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How to Make an Octagon Plant Bench

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How to Make an Octagon Plant Bench

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Overview

A plant bench keeps your container or herb garden off the ground and allows you to take advantage of limited light and space. Container gardens on benches or other raised surfaces are easier to maintain, requiring less strain on your knees and lower back. Plant benches allow people using mobility devices greater access to see and maintain their own mini gardens. Support single containers on flat benches or stack octagon benches with varying diameters to support multiple containers.

Step 1

Place the 30-inch octagon so one side is facing you. Measure that side and make marks at the center point, 3 inches from the outer edge of the octagon. Repeat for the side across from the first one, and for the sides at your left and right.

Step 2

Measure the distance between each outer pair of marks to verify that they are 24 inches apart from front to back and left to right.

Step 3

Secure the 30-inch octagon on the work rest of your drill press, supported by a roller stand or flip-top material support stand adjusted to the correct height. Drill four 1/16-inch-diameter holes through the octagon at the points marked.

Step 4

Stand each of the four pieces of 2-by-2-inch stock lumber on end, one at a time. Move the carpenter's try square along the length of each piece to verify that all angles are 90 degrees. These pieces will become the legs of your octagon plant bench. Place the level on top of each piece to verify that each leg will stand level when attached.

Step 5

Mark the correct angles and cutting lines on each leg. Recut them on your table saw with the miter fence set to the correct angle. Adjust the length of each leg so that all four legs are the same. For example, if you cut 1/4-inch from one of the 24-inch-long legs, all of them must be 23.75 inches long when you finish.

Step 6

Lay a ruler across one end of each of the bench legs, one at a time. Draw a line from the lower left corner to the upper right corner and a second line crossing it from the upper left corner to the lower right corner. The point where the two lines cross is the center point for each leg.

Step 7

Make a depth stop for your 1/16-inch-diameter drill bit by wrapping the area between the chuck and the last inch of the bit with duct tape. Secure each leg upright in your drill press and drill a 1-inch-deep hole through the center point you marked in the previous step. Repeat for all four legs.

Step 8

Secure the legs to the 30-inch octagon using 1/8-inch-diameter brass wood screws.

Step 9

Smooth the entire bench and legs using coarse through extra-fine sandpaper before you apply three to six coats of clear acrylic wood sealant.

Things You'll Need

  • 30-inch-diameter, 1/2-inch-thick hardwood octagon
  • Roller stand or flip-top material support stand
  • Drill press, 1/16-inch-diameter bit
  • Countersink bit
  • 4 pieces 2-by-2-by-24-inch stock lumber
  • Carpenter's try square
  • Spirit level
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Table saw with miter fence
  • Ruler
  • Duct tape
  • Box of 1/8-inch-diameter, 2-inch-long brass wood screws
  • Coarse through extra-fine sandpaper
  • Clear acrylic wood sealant

References

  • Cool Math: Properties of Polygons--Properties of Regular Octagons
  • Technology Student: The Woodworker's Try Square
Keywords: octagon plant bench, 8-sided plant stand, octagon plant stand, container garden supports

About this Author

Jane Smith received her Bachelor of Science in education from Kent State University in 1995. She provided educational supports for 11 years, served people with multiple challenges for 26 years, rescued animals for five years, designed and repaired household items for 31 years and is currently an apprentice metalworker. Her e-book, "Giving Him the Blues," was published in March 2008.