Step 2: Add the work surface
First cut seven 90 x 22mm treated pine decking boards each to 1480mm length to form the work surface (F). Lay out these boards on your frame. They should fit flush with the back of the frame and overhang the sides and front of the frame. Place all boards parallel and square with the frame. Now mark and pre-drill all the holes then nail or screw each board into place, including into the support brace for the potting bin, to complete your work surface. Next we’ll make the bottom shelf (G). Cut five 90 x 22mm treated pine decking boards to 1336mm lengths. Unlike the work surface, these boards don’t overhang but fit flush within the bench frame as shown in (Fig 3). Allow a gap between each decking board so that they fill the area. When everything is parallel, screw or nail them in place. You’ve now got your work surface and bottom shelf in place. The next step is to add the potting bin. You can use a heavy duty plastic wash tub available from Mitre 10. First, place your plastic wash tub in an upright position on your work surface and trace a pencil line around where it meets the surface (Fig 4). The lip of the wash tub will ensure that it stays in position once it’s fitted. Be sure to position the wash tub so as the underframe will not interfere with your cut-out. Take a jigsaw and cut along the pencil line you’ve drawn. Sand the edges to remove any rough edges then simply place your new potting bin through the hole. That completes step two.
Step 3: Make the upper shelf section
Cut two shelf sides (H) from 180 x 19mm pine, each measuring 865mm long. Then cut one shelf back (J) from 90 x 19mm pine, measuring 1440mm long. Finally cut two shelves (K) from 180 x 19mm pine, each measuring 1440mm long. Before assembling the upper shelf section be sure to undercoat all pieces, paying particular attention to the end grain of the timber. Screw one shelf (K) to the edge of a shelf back (J), making sure that you’ve aligned the bottom edge of the two pieces as shown in (Fig 5). Reinforce the shelf by drilling and screwing 8 gauge screws every 150mm. Next place the two shelf sides (H) on a level surface, parallel and 1440mm apart. Take the shelf/back assembly you’ve made in the previous step and fit between the two sides (H) making sure it’s flush with the shelf ends as shown in (Fig 6). Use 8 gauge screws to join the shelf/back to the shelf side (H). The middle shelf can then be fixed 432mm down from the top as shown (Fig. 6). Cut one bottom support (L) from 90 x 19 pine, measuring 1440mm long. Screw this in position flush with the back and lower ends of the shelf sides (H) as shown in (Fig 6). There you have it – a sturdy and functional potting bench that you’ve made in three easy steps, with a little help from Mitre10.
Add the finishing touch
You may want to leave the potting bench in natural timber. However we think it’s better to give it an exterior stain or paint finish in a colour to complement your home. Ask the paint staff at your local Mitre I0 store for the right product for you.