Potting Bench Stepbystep

PHOTO A: Build the right assembly by attaching a drawer stretcher, drawer slide and lower stretcher between a tall leg and front leg. Fasten the parts together with 2V2-in. deck screws. Use a combination square to draw layout lines for the parts and to check the joints for square.

PHOTO B: Assemble the bench framework by attaching the two back stretchers, shelf stretcher and top front stretcher to the end assemblies. The ends of the stretchers should butt against the inside faces of the front and back legs. See Step 4 for exact stretcher placement.

Build the bench frame

© Cut the following cedar parts to size: tall legs, front legs, drawer stretchers, drawer slides, upper stretcher and lower stretchers. Label each part in pencil to make the pieces easy to identify.

© Build the left (plumbing) end assembly. As shown in the exploded drawing on page 98, the left end consists of a tall leg and a front leg joined by an upper stretcher and one of the lower stretchers. Install the upper stretcher flush with the top of the front leg, and inset it IV2 in. on both the front and back legs to allow space for the front top stretcher and the back stretcher. Install the lower stretcher 4 in. above the floor, and hold it in IV2 in. at the back and 1 in. at the front. Square up the assembly, drill countersunk pilot holes and fasten the parts with 2V2-in. galvanized deck screws. When completed, the overall depth from the back edge of the tall leg to the front edge of the front leg should be 27 in.

© Build the right end assembly. The right end consists of a tall leg, front leg, drawer stretcher, drawer slide and lower stretcher. Install the drawer stretcher just as you did for the upper stretcher in Step 2. Install the lower stretcher 4 in.

PHOTO B: Assemble the bench framework by attaching the two back stretchers, shelf stretcher and top front stretcher to the end assemblies. The ends of the stretchers should butt against the inside faces of the front and back legs. See Step 4 for exact stretcher placement.

PHOTO A: Build the right assembly by attaching a drawer stretcher, drawer slide and lower stretcher between a tall leg and front leg. Fasten the parts together with 2V2-in. deck screws. Use a combination square to draw layout lines for the parts and to check the joints for square.

above the floor, holding it in IV2 in. at the back and 1 in. at the front. Install the drawer slide 43A in. below the bottom edge of the drawer stretcher and flush with the outside edges of the legs. Fasten the whole assembly together with deck screws driven into countersunk pilot holes (See Photo A).

O Connect the end assemblies with stretchers. Cut to size and attach the two back stretchers, shelf stretcher and the front top stretcher (See Photo B). When you install the shelf stretcher, inset it Vi in. from the back edges of the tall legs to allow for the thickness of the back panel. Position the back stretchers 4 in. and 351/} in. from the bottoms of the back legs.

0 Build and install the middle support assembly. Cut the rear support, front bottom stretcher and remaining front leg to size. Cut a IV2 x lV2-in. notch in the top end of the front leg (See Photo C). Fasten the rear support, front leg, drawer stretcher, drawer slide and lower stretcher together with deck screws.

O Stand the support assembly you made in Step 5 in place, and position it by attaching the front bottom stretcher with deck screws (See Photo D). Complete the installation by screwing the support to the top front stretcher and both back stretchers.

© Build the benchtop. Cut the countertop to size (see Cutting List, page 99) from exterior plywood. Mark and cut a lV2-in.-radius arc on both front corners. Cut a 2 x 5V2-in. notch on the back corners so the countertop fits around the tall legs and overhangs the bench by V2 in. on each end.

PHOTO C: Notch the top front corner of the center front leg so it will fit around the top front stretcher. Then combine this leg with the rear support, drawer stretcher, drawer slide and lower stretcher to form the middle support assembly.
PHOTO D: Install the front bottom stretcher 3 in. back from the front ends of the lower stretchers to position the middle support assembly. Fasten the bottom stretcher in place, then attach the middle support assembly to the top front stretcher and back stretchers.

PHOTO E: Center the sink so it will hang over the storage area on the left side of the bench. Lay out the sink opening using the template provided by the manufacturer, and cut out the sink opening.

PHOTO F: Install the back splash and side splash pieces on the coun-tertop, then fasten the countertop to the bench framework by driving screws through the stretchers from below and into the countertop.

PHOTO E: Center the sink so it will hang over the storage area on the left side of the bench. Lay out the sink opening using the template provided by the manufacturer, and cut out the sink opening.

PHOTO F: Install the back splash and side splash pieces on the coun-tertop, then fasten the countertop to the bench framework by driving screws through the stretchers from below and into the countertop.

PHOTO G: Fasten the perfboard side and back panels to the bench framework with lV2-in. galvanized deck screws. Be careful not to overdrive the screws when installing the perfboard.

Mark and cut a clearance slot in the left edge of the top, IV4 in. wide by IV2 in. deep, for the plumbing assembly.

© Position the sink on the countertop so it is centered above the open storage area on the left half of the bench. Mark and cut out the sink opening (See Photo E).

© Cut the lower shelf, side panel and back panel to size. Then prime and paint the countertop, lower shelf and the side and back panels.

fl) Cut out and attach the shelf cleats and the shelf to the tall legs. Position the cleats 3 in. from the tops of the tall legs, drill countersunk pilot holes and attach the cleats with lV2-in. galvanized deck screws Notch the ends of the shelf (See drawing, page 98) to fit around the tall legs. Install the shelf with screws driven through the shelf stretcher from the back.

(D Cut out and attach the back and side splashes to the countertop. Clamp the back splash in place between the notches at the back of the countertop, and inset it Va in. from the back edge of the counter-top to allow for the back panel. Drill countersunk pilot holes up through the bottom of the countertop and into the bottom edge of the back splash, then fasten it to the countertop with 2-in. galvanized deck screws. Round the top front corner of each side splash. Clamp the splashes in place and attach with screws.

