cutting the frame pieces with a circular saw
Photo: Kolin Smith

Step 6: Cut the Frames to Make the Sides

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
    • hammer
    • steel-rule straightedge
    • combination square
      combination square
    • Countersink bit
      countersink bit
    • jigsaw
    • circular saw
      circular saw
    • caulk gun
      caulk gun
    • staple gun
      staple gun
    • 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