Potting Table (8)

I was offered a truck load of wood from a retired North Carolina tobacco barn. All I had to do was show up to harvest and load as much as I could fit. I ask you, “Would you take a day of vacation from work for this?”

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This wood has character with chunks of bark still attached at some edges. The 2×4’s are full-sized, not the 1.5” x 3.5” stuff we’ve accepted as normal. And the grain patterns are beautiful.

A corner of Michelle’s townhouse garage would be the perfect spot for a potting table. The table would enable her to pot, repot, and divide plants. She could keep the supplies such as soil and empty pots underneath, and other gardening essentials would reside on the shelf above.

In addition to the general idea Michelle offered the dimensions of the open space and a piece of heavy grate she captured in a dumpster diving expedition at her place of work.

Projects often start with a rough idea and a few constraining parameters. From that data we design and adjust until we feel the plan is solid. I then create pencil diagrams with sizes and dimensions, parts lists, and notes. And the construction can begin.

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First up is to cut legs of the correct length to place the table top at Michelle’s waist. She would prefer to do her potting work while standing up rather than bending over.

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Carpenters drop big bucks on power tools to join wood. I’m partial to my Kreg Jig® pocket screw system. I was cynical about the strength of the Kreg joint until I connected 2 pieces of 2×4 and tried to break the joint. I was not strong enough.

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The drill guide can be removed from the jig, and I played with the depth of the pockets until I had a reliable connection.

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With a few pocket screws, I built legs that will stand up to years of gardening.

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I used the same joining technique to build the frame for the table top.

Potting Table (1)

The finished plant table met Michelle’s approval, but I have one more idea.

Potting Table (9)

Why not cover the grate? Michelle can pull out any number of the top slabs for gardening, and when the table is not in use in that arena she can cover the grate and use the top for serving at a cook out or for a small workbench in the shop.