Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Can I build it? Yes I can!

I've been wanting raised garden beds for ages. AGES. But they're expensive! The cheapest I've seen for a kit was $60, and that's for a 4x4 bed. Insane!

Last year I had the grand idea to use old pallets to build them. But then we had a tornado. It turned out to be a good thing, though, because I learned that pallets might not be such a hot idea. They have all those chemicals on the wood to keep it from rotting and getting eaten by bugs and such.

Then, I found Ana White. She's awesome. She's a lady in Alaska to decided to try building her own stuff, and it really works! So I decided to try it out for myself, and planned on building the raised cedar garden beds out of fence pickets.
In fact, the cedar pickets were on sale last week. WIN!

I took two of the pickets to John at work, and he used the table saw to rip them into the thin strips I needed. Then he brought the chop saw home and I measured while he cut the rest of the things that needed cutting. After all of that I was left with a pile of pieces of wood.
It would have been intimidating, but it kind of resembled what I would get out of the box from Ikea. And I've done that loads of times. So there.

I learned pretty quickly that the clamp we have is not adequate for the job. In fact, it was worse than useless because when I tried to use it, it made things worse. So I gave up on that and used a system of my own devising, where I used other boards to support things and just stood on the stuff while I drilled. I also figured out that it was much easier to move along doing things assembly line style.
Progress. Glue + screws = boards stuck together.
Eleri was not happy with this whole process. She's going through an afraid of everything time right now - in fact, she just had her first wake up crying nightmare last night - and the drill was a scary beast. So she didn't stay outside with me for long. That made things take much longer than I'd planned, because I'd drill a couple of holes, and then go in to check on her and see what she was up to. And it was HOT out there, so only my excitement of making something got me back out into that sun.
Looky though! The joins look just like they're supposed to!
I had one problem where I put the screw too close to the edge and the wood splintered, so I had to put a new screw in, but other than that, it went surprisingly well.  It's giving me confidence to tackle that window seat idea. 
I built one and then had to come in for good for today. It's HOT out there, did I say that? Cause it is. And I figure I should wait and have the boys help me put the other one together. The sides are all constructed - in fact that's it above in the picture of the join. The sides just aren't screwed together and the trim isn't on yet.
It could look better if I had used a counter sink bit so the screws would be hidden, and put putty over them, and all that jazz. But this is garden beds for outside. I'm okay with the screws showing. We don't have a counter sink bit anyway. 
But now I have all these ideas. Things I've wanted, like mudroom type storage lockers, that are way too expensive to buy - I could make them! Me and Ana White. 

1 comment:

Nancy said...

I adore Ana White. I often drool over her plans. You did a great job, Milli!