And, A Gardening Table!

January 12, 2011   //  Posted in: Basement, DIY   //  By: Emily   //  one response
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OK, so it’s not technically a gardening table until I have some legit soil and clay pots, and, well, plants set up on it, but that’s the eventual intent. For now, it’s just a cool table.

How many times have you tried to re-pot anything in your living room? It really only takes once or twice to realize how completely annoying it is (and it’s usually enough to make me halt all plant-related activity until springtime when you can do stuff like that in the backyard). So, I mostly needed a place inside to re-pot my houseplants, start seedlings with a grow light, and store planting goodies.

Because I had a whole lot of extra lumber left over from demolishing the lame “bathroom” in the basement, I decided to make good use of it and make myself a little table that would at least be a good place to do some gardening (where I didn’t mind making a mess). “Little” table evolved into a pretty sizable table. And since Pete had built his own workbench the day before, we had a really good idea of best practices to make it sturdy and ready to withstand wear and tear.

Here’s what I did, photo by photo:

In Photos 1&2, I used lag screws to attach the legs to the board which would eventually support the tabletop. (Pete had used carriage bolts, but we hadn’t bought enough for two tables.) To make the tabletop frame in Photo 3, we flipped the table upside down and screwed end pieces to lock the table in shape; like with Pete’s table, I also added some spacers like joists to reinforce the table and keep it from being wobbly.

  • Attached legs to the "girders" which would support the tabletop.
  • Smiled. Yes, I'm wearing gardening gloves, and yes, the screws and bolts kept tearing them to pieces.
  • Flipped table upside down to secure the end pieces to the sides of the tabletop; just like Pete's table, we reinforced the tabletop in a few places to make it sturdy and not wobbly.

In Photo 4, I’m balancing on the frame that will come to fit within the bottom of the table to act as an extra shelf. I had to put my weight on the boards while Pete secured them together really well. In Photo 5 we picked out a whole bunch of the 1×12 boards that had been used as temporary wall in the “bathroom” and decided to reuse them as the gardening table top; and once we had lined up the boards where we wanted them, (in Photos 6&7&8) we brought out the pancake compressor and 1-1/4″ nail gun. It worked like a charm to secure the boards to the framework I had built – I even shared that duty, just because it is a fun tool to use. We used a chalkline to locate and mark a more hidden part of the framework that we needed to nailgun into, and it worked wonderfully. In Photo 9, I snapped another chalk line along the edge of the tabletop that had uneven boards; it’s definitely easier and faster to attach the boards with overhang and then trim up the boards with a quick zip of the circular saw (instead of cutting each board and nailing them down one by one).

  • Screwed together a small frame that would fit in the bottom of the table as a raised shelf. I had to put all of my weight on the boards while Pete secured it together.
  • Picked out some 1x12 boards to lay across the top (and bottom) as a tabletop (and shelf).
  • Pete's really stoked to use the pancake compressor. Well, it DID make the job much faster.
  • And I love a nail gun too. I secured one edge, Pete did the other. Only to be fair with the power tools.
  • We actually found it helpful to do a chalkline over a hidden board that we needed to nail gun into - made the job a lot quicker.
  • Trimming the edge of the table.

The final step (in photo 10) was to cut extra boards to fit in for the lower shelf. Photo 11: Once done, we slid the table into the preferred place in the basement (so nicely positioned under a never-used-but-functional faucet; looking forward to someday hooking up a sink to this table!). And Photo 12: We still have a LOT of leftover lumber for future projects.

  • Added shelving boards to the bottom for extra storage.
  • Final workbench and gardening table in place!
  • We still have THIS MUCH leftover wood in the basement... calling out for future projects :)

P.S. If you’re interested, remember to read more about how we planned and followed through on basement demolition to prep for new workbench construction.

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