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The key to a good garden is starting early and giving your plants every chance to succeed. Extend the growing season and give your plants a head start with a seed starting bench.
Use this checklist when you go to the store and purchase your items.
The amount of space you have usually dictates a bench's depth and width. Size your bench so you can move material and equipment past it freely. Find a good working height - you'll probably spend a good deal of time at the bench so it's important to be comfortable there. Everyone's measurements will vary; for clarity we used 30 inches for depth, 60 inches for width and 32 inches for height.
Construct four leg assemblies. Butt the edge of one 2-in by 4-in leg piece to the face of another and line the ends up flush. Screw the leg pieces together with 2-in wood screws. To hide the screws, counterbore the holes in the faces of the leg pieces and fill the holes with plugs.
Mark a top side rail 19/32-in down from its top edge. The top of each leg assembly should be aligned with the mark at 19/32-in so that the plywood top will be flush with the top edges of the top side, front and back pieces in the completed bench. Counterbore the top side rail and screw through its face to secure two leg assemblies in place with 1 1/4-in screws. The leg assemblies should be turned such that the seam in the front assembly isn't visible from the front of the bench, and the seam in the rear assembly isn't visible from the side.
Install the shelf side support at a distance up from the bottom of the leg assembly equal to the desired height of your shelf. Screw through the support into the leg assembly. There is no need to counterbore for these screws, they will be hidden from view when the bench is complete.
Check the assembly for square and adjust as needed.
Make the second side assembly using steps 1 through 4.
Counterbore the top front rail and screw through its face to secure the side assemblies in place with 1 1/4-in screws.
Install the shelf front support flush with the shelf side supports. Screw through the support into the leg assembly. There is no need to counterbore for these screws, they will be hidden from view when the bench is complete.
Install the top back rail and back shelf support the same way you installed the front.
Measure between the legs and cut the 2 by 2 top support pieces to fit.
Counterbore through the top front, back and side pieces and secure the top support pieces with 1 1/4-in screws.
Drill holes for and install the furniture glides in the bottoms of the legs.
Position the light posts so that there is no more than 6-in from the edge of the light fixtures and the edges of the bench, and no more than 12 in between the edges of each light fixture.
Hold the light posts to the sides of the bench with the bottom ends of the posts aligned flush with the bottom edges of the sides. Drill 1/4-in diameter holes through the light posts and sides. Secure the posts with 1/4-in by 3 1/2-in carriage bolts.
Measure the distance from outside face to outside face of the light posts. Cut the light post cross pieces to fit. Position the light post cross pieces on top of the light posts and secure them to the light posts with 2-in screws.
Mount the screw hooks to hold the chain for the lights in the underside of the light post cross pieces per the light manufacturer's instructions.
Lay the top in place and screw it down with 1 1/4-in screws.
Cut the first piece for the shelf and secure it to the shelf supports with 1 1/4-in screws.
Measure the open space left on the bottom shelf, cut a piece of plywood to fit, and secure it to the shelf supports. Position the bench in your workspace and get a head start on all your gardening.
58 1/2" by 28 1/2"
|Front and back top rails|
|Top side rails|
|Shelf side supports|
|Shelf front and back supports|
|Front top support|
|Back top support|
|Side top supports|
|Light post cross pieces|
25 1/2" by 48"
25 1/2" by 7 1/4"
Height: 58 1/2 inches
Depth: 28 1/2 inches
Width: 48 inches