Potting bench

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Project by NH_Hermit posted 06-25-2012 09:26 PM 4015 views 11 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finally completed the wife’s potting bench after two months of intermittent shop time and the purchase of (and practicing with) a new table saw. I used Woodcraft’s plan # 36 that Veronika found when she accompanied me to one of their retail stores. I found the plan to be very sketchy in terms of instructions, so had to rely on the diagram, cut list, and my own imagination as to how it was supposed to look. I did make a few design changes, like adding crest rail to the middle shelf as well as the top shelf, so items would not fall over the back edge. The top and middle shelf supports are identical, as opposed to a simpler design for the middle shelf support the plan called for. I also added trim around the bin holder to make cleanup of dirt easier.

Common red oak was used, gluing and screwing each joint, and finished with teak oil. I also applied several coats of paste wax to the panel tops. Now it gets to sit in the garden shed for the remainder of its foreseeable life, and knowing my wife’s love of gardening, it will be well used – but then that’s the whole purpose in building the thing. And again as with all my projects, many more lessons learned and my novice hobbyist’s skills slowly added to.

-- John from Hampstead

11 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3786 days

#1 posted 06-25-2012 09:48 PM

wow john that is a beauty, i would love to make one of those sometime, as i love to garden myself, this is a great example of what i would like, you did a fantastic job…and i know your wife will love it always…..hope your doing well, getting some fishing in i hope, and i know you must love the new table saw…thanks for posting this, its going into my favorites…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Stephen Fox's profile

Stephen Fox

110 posts in 3877 days

#2 posted 06-25-2012 11:48 PM

Now you can turn some dibbles of various sizes and she will be in dirt heaven.

-- Stephen NYS

View Kelen's profile


270 posts in 2875 days

#3 posted 06-26-2012 02:02 AM

Beautiful bench, looks like it’ll get a lot of good use.

View Woodbridge's profile


3691 posts in 2901 days

#4 posted 06-26-2012 02:59 AM

John, that is an impressive pottiing bench. I really like the design. You’ve built a nice piece of furniture.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View hjt's profile


904 posts in 3621 days

#5 posted 06-26-2012 04:36 AM

The folks above me have said it all – WOW. Very cleaver having slats in the top and that they come apart in three sections. And smarter yet to have the bins underneth. Are you and or wife on Garden Tenders? We are and I find many postings and projects fit nicely in both

-- Harold

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3550 days

#6 posted 06-26-2012 12:39 PM

Very nice!! Like the design.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Juriathe's profile


142 posts in 3001 days

#7 posted 06-26-2012 01:36 PM

I love it ! I used to see the horrible, cheap things the stores offer each spring and shudder, but I wanted one badly. That caused me to build my own and lit the spark for learning to build more. Like your’s, it was a great learning experience. That gorgeous piece will make your wife happy for years

-- I'm so busy I don't know if I found a rope or lost a horse...

View Skylark53's profile


2709 posts in 3543 days

#8 posted 06-27-2012 02:10 AM

Very nice and sure to be used a long time.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View stefang's profile


16717 posts in 3817 days

#9 posted 06-27-2012 02:51 PM

That is one darn nice bench John. Your wife must be extremely pleased. It looks very well built and pretty too!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3403 days

#10 posted 06-29-2012 12:09 PM

I meant to comment on this last week when I first saw it. You did an amazing job with this John! I love the wood and the style and everything about it. Just beautiful! :D


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View NH_Hermit's profile


394 posts in 3579 days

#11 posted 06-30-2012 12:24 PM

I wanted to thank all of you for your supportive comments. There is couple of things about this project that I did not expect. First, my wife ordered those little brass plates that say, “Handcrafted by John McKnight”. I found the idea of putting my name on a piece of work encouraged me concentrate a little more not to screw it up. I would have a hard time putting on the plate if I knew it was not a good piece of work. Secondly, your comments will make me strive even hard on the next projects, so I thank you for that.

Oh, and the next project has already been decided. She wants some boxes made and she’s going to make embroidered beaded pieces for the lid. (Apparently, this is very popular in Europe, but rarely seen here in the U.S.). But first I need to learn how to make a box, but before that I need to learn how to make finger joints, but before that I need to learn how to make a jig to make the finger joints on the table saw. The learning never ends!

-- John from Hampstead

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