Build a Potting Bench

Michelle Radcliff
potting bench

Building a potting bench is a moderate to easy do-it-yourself outdoor furniture project that can help make potting plants much easier. The bench is a great place to store tools and materials needed for potting plants and provides a convenient work space.

Materials and Tools

To prepare for this project, you will need to gather the following items:

Tools

  • Carpenter's square
  • Power drill
  • Assorted drill bits and driver bits
  • Screwdriver
  • Hand or power saw
  • Tape measure
  • Sliding bevel

Materials

  • 2 x 4 in treated pine (57.5 ft, total)
  • 1 x 6 in. treated pine (77 ft. total)
  • 2 x 6 in. treated pine (69 ft. total)
  • 82.7 x 27.5 x .5 in. exterior plywood
  • 12 ft. corrugated roofing sheet
  • Galvanized roofing screws
  • 3 in. galvanized screws
  • Paint or timber finish

How to Assemble

The finished garden potting bench for this plan will measure 82.7 in. wide by 70.9 in. high at the rear. It will be a valuable work space where you can keep all of your gardening and potting tools together in one place.

Step One

To construct the base frame, mark and cut two pieces of 2 x 6 treated pine to a length of 80.9 in. and two pieces to a length of 25.8 in., making sure to keep the ends square. Secure the pieces into a rectangular shape using the 3 in. galvanized screws.

Step Two

Measure and cut two pieces of the 2 x 6 treated pine to make cross members, which will strengthen the frame. These pieces should measure 24 in. in length. Secure the cross members with the 3 in. galvanized screws at 27.6 in from each end of the frame, making sure the cross members are flush with the top of the frame.

Step Three

To make the shelf frame, repeat steps one and two. Cut two pieces of 2 x 4 treated pine to a length of 80.9 in. and another two pieces to a length of 25.8 in. Screw the frame together as you did in steps one and two. Then cut two cross members to a length of 24 in. and install each one 27.6 in. from each end of the frame.

Step Four

Now it is time to connect the frames. Mark and cut two shelf frame supports from the 2 x 4 treated pine to a length of 35.2 in. Attach the frame supports on the inside of each edge of the rectangular frame.

Step Five

Mark and cut two pieces of 2 x 6 treated pine to a length of 70.9 in. These pieces will form the end supports between the base and shelf.

Step Six

Lay the two end supports flat on the ground, parallel to each other and lay the base frame on top. Make sure the supports are square to the frame and secure with 3 in. galvanized screws.

Step Seven

Measure 35.2 in. up each rear support piece and mark. Fit the shelf frame in place so that the front supports fit inside the front of the shelf frame and the frame aligns with the marks on the rear support pieces. Once the shelf frame is squarely aligned with the base frame and support pieces, screw the support pieces to the shelf frame, using two screws at each joint. Use an extra screw at each end of the base frame. Turn the framework upright and check that everything is square and solid.

Step Eight

Next you will add boards to the base frame. Measure and cut four pieces of 2 x 6 treated pine to a length of 82.7 in. Place the boards on the base frame, starting from the rear and ensuring the boards butt firmly against each other. Secure the boards in place with screws.

Step Nine

Cut two pieces of scrap 2 x 4 treated pine to a length of 5.5 in. Screw to the inside face of the front shelf support board to help strengthen the support. Now measure and cut one 2 x 6 treated pine to a length of 75.6 in. Pre-drill and drive screws at each end in at an angle towards the shelf support upright and screw to the front of the base frame.

Step Ten

Next you will cover the shelf frame with 1/2 in. exterior grade plywood, measuring 82.7 x 27.6 in. Screw the plywood to the frame members and then sand the front and side edges smooth. Then measure and cut one 2 x 4 treated pine to a length of 82.7 in. and screw to the top of the rear supports.

Step Eleven

Measure and cut thirteen 1 x 6 treated pine slats to a length of 70.9 in. and screw these pieces to the base frame, shelf frame and top member to form the back of the workbench.

Step Twelve

Now it is time to make the roof. Measure and cut two 2 x 4 treated pine to a length of 32.1 in. These pieces will serve as side roof supports. With a partner's help, clamp one of the roof supports at the top of the rear wall of the workbench. Tilt the support by 10 to 15 degrees, causing the roof to slope toward the rear of the structure.

Step Thirteen

To make the side struts, cut and measure two pieces of 2 x 4 treated pine to a length of 51.2 in. Hold one piece against the side frame and mark each end that you will trim at an angle, so that the side strut end is flush with the roof support and frame side. Use the first strut as a template for the other strut. Attach the struts using two 3 in. galvanized screws at each end.

Step Fourteen

Measure and cut a 2 x 4 treated pine to a length of 79.1 in. and screw between the two roof side supports. Then measure the distance between the front and back roof boards (inside edges) and cut two cross members from the 2 x 4 pine. Screw the cross members 29.9 in. in from each edge of the roof.

Step Fifteen

To cover the roof, cut the 12 ft, corrugated roofing sheet into three equal pieces. Attach to the roof frame using roofing screws and washers. Screw through the hill of the corrugated roofing sheets into the frame wood, overlapping the corrugations by one and a half.

Get Ready to Plant

The treated pine lumber used to construct the potting bench does not need to be finished, but you can paint or stain the bench if you wish. You can also install a tool rack on the rear wall of the bench for convenient storage and access to all of your gardening tools. Now you are ready to start potting your favorite plants and flowers without being constantly bent over in an uncomfortable, back breaking position.

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Build a Potting Bench