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These were modified from Ron Hazelton's design, with pocket screws used for all joints. I debated using keepers for the slats on the planters, but in the end I used pocket screws to add to the strength and stability. Kreg deck jig used for the seats!

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Projects: Multi-level deck and gazebo
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Comment by Derek Gould on June 4, 2015 at 2:54pm

Hi usmc;

I got the idea from one of Ron Hazelton's videos, which you can see here.

I changed a few things;

  • I used pressure-treated lumber for everything. Cedar is expensive where I live, and doesn't seem to hold up to the weather very well.
  • I used PT fence boards for the slats on the planters. I think these were 6 x 3/4; actual measurements 5 1/2 by 1/2. Mostly because that's what I had on hand.
  • I ripped the corner and top/bottom pieces for the planters from 2-by stock, actual size was 1 1/2 square.
  • I used pocket holes for all joinery, even for the verticals in the planters. In retrospect that was overkill, and I probably should have just used keeper boards, but then again the stuff has all been outside for 3 years and is still in perfect condition.

One thing I liked about Ron's plan was that you don't try to build any bottom in the planters; just use 2-by  and boards. This lets you set the inside height to whatever you want, depending on the height of the plant and container. Also, it lets water and everything else wash down through rather than collect, a problem with some other planters I've made.

With all the changes, I ended up having to come up with my own measurements, but that wasn't too hard. I made all the squares for the benches first, then completed the benches. Once they were done that gave me the finished height and width for the planter boxes.

Comment by usmc323nova on June 4, 2015 at 2:31pm

where can I find the design?

Comment by KregRep on September 23, 2013 at 7:52am

Awesome project and awesome view! Thanks for sharing, Derek!

Comment by michael evans on September 19, 2013 at 3:20am

Lovely job derek, and what a view.

Comment by james wilhelm on September 18, 2013 at 9:38pm

Derek, very nice looking bench and planters , well done , thanks for sharing, Jim !

Comment by Ken Darga on September 18, 2013 at 6:32pm


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