Purpleheart and Cedar Garden Bench

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Project by leonmcd posted 07-12-2007 05:32 PM 4267 views 3 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My sister asked for a 2’x4’x2’ table she could use for potting plants.
There are many simple ways to build a table. I did not choose any of those.

The table is constructed of cedar fence boards and purpleheart with mahogany dowels and accents.
The top consists of 24 slats (fence boards cut in half length ways) with 92 spacers and four 3/8” mahagony dowels connecting the slats. Four of the slats are purpleheart for accent. Mahogany accents on the front and back of the top conceal the dowels. There are no fasterners used, just waterproof glue.

The legs are built up from fence boards and six of the top slats and the legs are interleaved to form a joint at the top. The legs are connected with purpleheart stretchers that are connected to the legs with through tenons.

The table is finished with three coats of a high uv protection deck finish that preserved the natural color of the cedar and purpleheart.

Total cost was less than $50 and untold hours of assembly time.

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

22 comments so far

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4668 days

#1 posted 07-12-2007 05:37 PM

Nice work! You must have gotten a great buy on the purpleheart to make the cost less than $50.

I am curious why you did not make another stretcher on the front legs? Was this to make it easy to store things underneath?

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View leonmcd's profile


204 posts in 4478 days

#2 posted 07-12-2007 05:51 PM

It helped that the fence boards totaled less than $20.
I think I paid $4.50bf for the purpleheart and used less than 5 bf.

I left the front open because my sister wanted to set in front of it to do her potting.
The slats let the excess potting soil fall through and the open front gives easier access to recover this soil.

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4833 days

#3 posted 07-12-2007 06:44 PM

for me, the downfall of this table would be that I wouldn’t want to cover it with potting soil!

as for the background, was this picture taken during Christmas time, or do you have neighbors like me that don’t take down their lights!

View leonmcd's profile


204 posts in 4478 days

#4 posted 07-12-2007 06:53 PM

It was made as a christmas present and I left it in the front yard when my sister came over for Christmas dinner to surprise her.

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4667 days

#5 posted 07-12-2007 06:53 PM

There are many simple ways to build a table. I did not choose any of those.

well isn’t that the truth—this is one fancy bench for potting!!!!

this is simply magnificent.


-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Karson's profile


35201 posts in 4907 days

#6 posted 07-12-2007 08:10 PM

Great looking bench. I do like the contrast.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View woodspar's profile


710 posts in 4606 days

#7 posted 07-12-2007 08:16 PM

Nice purpleheart accents!

-- John

View VTWoody's profile


95 posts in 4564 days

#8 posted 07-12-2007 08:49 PM

Nicely done. I love that you used a finish that allows the natural colors of the wood to be shown. Unless I absolutely have to match some other piece, I try hard to let the wood do the coloring.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4821 days

#9 posted 07-13-2007 01:58 AM

Great job!

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4604 days

#10 posted 07-13-2007 02:03 AM

This is a really unique table. Are you going to enter it in the contest?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4593 days

#11 posted 07-13-2007 03:56 AM

Very nice potting bench. You should definitely enter it in the garden contest.

-- Bob

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4584 days

#12 posted 07-13-2007 05:30 AM

Outstanding workmanship Leon!

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4683 days

#13 posted 07-13-2007 09:26 AM

You are lucky someone didn’t nick it before your sister saw it. Very nice!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View jaspr's profile


38 posts in 4479 days

#14 posted 07-19-2007 05:42 AM

Well, the hours were worth it. Love the purpleheart!

-- Claire

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4813 days

#15 posted 08-01-2007 10:25 PM

Another great project gone to pot—-ting. Nice job.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

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