A potting bench is a great addition to your backyard garden if you want to keep things organized. Building one of these benches will allow you to store all your potting supplies in one spot. A potting bench, due to its height, also makes it much more comfortable to work with your potting supplies.
You can easily build one of these great work areas using the following tools and steps:
Step 1 –Assemble the Frame
The first step in assembling a potting bench is to build the frame. Cut two 2x4's at 66 inches for the back legs and cut two more at 30 inches for the front legs. Now cut two 66-inch long 2x4's and two 19-inch long 2x4's for the front and sides of the frame and form the box about halfway up the front leg. Now repeat the process at the top of the front legs using 10 penny galvanized framing nails to fasten the 2x4’s. Make sure you check each member of the frame for plumb and level. You should be left with a 2x4 frame with a bottom shelf at 15 inches in height and a bench top at 30 inches in height. The back legs of the frame will rise above the bench top to accommodate a shelf later in the process.
Step 2 – Assemble the Hatch
A removable hatch with screening is a nice feature to incorporate into your potting bench. Mark off a 24-inch wide section at one side of the bench top for the frame. Next, cut two 2x4's the width of the bench top and two more at 24 inches wide. Assemble the box using framing nails and check to make sure it's square using the framing square. Then install the screening on the bottom of your box frame using heavy duty staples. Use your tin snips to cut the screening to size. Then take the whole box assembly and nail it into place on your bench top. The last step is to install a 2x4 on each side of the box frame as a cleat for the work surface.
Step 3 – Installing the Work Surface
Start installing the work surface on the bottom shelf of the potting bench first. Cut the 2x4 to length and fasten them to the frame. Use a nail to ensure you leave an even ¼-inch spacing between each 2x4. This will allow the bottom shelf to drain. Use the jig saw to cut notches around the front and back legs. For the top bench, cut each of the 2x4's for the work surface to the edge of the hatch frame. Be sure to leave enough of the cleat exposed for the hatch top. Use a nail to ensure proper spacing of the 2x4’s for the work surface. Now, create a hatch door to finish off the work surface by using two 2x4's as batten. Then continue installing the work surface on top of the batten. Make sure the 2x4's on the hatch door line up with the 2x4's for the work surface.
Step 4 – Installing the Self
Use the 1x6 to install a top shelf assembly for your potting bench. Cut four 6-inch pieces of 1x6. Next, cut two 1x6's the same length as the distance between the two rear frame legs for a top and bottom shelf. Fasten one of the 6-inch 1x6 pieces at each end of the 1x6 shelf. Install the last two 6-inch pieces in the middle of the 1x6. Now cap the whole thing with the other 1x6 shelf. Take the whole assembly and fasten it to the upper legs of the frame and you have a handy shelf to go with your potting bench.