Monday, October 7, 2013

My new potting bench and other furniture making adventures

My adventures with refurbishing/building furniture from the ground up has come a long way. And I don't mean assembling IKEA furniture! My first has got to be that little bedside chest of drawers my sister picked up from the side of the road which I later painted and replaced the handles.

And then there was this monstrosity which took way longer than expected to put together and weighs a ton.

Over the past few years I've gotten a bit bolder and more adventurous. Built a simple garden bench, put together an in-built shelving system for my sister's wardrobe as well as my own.

When I saw two pallets lying on the curbside late last year I knew what I wanted to do with them! One I made into a vertical pallet garden:

The other I dismantled to make a potting bench. I made sure the pallet wood would hold outdoors i.e. left it out in the sun and rain for a few months with no sign of rot =) I could tell it was treated pine cause it was soft and it smelled like paling fence wood when I was sawing it.

The dismantling tools: hammer, chisel, pry bar

Lovely aged wood ready for use!

I wanted a top shelf for the potting bench so I had to buy extra lengths of treated pine for the back. None of the wood from the pallet were long enough. I based this frame on tutorials from different websites like Thrifty Decor Chick and Ana White. Everything was pre-drilled and screwed together with treated pine screws. After a few checks for squareness and height adjustments, the frame was complete!

 Basic frame done

For the horizontal surfaces I decided to get cypress-pine pickets. I've read that cypress-pine lasts very well outdoors, but more than that, they look fantastic.

 Cypress-pine for the work surface


All I had left to do was to screw them down neatly and make a top shelf with the remaining pieces of cypress-pine. Viola!
 Finished product

 Large working surface for potting and drying nice curly branches for other projects

Top shelf for smaller and lighter pots

I've also added castors at the bottom but they are a bit flimsy at the moment. If I have the time I might fix that but for now, I'm very happy with the end product.

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