Thursday, May 6, 2010

Using Salvaged Materials to Build a Garden Box

As I have previously shared, the landscaping in our yard is generally a mess. We actually mowed this weekend, so we are no longer the embarrassment of the neighborhood but dealing with the larger issues of hills, landscaping, shrubs, is still beyond our current scope of time and money. (And sadly I was confused about the entry period for Most Desperate Landscapes, entries had to be in my some time in January. Sad.)

In light of all the major issues in our yard, my hopes of finding a space dedicated solely to a happy little garden are were quickly waning. So I decided instead to make myself a portable garden to put on our unused side porch with all the leftover building marterials we have laying around the basement!

I'm very excited about this project and have claimed it as my "own" Micheal is helping me with a few cuts but otherwise I have deemed him "hands off" because I want to see what I can come up with. (I hate ending a sentence with a preposition...)

The extra materials we have laying around are several 2x4s from tearing down the extra wall in the utility room:

Extra old shelf boards from the closets:

And some extra 1x1s and 1x2s from the front door/window fiasco:

Brainstorming using these materials I came up with the following plan:

Six 2x4s as the base
Three 1x2s to secure the 2x4s together
Four shelf boards as the walls
Two 1x1s to lift the structure so it can drain appropriately

Here is a sketch of how to assemble the first layer:

Step 1: Measure the space you want to put your box, mine was 4' by 3' so I cut my 2x4's to 4' and cut enough to reach the 3' width, for me with spacing that was 6.

Step 2: Measure your 2x4s and cut to length. Spacing between boards is so that water will be able to drain. Set boards out to your desired width and spacing. Use a straight edge on the cut ends to get them lined up.

Step 3: Measure your 1x2s to the final width of your box (as shown in the picture) cut three 1x2s to the width.

Step 4: When your 2x4s are square and ready to go, screw the 1x2s across the 2x4s starting with the outside boards. One on each side and one in the middle. Continue to re-adjust the boards to square as they will move while until they are all attached to a 1x2.

This is what I have so far:

Ignore the right side, that should also be a 1x2 at the edge like on the left and in the center. I mistakenly used really hard wood (see the WWL post from Monday) and had to supplement with some other wood to finish securing it.

More to come as I continue to build!

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