Drive the Spike to make a planter bench
Photo: Kolin Smith

Step 12: Drive the Spike

Hammer a spike into each pilot hole until its head sits flush with the surface. After each spike, use the seat frame to check for square and level, making adjustments as needed. Next, apply adhesive on the second course, and lay the next course of boards, continuing to lap the joints as in Step 4B. Nail the boards in place with 3-inch galvanized nails. Continue gluing and nailing courses, overlapping the joints with each layer, until the planters reach the height you want for the bench. (Nine courses above ground will give you a common bench height of around 18 inches.)
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    Tools List

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