Post last updated: March 4th, 2018

My friend Leigh, the working artist, is always making something with wood, saws and hammers. I did a bit of that myself when I lived away from family. I nailed up the slats for a wood privacy fence after paying someone to install the fence posts. Using a Skilsaw, I built a walkway deck. I even installed a bolt lock.  Somewhere along the way, I lost my courage to tackle these kinds of projects.

Leigh avoids the whole issue of gotta-work-up-some-courage by building her projects around standard sizes at the lumber yard. For instance, for the potting bench she just built, she used a 2-foot by 4-foot piece of one-half inch exterior grade plywood and purchased pre-cut 4-foot pieces of trim so that she had to do minimal cutting to fit. When she did need to saw something, she used a sliding compound miter saw or a Japanese Dozuki (a flush cut hand saw).

To save money, she purchased pressure treated porch posts for $13 each at Lowes. This was more economical than buying turned table legs or repurposing table legs from thrift shop furniture. She turned the porch posts upside down rather than having to saw off the slots where the posts were to be affixed to a porch. The back ones were left whole and parts removed from the front legs were added to the back legs to provide a way for the shelves to fit in the spaces.

The two urn-shaped finials were purchased for $2 each at Eco Relics, a local architectural salvage company. Most of the time, their prices are unfavorably high but Leigh found their finials to be better quality and, obviously, a bargain.

Here’s what the pieces looked like before assembly:

Potting bench painted and ready to assemble
Potting bench painted and ready to assemble
Photo by Leigh


Porch posts installed upside down
Photo by Leigh


Right side up before finials are installed
Right side up before finials are installed
Photo by Leigh

The finished potting bench is approximately 6 feet tall, 4 feet wide, 2 feet deep and the table surface is 3-1/2 feet high.

Completed potting bench
Photo by Leigh


17 thoughts on “LEIGH’S POTTING BENCH”

  1. I really have been remiss in commenting, but I always read and enjoy your posts when I see them in my inbox. I hope your garden is doing well this year. I’m preparing to have a garden this year for the first time in many years. I’m so excited I’m about to bust!

    1. Effie – Get that garden in soon! I don’t have mine in, either. I’ve been down with allergies/sinus since March 17. No point in going to the doc. He can’t do anything for me that I’m not doing for myself. My tomato starts are starting to look raggedy. I think they must be pot-bound.

  2. WOW!!! I love the bench. What a pleasure to putter in the garden when one has such a lovely spot on which to work.
    I’ll be at Cunningham’s with my soap!!

  3. Linda – your friend did a fabulous job. That color – oh my swoon! I’m thinking this would be so awesome at my farmstand for display. Geez – could she make one for me and ship it to Virginia? LOL I so relate to losing the courage, um me too – sometimes I wonder when did I turn into a scared old lady? Great post. xo kim

    1. Kim — You know that color is currently in style? I hope all the people who swoon over this color will get all the decorating stuff they need before it falls from favor. I think I turned into a scared old lady when the world got so mean.

  4. That is simply beautiful! I really don’t get the explanation of how easy it was… I can operate any kind of saw, but I don’t believe I would even know where to start in building a potting bench…. especially like the decorative touches at the top…..
    Unfortunate colour…. I think….

  5. Very nice bench and I am impressed that she figured out how to work with ready cut pieces to avoid having to make cuts.

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