Step 6: Cut the Frames to Make the Sides

cutting the frame pieces with a circular saw
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Two of the panel frames need narrower stiles to account for the overlap from the sides that sandwich them. So you'll need to rip four stiles down from 3½ inches (the actual width of a 1x4) to 2¾ inches. To do that, clamp a straightedge to a stile blank, as shown, and rip it with a circular saw. Cut three more the same way. When the structure comes together, all the stiles will appear to be 3½ inches wide.
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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • bar clamps
      bar clamps
    • drill
      drill/driver
    • hammer
      hammer
    • steel-rule straightedge
      straightedge
    • combination square
      combination square
    • Countersink bit
      countersink bit
    • jigsaw
      jigsaw
    • circular saw
      circular saw
    • caulk gun
      caulk gun
    • staple gun
      staple gun
    • handsaw
      handsaw
    • utility knife
      utility knife

    Shopping List

    ½x6 treated deck boards Get four 6-footers for the floorboards and stringers.

    ½x4 treated boards Get four 8-footers for the skirt and cap.

    1x4 treated boards Get seven 6-footers for the panel frames and interior battens.

    ½-inch treated plywood Get one 4-by-8-foot sheet for the side panels.

    1¼-, 1½-, and 2-inch deck screws

    3-inch stainless- or galvanized-steel corner brackets Get eight.

    construction adhesive

    landscape fabric

    pond liner

    submersible pond pump

    exterior-grade wood stain

    plant pots

    topsoil

    gravel