Potting bench

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Project by NH_Hermit posted 747 days ago 2190 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 Horse Shoe

11 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


6709 posts in 1889 days

#1 posted 747 days ago

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

90 posts in 1980 days

#2 posted 747 days ago

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 978 days

#3 posted 747 days ago

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

View Woodbridge's profile


2547 posts in 1004 days

#4 posted 747 days ago

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


772 posts in 1724 days

#5 posted 747 days ago

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


2704 posts in 1653 days

#6 posted 746 days ago

Very nice!! Like the design.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Juriathe's profile


124 posts in 1104 days

#7 posted 746 days ago

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


2557 posts in 1646 days

#8 posted 746 days ago

Very nice and sure to be used a long time.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View stefang's profile


12416 posts in 1920 days

#9 posted 745 days ago

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)

7425 posts in 1506 days

#10 posted 743 days ago

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


-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs "Knowledge is Power"

View NH_Hermit's profile


383 posts in 1682 days

#11 posted 742 days ago

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 Horse Shoe

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