How to build a D.I.Y. potting bench

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How to build a D.I.Y. potting bench

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Project Overview

Every gardener needs a potting bench. It’s a handy workstation where you can pot plants and store your seeds, tools, hoses and other gardening gear. We’ll show you how to build your own that’ll make gardening and finding the things you need a lot easier.

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How to lubricate difficult screws with soap
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How to lubricate difficult screws with soap

We’ve all had times when we just can’t get a screw into a piece of wood. Here’s a simple tip to make the job easier. Take a bar of soap and run the side of the screw along it, so that the grooves are covered in soap. Put the screw back into the hole and you should now find driving the screw into the wood much easier.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut the timber
2 Make the sides
3 Make the top and bottom of the bench
4 Join the frames together
5 Fix the decking
6 Make the backing frame
7 Attach the top frame to the bench
8 Attach the wheels
9 Attach the backing frame
10 Attach the decking
11 Paint the bench
12 Time to get gardening
  • Step 1. Cut the timber

    To make this project easier, we had the timber cut to size at Bunnings. Here’s our cut list for this project.

    Top and bottom shelves - treated pine:

    640mm x 90mm x 35mm x 8 (ends)
    1060mm x 90mm x 35mm x 4 (front and back long sections)
    570mm x 90mm x 35mm x 2 (centre frame supports)

    Side frames - treated pine:

    640mm x 90mm x 35mm x 4 (cross members)
    900mm x 90mm x 35mm x 4 (legs)

    Rear frame - treated pine:

    480mm x 90mm x 35mm x 3 (vertical supports)
    1200mm x 90mm x 35mm x 2 (top and bottom)

    Wheel supports - treated pine:

    640mm x 90mm x 45mm x 2

    Cladding - decking:

    1200mm x 137mm x 23mm x 12 (top and back wall)
    1060mm x 137mm x 23mm x 6 (bottom)

  • Step 2. Make the sides

    To make the sides, lay all the timber into position to form your frame. Then fix off each corner with a nail gun. Place an extra piece of timber at the bottom of the frame, which is where you will attach the wheels. Repeat this process to make the second side.

  • Step 3. Make the top and bottom of the bench

    Put together the frame for the top by laying it out on the workbench. Clamp down the timber to keep it steady. Using your nail gun, fix off the sides. Repeat this process to make the bottom frame.

  • Step 4. Join the frames together

    Now that the sides, top and bottom of the bench are made, it’s time to join the three of them together. Stand the two side pieces up and put the bottom frame in place. Pre-drill, then join the bottom to the sides with batten screws. 

  • Step 5. Fix the decking

    Lay the pre-cut decking boards on the bottom frame, placing the first board flush against the edge. Use spacers to ensure that the spacing is even between each board. Then, fix these off with your nail gun.

  • Step 6. Make the backing frame

    Lay out the timber for the backing frame. Clamp the timber to the bench and use the nail gun to fix it all off. 

  • Step 7. Attach the top frame to the bench

    Put the top frame in place. Pre-drill and then secure the frame to the bench with batten screws.

  • Step 8. Attach the wheels

    To attach the wheels, turn the bench upside down. Put the wheels in place and make marks for the holes. Pre-drill the holes and then secure the wheels to the bench. Attach the two lockable wheels to the same side. This will be the front of the bench. 

  • Step 9. Attach the backing frame

    Attach the backing frame by pre-drilling and fixing it to the bench with batten screws.

  • Step 10. Attach the decking

    You can leave your bench natural or paint it to suit your garden’s décor. We painted our frame, let it dry then moved it outside.

  • Step 11. Paint the bench

    You can leave your bench natural or paint it to suit your garden’s décor. We painted our frame, let it dry then moved it outside.

  • Step 12. Time to get gardening

    Your bench is now complete and will make a great feature in your garden. Use it to store your gardening gear and pot or repot your favourite plants.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • 5mm spacers
  • Cordless drill
  • Impact driver
  • 2–4mm pilot hole drill bit
  • Countersink drill bit
  • 5mm hex head driver
  • Dust mask
  • Measuring tape
  • Nail gun
  • Paint brush
  • Pencil
  • Quick clamps
  • Safety glasses
  • Square drive (for decking screws)
  • T-square
  • Work gloves

Materials

  • 137mm x 23mm x 5.4m timber decking x 5
  • 90mm x 35mm x 2.4m treated pine x 12
  • 640mm x 90mm x 45mm wheel supports x 2
  • 85mm bugle bolts x 50
  • Decking screws x 48
  • Black weather shield paint
  • Bugle bolts
  • Heavy duty wheels x 4 (2 x lockable, 2 x non-lockable)
  • Nail gun nails
  • 120 grit sandpaper
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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