Step 8: Establish the Base

Establish the Base to make a planter bench
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Lay the first course in the footings in your pinwheel pattern. Place the seat frame on top of the boards to square them up, making sure it ends flush with the tall planter box and overhangs the short planter box slightly at the other end. Lift off the seat frame, and rest a level on the first course of boards. Strike them with a hammer to settle them into a level plane; sweep dirt or sand underneath the boards to fine-tune.
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    Tools List

    • four-foot level
      4-foot level
    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • circular saw
      circular saw
    • jigsaw
      jigsaw
    • speed square
      Speed Square
    • drill
      drill/driver fitted with a -inch paddle bit
    • square spade
      garden spade
    • hammer
      hammer
    • tamper
      hand tamper
    • caulk gun
      caulk gun

    Shopping List

    1. cedar 2×4s Get twenty 8-foot boards to make the 16½-inch planter pieces and the 82½-inch-long seat frame.

    2. cedar 1¼×6s Get four 6-foot boards to make the 63-inch-long seat, and one 8-foot board to trim the tall planter.

    3. ¾-inch gravel for drainage below the planters and to fill the assembled planters. Get at least 1½ cubic feet (three bags).

    4. potting soil to top off the planters filled with gravel. Get four 32-quart bags.5. construction adhesive Get 4 tubes.

    6. 3-inch stainless-steel deck screws

    7. 2-inch stainless-steel deck screws

    8. 3-inch galvanized siding nails

    9. 12-inch galvanized spikes Get eight