Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cedar Raised Beds: I'm finally posting about those uber cheap ones I made

I've been meaning to post about the cedar beds I made out of those crazy cheap cedar fence pickets. I would have built them and posted about it sooner, but I had to rip some of the boards to create the trim pieces. The crazy cheap person in me wasn't willing to buy a table saw just yet and it took me a week or so to sucker someone into letting me use theirs.

 It only took me two weeks to get them done including the delay, and a whole week to take pictures and post. In my defense it's been rather grey and gloomy out and I wanted to wait for a slightly sunnier day when the flash didn't go off outside in the afternoon.

I built them according to Ana White's instructions except I made them bigger (4'x8'). Since my boards were 5' long I couldn't span the entire length and went with a brickwork style overlap so there wasn't one seam in the center or a weird off-center seam. It would look like this without the trim (if it would stay together).
I used trim to cover the joints and hold the horizontal boards together. I added purely decorative ones in the center of the ends to keep the trim spacing consistent. Since my boards were actually 5/8"x6" I ripped the trim pieces to 1 1/2" and the beds are 12" high. Cutting the boards from 5' to 4' meant the leftovers were already the perfect length for the trim pieces.

Sadly, I haven't gotten a load of compost to fill them in yet so they're barren at the moment, but I'll try to update once there are actual plants in them. So far I'm quite satisfied with myself. I spent $30 on 44 5' pickets and another $15 or so on exterior wood glue and outdoor screws so they ended up around $15 a piece. I'm thrilled with that for a 4'x8' bed. I eventually want a total of 12, but three is a pretty serious amount of bed making in my book.

1 comment:

  1. Suzanne OshinskyApril 1, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Hi, Amber,
    I just followed your link from I have been dreaming about making exactly those dimension 4*8 cedar raised bed, so hopefully I can be so lucky and find fence pickets that cheap. I'm very impressed by your blog and that you got your PhD but are doing all sorts of cool things as well. I hope you write more about how your academic interests link up with your other plans. In college I took an introductory anthropology class with a professor that did research on the origins of agriculture. It was fascinating and I wish I had taken more of his classes.
    I wish you all the best,



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