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Strong, versatile potting table: you choose the size, add a shelf.

Flexibility distinguishes the design of his sturdy potting table. You can scale the basic table larger or smaller to fit your garden space, and you can change the position of the lower crosspieces, if you want to add a shelf below its slotted top. (A shelf would help sotre supplies as well as catch potting soil falling through the slots in the top.)

The smaller pictures shows the basic framework of 4-by-4 legs and 2-by-4 crosspieces. Beefy lumber and multiple nailings in each joint make the table strong enough to require no diagonal bracing. Note that the lower crosspieces nail to the inside faces of the legs, letting you stand closer to the work surface.

The top is made of nailed-on 2 by 2's; a 1 by 6 runs along the outside face, protecting you from the sawn ends of the 2 by 2's.

Our table is made of redwood, but you could use cedar or pressure-treated wood. You'll need two 6-foot-long 4 by 4's, seven 6-foot-long 2 by 4's, nine 12-foot-long 2 by 2's, and one 6-foot-long 1 by 6. (You'll need another 1 by 6 if you want to face both ends of the slats.) Use 3-1/2-inch (16d) galvanized box nails. If you want a shelf, use additional lumber of 5/8-inch or thicker exterior plywood.

Start by cutting the lumber for the base to size (see smaller picture); wait to cut the 1 by 6 and 2 by 2's. Lay two 4 by 4's on your work surface, position the top 31-1/4-inch 2-by-4 crosspiece, check squareness, and secure with four nails. (Predrilling nail holes will eliminate risk of wood splitting.) Position the lower crosspiece and nail. Repeat for the other end.

Nail the longer top crosspieces on the outside so that they are flush to the outside edge of the short top crosspieces.

Secure the final crosspieces to the inside faces of the legs. Complete the base by nailing the top center 2 by 4 (it will help keep the 2 by 2's from sagging).

Cut the 2 by 2's to equal the distance between the outside edges of the long crosspieces (ours measured 34-1/4 inches). To space the 2 by 2's equally across the top, start at one end of the table and make a mark every 2 inches; this way, the 1-1/2-inch-thick boards will be spaced 1/2 inch apart. Position the 2 by 2's across the top, drill, and nail.

To complete the table, cut the 1 by 6 to size, then nail it across the front flush to the top of the 2 by 2's. (Add another 1 by 6 to the back if desired.) If you add a shelf, cut it 71-1/2 inches long by 1/8 inch less than the distance between the legs.

Design was by Martin Nelson of Menlo Park, California.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jun 1, 1984
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