How to Make a Potting Bench

Overview

Gardeners go through lots of planters and potting soil. They also like to have one specific place to work and store tools or supplies. Many gardeners use a potting bench to work on their hobby. To make the potting bench, use pre-cut lumber to save time and effort. This project takes a few hours to assemble the pieces.

Legs

Step 1

Lay out one 36-inch post and one 60-inch post parallel to each other. Line up one end of the posts to be even with each other.

Step 2

Pick out from the 2- by -4-inch lumber two 36-inch boards. Set up one board across the posts, so the board rests even with the top side of the 36-inch post and flush with the outside edge of the 60-inch post. Mark the location of the board on both posts. Glue the board to the posts. Measure from the top of the shorter post down 18 inches. Mark this spot. Lay the second 36-inch board over the posts with the bottom edge on the line you just made. Line up the board across the posts, so the ends are flush. Mark the posts where the board sits. Glue the board to both posts. Allow the glue to dry.

Step 3

Drill screws at an angle through the top of the board into the post at each end. Drill screws at an angle through the bottom of the board into the post at each end.

Step 4

Repeat Steps 1 through 3 to create a duplicate side and legs.

Frame

Step 1

Position one of the sides, so the legs are in the air. Set the side in the vice with the taller post hanging over the front of the work area. Measure 5 feet from the outside of the post to the opposite end. Position the second side at this point in the same direction as the first.

Step 2

Lay a 60-inch 2- by 4-inch board across the front of the posts, so the ends match where the top 36-inch boards connect the sides. Line up the boards to form three sides of the frame. Glue the board into position. Place the other 60-inch board across the back and repeat the step to attach it. This squares up the frame.

Step 3

Drill two screws through each end of the 60-inch board into the legs.

Step 4

Repeat steps 2 and 3 of this section to position the second set of 60-inch 2- by 4-inch boards to match up with the lower 36-inch boards on the sides. This should give you a double-braced frame on all sides for the bench.

Step 5

Remove the vices. Stand the bench on its legs.

Work Surface

Step 1

Place one of the remaining 60-inch boards along the top side of the back legs facing you. Line up the board and attach it using steps 2 and 3 of the "Frame" section.

Step 2

Hook the measuring tape at the top of one back leg. Measure down 12 inches of the post. Mark the spot. Repeat this step with the other back leg.

Step 3

Repeat step 1 of this section at the markings made in step 2 of this section.

Step 4

Measure, mark and cut 4-inch squares from the corners along the long side of a plywood sheet. Lay the sheet on the framework to form the table top with the cutouts fitting against the rear posts. Make the cutouts snug against the posts. Attach the plywood to the frame with screws every 2 inches on each side.

Step 5

Measure, mark and cut 4-inch squares from all four corners of a plywood sheet. Lay the sheet onto the lower frame. The cutouts should fit against the posts the same as in step 4 of this section. Attach the plywood using step 4 of this section.

Step 6

Set the remaining plywood sheet upright against the back posts and boards. Attach the plywood to the frame with screws every 2 inches.

Storage Areas

Step 1

Place the bottom of the tub on one end of the table surface; allow room between the tub and table edge. Trace the outline of the tub on the table. Remove the tub and make the lines more visible to cut. Cut out the tub outline and discard the cutout.

Step 2

Line up a 60-inch board across the face of the bench back above the table. Set up the board 2 inches below the top of the back with the narrow edge touching the plywood. Have someone hold the board as you attach the board with screws drilled at upward angles through the board into the posts. This creates a shelf.

Step 3

Attach a shelf holder to the shelf at one end by drilling a screw through the upper hole of the holder into the plywood. Drill a screw through the lower hole into the board behind the plywood. Repeat this step for a holder on the opposite end of the shelf and again in the middle of the shelf.

Step 4

Use steps 3 and 4 of this section to attach a second shelf to the back of the bench. Match up the second shelf with the lower back board behind the plywood.

Step 5

Attach the "J" hooks along the frame and legs as desired with screws. These allow easy hanging of tools and supplies.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-inch by 4-inch by 48-inch boards, 4
  • 2-inch by 4-inch by 96-inch boards, 4
  • 4-inch by 4-inch by 36-inch posts, 2
  • 4-inch by 4-inch by 60-inch posts, 2
  • 2-inch by 4-inch by 36-inch boards, 4
  • 2-inch by 4-inch by 60-inch boards, 4
  • 3/4-inch by 36-inch by 60-inch plywood boards, 3
  • 2-inch by 6-inch by 60-inch boards, 2
  • 30-gallon plastic bin
  • Jig saw
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • "J" hooks
  • 6 shelf brackets

References

  • Family Handyman: Cedar Potting Bench
  • Ron Hazelton: How to Build a Gardening and Planting Bench
  • Freeplants.com: Free Potting Bench Plans
Keywords: potting bench, DIY gardening bench, bench for gardening

About this Author

Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.