© Install the lower shelf to the back and bottom front stretchers with 2-in. deck screws.

© Attach the countertop assembly to the bench with 2-in. screws (See Photo F).

(E> Install the perfboard back and side panels (See Photo G).

Build the drawer & cart

© Cut the drawer sides, ends, bottom and face to size from 3/4-in. exterior plywood.

© Cut the plywood cart parts to size. To cut the angle on the cart sides, mark a point on each back edge 8V2 in. from the bottom corner. Draw lines from each of these marks to the upper front corners (See Photo H). Cut the angles.

® Prime all surfaces of the drawer and cart parts. Sand the surfaces and edges smooth first.

© Assemble the drawer box. Apply glue to the ends of the end pieces, clamp the ends in place between the side pieces and assemble with lV2-in. galvanized deck screws (See Photo I). Position the drawer bottom, using it to square up the rest of the drawer structure. Fasten the bottom to the ends and sides with screws.

© Assemble the cart box. As with the drawer, the ends are fastened between the sides, and the bottom piece fastens to the bottom edges of the ends and sides. Use counter-

PHOTO H: Cut the cart's angled sides by measuring 8V2 in. along one short edge of each side panel. Connect this point to the top corner on the opposite edge with a straightedge. Cut these parts to shape. Assemble the sides, ends and bottom panel to form the cart box.
PHOTO I: Glue and screw the drawer ends to the side pieces, driving the screws through countersunk pilot holes to keep the plywood from splitting. Then, fasten the drawer bottom to the bottom edges of this drawer frame. Use the bottom as a guide for squaring up the drawer.
PHOTO J: Clamp the drawer face to the front of the drawer box so the ends of the drawer face are flush with the drawer sides. The face should overhang the top and bottom of the drawer by IV2 in. Fasten the drawer face with lV4-in. deck screws, driven from inside the drawer.
PHOTO K: Install the leg assemblies to the cart box with lV2-in. screws. The front legs should butt against the back of the cart face. Attach the rear legs so they are flush with the cart back.

sunk lV2-in. screws for attaching the parts.

© Paint the assembled drawer box and the loose drawer face, as well as the cart and the cart face. Apply two coats of exterior latex paint.

® Attach the drawer face. Center the face on the front of the drawer box, flush on the ends and overhanging IV2 in. on both the top and the bottom edges. Clamp the face in position, drill countersunk pilot holes and attach the face from inside the drawer with lVi-in. galvanized deck screws (See Photo J).

© Attach the cart face. Note that the face is not centered on the cart: it overhangs IV2 in. on the left side, 3 in. on the right side and V~2 in. at the top. Hold the face in position with spring clamps, and screw the face to the cart from inside the cart box.

© Attach the cart legs and cart leg cleats. Cut the cart legs and cleats to size. Fasten the cleats to the legs with 21/2-in. deck screws. Attach the legs to the cart with 2-in. deck screws (See Photo K).

© Attach the casters to the legs and cleats (See

PHOTO L: Attach casters to the cart leg and cleat assemblies. We used swlvellng locking casters on the front legs and fixed casters on the back. If you plan to fill the cart with dirt, be sure the casters are sturdy.

Photo L). We used locking casters in the front so the cart stays in its place until you want to move it.

Add the plumbing

The sink is simply set loose into the countertop cutout. It can drain either directly into a 5-gallon pail, or you can use a hose clamp to attach a length of flexible tubing to the drain tail and route it to your desired location. The "faucet" is fabricated from PVC and metal parts (See Plumbing Parts, next page) that are available from any local building supply center.

© Fabricate the PVC water supply and faucet assembly. Cut the three sections of straight piping to length with a hacksaw. De-burr the cuts with a utility knife or emery paper. Dry-fit the PVC assembly together to make sure the lengths are correct. Draw an alignment mark across the fitting and pipe at every joint with a permanent marker to help you make the proper alignments quickly, once the pieces are cemented together. Disassemble the pieces.

© Build the plumbing assembly. Prepare the joint surfaces by scuffing with emery cloth. When you make the joints, wear gloves and be sure your work

Plumbing parts pmmw^

PHOTO M: Cut the straight pipe sections to length and dry-assemble the entire plumbing unit to check its fit on the potting bench. Then disassemble the PVC, prime the mating parts of each joint, and bond the PVC together with CPVC cement. Wear gloves when bonding the parts.

PHOTO N: Use strap clamps to attach the plumbing assembly to the bench.

This plumbing system is designed to hook up to a garden hose for a water supply. To build it, you'll need: (A) 90° elbow; (B) 3/4-in. PVC pipe; (C) PVC stop valve; (D) Female adaptor; (E) Hose thread to pipe thread transition fitting; (F) Angled hose connector.

area is well ventilated. Make one joint at a time. Apply an even coat of PVC primer to both joint surfaces. Spread PVC cement onto the primed surfaces, following the directions on the can. Quickly slip the fitting and pipe together. Rotate the pieces a quarter turn to spread the glue evenly, and hold the parts in place with the marks aligned for approximately one minute (See Photo M).

Attach the plumbing assembly to the bench. Position the assembly in the countertop notch, and secure the plumbing with strap clamps (See Photo N).

Finishing touches

Seal or paint the cedar parts of your bench as you like. No finish is actually required, but the cedar will turn gray if it isn't covered with a UV sealer.

PHOTO N: Use strap clamps to attach the plumbing assembly to the bench.

PHOTO M: Cut the straight pipe sections to length and dry-assemble the entire plumbing unit to check its fit on the potting bench. Then disassemble the PVC, prime the mating parts of each joint, and bond the PVC together with CPVC cement. Wear gloves when bonding the parts.

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