Adventure in Raised Beds, Pt. 2

Check out Part 1 if you haven’t already.

Today we began construction of the first raised bed.  I brought the #babychild along for help, because I pretty much have to, and besides he might learn something useful.

Here’s the Pinterest inspiration  Hopefully I don’t end up with one of those hilarious “Nailed It” memes:


I built a plan up in Google SketchUp, which if you’ve never used to plan woodworking projects, you should.  It’s awesome (and free).  It help you plan out what lumber you’ll need, and gives you something to work off of once building starts.  And, most importantly, it helps you visualize your project to scale and warn you ahead of time if you’re about to make a Tiny Stonehenge.  Anyway, here’s my plan:

raised bed

IMAG3938Our first task was cleaning up from the last project, which was actually the small-person raised bed we made last week.  That project generated a giant pile of sawdust for such a small thing.  Luckily I had help cleaning up.  As a side-note, kids make pretty good vacuumers.  I’ll remember that for future reference.

IMAG3947The first actual construction step was to make the corner posts, which are 2×4’s with some crafty angle cuts. I am not a fan of making that cut, or any angled rip on a table saw for that matter.  But i managed to keep the ripping confined to the wood, and my assistant seemed pleased with the results.

By the way, it’s important to make sure your 2×4 sections are as close as possible in height because these become the corner posts; if you mess up the height, you may lose your square and end up with a Picasso.  Trim them all simultaneously with the miter saw if you have to; the final height is not as important as the consistency.  Get them to within 1/16” if you can.

IMAG3960With the corner posts done, I cut the side panels from 2×6’s (four 7′ and four 4′ panels), again being careful to match their size as within ~1/16”.  Of course, I have an entry-level miter saw, so this always happens (see picture on the right).  A box cutter takes care of that. Unless the cut piece falls and tears it away.  It’s a good thing I’m not trying to sell these.

At this point, my assistant was getting faint, so we broke for lunch.  I made some curry chicken salad sandwiches and won Dad of the Year.  Then we watched some Lord of the Rings videos and he went to sleep.  As you can imagine, my work pace accelerated greatly after that.

However, I’ll leave you with visions of chicken salad for now, and post another update tomorrow.

Adventure in Raised Beds, Pt. 1

I declare this the summer of George.  Er, Mo.

No, really, this is the year it all comes together.  Last year I redeemed my garage after lending it back to nature for a few years. This year, the rest of the yard comes along for the ride.  Along with the basement, the kitchen, and my waistline.

Maybe I’m being a little naive, but maybe I’m just predicting the best year ever.

Anyway, we’ve wanted raised gardening beds for awhile, and I’ve been slowly cleaning out the gross area behind the shed, so this seemed like a good first project.  My wife wanted me to build two simple boxes, but I’ve never met a simple project I couldn’t made more complicated.

I think she wanted something like this:


Instead, I decided to build this:


Here’s the plan I worked up in SketchUp:

raised bed

They’re about 8’x4′ and I plan on making two.  I bought all the wood for one tonight from Home Depot, and it came to $47.  It should be pretty straightforward to build.

Yeah, I know. Famous last words.  I but keep the faith.

Oh, and as a warm-up, I build a raised-raised bed for the #babychild.  He was pretty pumped:


I’ll let you know how the real thing goes.  Wish me luck!