Cedar Potting Bench

Potting Bench after staining.

 In the past few years, I haven’t been able to do much woodworking.  My tool time was limited to several DIY projects that had higher priority.  This spring, I took a day off from work to build this Cedar Potting Bench.

I started with plans from The Family Handyman magazine.  The plans were for a 47″ wide bench, but the area on our patio was more like 65″ inches.  I decided to widen the bench to give more table top and shelf space.

With the added width, I was concerned about the structural integrity.  I was able to modify the plans by adding a middle vertical support for the back of the bench to add some additional strength.  Without this vertical support, I believe there could have been some sagging with the shelves.

Layout out the back of the potting bench.

The plans called for using a plastic wastebasket to hold the dirt.  Another change was to use cement board instead of exterior-grade plywood to hold the dirt container.  By cutting a hole in the plywood, the container hangs from the bench by the lip of the wastebasket.  I could not find exterior plywood, but I found that cement board (used in tile applications) worked just as well.

Attaching the front assembly to the back.

Construction was primarily Gorilla glue with exterior screws.  Some pocket screws were used as well.  I used Behr transparent stain/finish to protect the cedar from the elements.  Shelf brackets from the local big box store were used to support the shelves.

This was a really fun project, and was a great way for me to get back into woodworking.  Next project will be an Entertainment Center for our living room.

Starting to cut and fit the boards for the bench itself.

A litter pan provides a way to catch excess dirt when potting.

Potting bench nearly complete.

Closeup of the bottom shelf.

Closeup of the bench.

Full of plants.

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