools.


I may still clear off the bench and paint it with Thompson’s Water Seal – I have enough leftover from the raised garden bed project and it’s just sitting in the garage. Speaking of the garage, I have a ton of empty pots on a shelf out there that will likely migrate outside soon enough. It’s not my intention to keep all the potted plants here so they’ll slowly make their way back into the house or around the yard.

I’ve also ordered some vintage valve handles for holding things on the sides of the bench and can’t wait to get those installed!

Until then I’ve rolled out the outdoor rug and am really looking forward to making the most of this space for once.

8 thoughts on “A bench for pots

  1. Looks really nice! I was thinking of making one to use as a grill cart but have never used a saw before so that project sits in my head with a dozen others 😉

  2. The saw isn’t that hard to learn but you can also get the staff at Home Depot to cut the boards for you. I used 1×6 boards for the top and bottom so I just got 10′ long ones and had them cut 6′ for the top and 4′ for the bottom.

  3. Pingback: My Friend Kelly

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