I received a woodworker’s dream – a truck load of wood from a retired North Carolina tobacco barn. This stuff has character and chunks of bark still attached at some edges. The 2×4 sections are full sized, not the 1.5×3.5 stuff we’ve accepted as normal, and the grain patterns are beautiful. The timing was great as I was scheduled to build items for Michelle’s Girlie Shop, as I’ve started calling my daughter’s garage.
Michelle has been bitten by the gardening bug and is an avid container gardener. She asked me for a planting table to sit in the corner of her garage. The table would be her spot to pot, repot, and divide plants. She provided the dimensions of the open space and a piece of steel grate she captured in a dumpster diving expedition (like father like daughter).
Many projects start with a rough idea and a few basic parameters. Step by step we adjust and adapt until we have the bugs ironed out. I scribbled a few sketches then began cutting leg parts.
Joining wood solidly is a challenge and devoted carpenters drop serious cash on power tools to make the job easier. I’m partial to my Kreg Jig® pocket screw system and constantly find new ways to use it. The day my tool arrived, I was cynical about the strength of the Kreg joint, until I joined 2 pieces of 2×4. I have yet to find anyone who can break that joint. Since the dimensions of my barn wood were not standard I removed the drill guide from the jig and played with the depth of the pockets until I had a reliable connection.
With a little sweat and a few pocket screws, I built legs that will stand up to years of planting. I used the same technique to build the frame for the table top. I am sold on Kreg Jig® and love this quote from Michelle, “Mr. Kreg is real smart!” Ours is a family of believers, Craig Sommerfeld! Michelle has a Kreg Jig® on her Christmas list, even though her only power tool is a drill. But with the Kreg Jig® and a drill, magic can happen. She can always do her cutting in Dad’s shop.
Here’s the finished plant table but I have one more idea.
Why not cover the grate? Michelle can pull out all of the top slabs or just one. And her planting table can double as a serving table for a cook-out.
Projects fit together better when we rely on expert wisdom and techniques. Life is the same. God is the best One to consult and His wisdom is always right. Here’s a Bible verse that would fit on the wall of any shop.
“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
Colossians 1:17 (NASB)