Redwood Potting Table

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Project by Bill posted 08-29-2007 05:07 PM 8135 views 17 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A customer approached me on building a table for their outdoor area. They like to entertain outside sometimes by having a bar-b-que. They wanted a table to hold things like dishes, food, drinks, etc. However, they did not want a plain table. Instead, they found a plan for a potting bench that they liked, with a few modifications. Based on the plan, I build this Redwood Potting Table.

The table is made of Redwood. The legs are kiln dried 2×4s that were jointed on all sides to make them smooth and straight. The legs are approximately 3 inches square. The base sections are made with 2×4s, also jointed down and fastened together with dominos. These were the only parts that were permanently attached. The remainder of the bench is 1×6 redwood planks (not fence wood material) that is screwed in place with outdoor screws. This way, if a board should warp, it can be unscrewed and replaced easily.

The entire table was sanded to 150 grit, and then finished with tree coats of spar varnish to protect the wood and maintain its wonderful color.

The planks have a 1/4 inch gap between, to resemble a redwood deck or potting bench. Overall, the customer loved the bench.

Redwood is easy to work with, since it is a soft wood. It does have some knots in the 2×4s, but I tried to avoid as many as possible. One or two did break during the jointing, but they were in non critical areas so not easily seen. Like pine, it does have pitch pockets so you have to watch out. I read about sealing these with Shellac, and tried it. Well, it helped but a few of the pitch pockets still leaked. When I applied the spar varnish, there were no more leaks.

All in all, it was a fun project to work on. The wine bottle, glasses, and bucket are the owner’s. The pictures were taken on their patio.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

14 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4455 days

#1 posted 08-29-2007 05:24 PM

That’s just beautiful, Bill!

I sure wish I could buy redwood down here in south Louisiana without paying through the nose to have it shipped in from somewhere.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View TomFran's profile


2959 posts in 4231 days

#2 posted 08-29-2007 05:35 PM

Bill, that is excellent! Beautiful craftsmanship and design.

I’ll bet the customer was real happy with it.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View 's profile

593 posts in 4209 days

#3 posted 08-29-2007 05:46 PM

Nice table Bill! I love the “tiger” look of the wood with all that sap.

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4543 days

#4 posted 08-29-2007 05:57 PM

Great job, Bill, looks like you met their needs and then some.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View TreeBones's profile


1827 posts in 4260 days

#5 posted 08-29-2007 05:59 PM

Very nice Bill, this is the best “potting table” I’ve seen

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4398 days

#6 posted 08-29-2007 06:46 PM

((clapping)) I love this, Bill.. It is So beautiful. I wouldn’t be putting a single pot of dirt on it, though. Gorgeous

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

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4398 days

#7 posted 08-29-2007 06:56 PM

Thanks for all the compliments.

Debbie, the owner does not plan on using it for potting plants either, just for their outdoor table.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4483 days

#8 posted 08-29-2007 07:59 PM

You know Bill a person could use that table for two different kinds of” potting” one with a bottle the other with a pot. LOL. Just beautiful Bill, magic, pure magic. Jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Atelierwoodworks's profile


108 posts in 4250 days

#9 posted 08-29-2007 09:23 PM

Very nice table, “and dominos too, how cool is that” ;-)

-- Atelierwoodworks Vaud Switzerland

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4303 days

#10 posted 08-29-2007 11:07 PM

Outstanding table Bill. I’ve been thinking about building one for my wife for some time now – maybe this will give me the push I need…..but I’m thinking Cypress or Cedar – Redwood is as hard to find in this area as Hen’s Teeth or Frog Hair.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4259 days

#11 posted 08-30-2007 01:11 AM

I sure do like the outstanding colour you got Bill. I have need of one like that behind my greenhouse and it never gets done.
Next time you are up here I’m going to put you to work. <g><
For you fellows worried about shipping costs- don’t be, just get your wood. You would be surprised at how little it really does cost,
Especially if you get a bunch with a friend.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4398 days

#12 posted 08-30-2007 12:59 PM

Around here, they have cedar for fencing and the aromatic cedar. For some reason, they do not have the regular cedar. Douglas Fir was just too expensive to build this with. Amazing the local lumber yards did not have what I was looking for. So, a trip to Lowe’s, some careful selecting, and here is the end results.

I enjoyed working with Redwood, it was nice color, cut easily, sands well. But it sure makes a lot of dust. After sanding, my grey hair and beard were a slightly reddish pink color until I hit the shower.

I am looking forward to building some more outdoor items with Redwood in the future. Since I can not find Western Red Cedar around, I guess I will be using Redwood again.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View mot's profile


4922 posts in 4273 days

#13 posted 08-31-2007 06:15 PM

That’s awesome, Bill. I’ve been threatening to build one for my mom. Just great!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4548 days

#14 posted 09-01-2007 06:31 AM


-- Jesus is Lord!

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