DIY Potting Bench Plans

Gardeners will dig these DIY potting bench plans for increasing their outdoor garden storage. Do-it-yourselfers can build the potting bench only, or keep hammering and finish it with a garden storage cabinet.

| April/May 2015

DIY Potting Bench

These versatile DIY potting bench plans show you how to build the entire project as shown, or you can choose to construct only the bench (lower section) or cabinet (upper section).

Photo by Tom Thulen

Do you wash your garden produce on the lawn with a hose? Or transplant seedlings on top of your picnic table, or on your knees in the garden? If so, this DIY potting bench will make your gardening chores easier and faster. These DIY potting bench plans will let you work at a comfortable height, and will provide a central place for stashing your hand tools and supplies. The tubs will offer places to store soil, compost, waste and other materials. You can even add a sink to one side.

Before building your potting bench, purchase the storage tubs or baskets you’ll be using for the cantilevered wings, and tweak the dimensions of the bench parts accordingly. The materials and cutting lists are divided into bench and cabinet sections so you can build only one component if that’s all you need. If you’re building an outdoor potting bench, choose cedar or another rot-resistant lumber. Remember that cedar board dimensions usually aren’t as uniform as those of pine, so adjust your measurements accordingly. For interior use, any wood is fair game.

DIY Potting Bench Plans

1. Cut the 2-by-4 legs (A, B) and leg blocks (C, D) to length as indicated in the cutting list. Use a compass to draw 3-1/2-inch-radius semicircles on the top end of each of the rear legs (see A in drawing,) cut the ends to shape with a jigsaw, and sand the edges smooth. Secure the legs (A, B) and leg blocks (C, D) to one another with construction adhesive and 10d galvanized nails. Make the space between the leg blocks wide enough to tightly sandwich the platform and slats that will fit between. A gap that’s too big will result in a wobbly workbench, while a gap that’s too small will mean you’ll have to persuade the parts together with a hammer, or cut the blocks shorter after they’ve been attached to the legs.

2. Build the frames (E, F, G) for the top and bottom platforms, fastening the corner joints with 3-1/2-inch exterior screws. Double up the (G) boards on the inside of the top platform’s frame for the tubs. Check to make sure the openings on the ends of the top platform will accommodate your tubs. (You bought the tubs first, right?) If the openings are too large, use scrap 2-by-4s to fill in the extra space.

3. Make sure the platform frames are square, and then install the 1-by-6 slats (H) using 8d galvanized nails. Pre-drill the nail holes to prevent splitting. The top and bottom slats should overhang the frames by 1-3/4 inches. Notch the outer two slats on the bottom platform to fit around the front legs.

3/23/2015 9:15:51 AM

Amber, you can figure the dimensions by looking at the drawings in the slideshow. If you build both the table and the cabinet, your potting bench will be 80 inches high, 84 inches wide and about 29 inches deep. Happy building!

3/19/2015 8:32:58 AM

What are the finished dimensions of this project? Maybe I missed them when I read the article, but I couldn't find them.

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