Every now and again I get called upon to help build something for a friend. I guess it’s because my girlfriends don’t have all the tools I do, or maybe it’s because I have more experience than most in my social circle.
This week a good friend showed me a picture of a Costco raised bed planter she thought she might buy. For $190 she could buy a set of two plastic snap-together beds that would give her 32 square feet of usable garden space. The 4’x4′ planters didn’t ideally suit her needs, as she didn’t really want to give up that much lawn space.
I convinced her that for 1/3 the cost she could have a lovely cedar planter, made to whatever dimensions she liked.
I sent her to the lumber depot with a shopping list:
4x 2x6x10′ cedar boards (for sides)
1x 2x6x8′ cedar board (for ends) cut into 4 two foot lengths
I looked through my things and found:
2 1/2″ zinc wood screws
An old stair rail which I cut into six 2x2x11″ pieces
We met at her place and got started. I’ve built a number of these sort of beds, but I have to say that having someone to help is a real treat.
With her holding each 2×2 in place, I screwed two screws into each board, fastening them to the corner post.
After the first layer was complete, we began the same process with the second level. I like to alternate the overlap of the boards so that the planter looks the same from all angles. It also provides more strength to the joints.
Since this raised bed is ten feet long, we added two more posts halfway along the length to pull the boards together and support them. Easy peasy.
In a half hour we were done with the project; I doubt she could have put the plastic planters from Costco together any quicker. And the custom built cedar planter looks awesome.