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Project Information

These aren't much to look at but I think they deserve mention because of a return to an older and now not much used building technique. Mainly, there isn't a single piece of metal used in their construction.

These are merely raised garden boxes. They are of 4×4 construction mainly because I can get a lot of these pieces free from a local manufacturer that gets them as palleting for materials for machines that they make. They are not pressurized or otherwise chemically treated or contaminated.

As for the fastening technique, they are pegged together. We drilled 7/8" holes a hammered in 3/4" square oak pegs. That may sound loose but, a 3/4" square runs 1" corner to corner. That leaves 1/16" bite per corner to grip and hold. Believe me, they aren't letting go! Among the pallets we picked up are a number made of oak. These are air dried and solid.

To bore the holes, (And there are a rather lot of them!) we got some of those relatively new Irwin 3 flute boring bits. Believe you me, they will chew through some wood right quick!

The 4×4's are received in two lengths. They may vary a little but average 47" and 8'7". We line the boards up on one side laying the bed over two runners. Then we just cut along the uneven side with a chain saw.

The inside of a box is about 15"-16" deep. I figure about 12" of soil/dirt is plenty to support most plants. With a width of 4' it will easily support two rows of some plants or one row of others such as squash or zucchini. They are set off the ground by about a foot on cement blocks to discourage termites. The boards(?) are tight enough to retain some water while at the same time enough gaps exist to let excess water seep out.

That about sums it up. I'll let the pics tell the rest. I have only two so far.

Gallery

Comments

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Cool! Wondering how you constructed the base? That has to hold a lot of weight, right?
 

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rough and ugly-love it!
 

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I appreciate seeing useful projects like yours, trinkets are fun to make and view, but for my part I would rather build something with practical value that most likely will be around well after I have past. Well done using pegs for fasteners.
 

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Isn't this what a real raised bed should look like? Or should it be called a hover bed? Thanks for sharing! I've built a couple of "raised" beds that sit on the ground: while I can keep the gophers out with a 1/2" hardware cloth at the bottom, the dense and wire-like Cyprus roots are really unstoppable. A bed like this one would take care of them nasty roots.
 

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Cool! Wondering how you constructed the base? That has to hold a lot of weight, right?

- atceric
Look closely at the bottom row, it appears to be 4×4 tight all the way across, and they are on the bottom crossing rails, which are held up by the 4 corner cinder blocks. I would think for the size of the structure, and they yard or so of dirt I would be more comfy with more blocks. But thats me.

I'm with harum, and build mine on the ground, after grading a flat spot for it. I don't mind metal, and we use rebar knocked through holes drilled much like yours. I can extend the rebar 3 foot or so past the needed depth to go into the ground to stop it from moving around. Been doing that for a lot of years, and some of the first ones are still in use by new homeowners.

Sure looks like that whiney green of treated wood on more than half of them though.
 

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Thanks for all the great comments on my "rough & ugly!" projects. I appreciate the fact that their worth is, well, appreciated! :)^})

I've made a close up image here to show the bottom better. As supposed, the bottom is a solid row of 4×4's set upon to long "runners" as I described above.

Concerning the security of the cement blocks, references are pretty consistent on their load bearing capacity (that of an 8×8x16" hollow core block). In general, load-bearing blocks must be able to withstand 2,500 to 3,000 psi (pounds per square inch) upon manufacture. Those top blocks would be even stronger. I don't think we'll have any trouble about those staying up.

There are a couple-a reasons for raising the beds off the ground. I live in East Texas. Termites are a major concern to anything wood left on the ground very long. Another bug problem is fire-ants. Also, I can spray some bug spray around the blocks and not have to worry about contaminating our plants.
Yet another reason is old age and arthritis. Trying to bend over and work off the ground is very difficult and kneeling impossible! At the height these are set, we (wife & I) can easily reach past the center-line and thus the whole thing by going round & round.

The reason I chose wood pegs over metal (rebar is a time honored material for projects such as these and I have often used it myself) is that it can promote corrosion. The rust reduces and weakens the fastener and attracts moisture promoting wood rot which opens the hole that holds the fastener thereby doubly loosening the connections. (Holds true for screws & nails as much as it does rebar.) Whereas any dampening of the wood will cause swelling which will just make wood pegged connections tighter. But oak will not swell over much so as to cause the wood it was driven through to crack. Over all, just seamed like an overall better choice,especially since all tthe material in question was obtained free.

"Sure looks like that whiney green of treated wood..."
That's an illusion. Those pieces are simply well weathered. I cut through those to make darn sure. For another thing, treated wood is not, as a rule, used for pallets for a number of reasons. Added cost, health concerns, and concerns that the chemicals could cause corrosion of the items or material placed upon them. It's not impossible to encounter such I am sure. But, it's not really very likely.

There. Does that answer those concerns?

Cool! Wondering how you constructed the base? That has to hold a lot of weight, right?
- atceric
Look closely at the bottom row, it appears to be 4×4 tight all the way across, and they are on the bottom crossing rails, which are held up by the 4 corner cinder blocks. I would think for the size of the structure, and they yard or so of dirt I would be more comfy with more blocks. But that's me.

I'm with harum, and build mine on the ground, after grading a flat spot for it. I don t mind metal, and we use rebar knocked through holes drilled much like yours. I can extend the rebar 3 foot or so past the needed depth to go into the ground to stop it from moving around. Been doing that for a lot of years, and some of the first ones are still in use by new homeowners.

Sure looks like that whiney green of treated wood on more than half of them though.
- therealSteveN
 

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