Garden Box Construction, Part 2

We started Saturday off with a lovely early breakfast with Jake, who was in town visiting. We took him to The Promontory, as it’s fast becoming our favorite go-to place for brunch in the neighborhood.

Afterwards, we came back to the house (where Jake and Anais’ three dogs were waiting for us). We opted to bring the dogs out back, to enjoy our new-ish yard.

I think the last time Jake and Anais came by the house, it was in 2014 – back when the backyard was still a crazy mess.

Watching Liz play with the dogs, I was reminded a lot of the weekend we were watching Tus and hung out with her along Logan Boulevard.

Jake with Little Dude, Tus, and Logan.

After Jake and the dogs left, Liz and I suited back up and headed downstairs to work. With all our wood brought in and ready to go, we were about to begin cutting things down to size.

This is the exploded view of the garden box, which has been pretty helpful.

As a reference, we’re using this set of instructions as our primary guide, taking some tips from this guy’s implementation.

My notes, and our variation on the garden box.

First cuts! We started with the 2×2 pieces, figuring we’d begin small and work our way up.

Liz, making her first cuts.

Liz, measuring our pieces after the fact.

Our process was more or less this: we’d cut off about an inch off one end. Then we’d flip the board around, having measured the distance from the end stop to the saw blade. We double checked this quite often, but once we got things aligned… we more or less knew that any piece of wood placed against the stop would result in the desired length.

As the lengths got bigger, we moved out the stopper a little farther. Repeat, for each new length.

Our finished pile, with all the 22″ 2×2 braces, and some longer 2×2 and 2×4 pieces that will serve as the cross braces.

Our first set of 41.5″ 2×6 boards – which will be used for one of the shorter sides of the garden box.

As some of the pieces got larger, we opted to measure the lengths ourselves and cut based on our marks (as opposed to using the stopper). Here, Liz is practicing a manual measurement and mark.

Our longer set of 44.5″ 2×6 boards done! These are also used for the shorter side of the box, but we’re looking to interlace the sides… so we’re going to have alternating rows of boards: one longer, one shorter, one longer, one shorter.

Our first row of longer, 69″ 2×6’s.

A view of our work area. Nothing super fancy – just a bit of plywood on two horses. But it for a really convenient desk and reference area.

We took a bit of a sidestep here. While we weren’t done with our 2×6’s… our decking boards also needed to be 69 inches long. So while we had the stopper already set up… we switched over to cut up all the decking boards.

Liz, tackling the longer 72″ 2×6 cut we need. With this length, we simply couldn’t extend the stopper enough… so we had to resort to a manual measurement and cut.

And all the 72″ 2×6 cuts are done!

It doesn’t seem like it, but that’s a lot of wood! All our pieces now are completely done.

An empty space, that once was full. We had several 2×4’s left over, as we decided to hold off on cutting the pieces for the cap. Liz isn’t 100% yet on whether she wants to create a top for the box… so we’re going to wait until things are constructed, and reassess.

By the time we finished our cuts, it was getting close to our cutoff time (4PM). We had plans to go hang out with Chris and Leslie, so we had to call it a day.

Once more – I was super optimistic and thinking we might have completed assembly of a single box at the end of the day. But it turns out that much of the day was devoted to a single task. Where yesterday was all about supplies… today was all about just the cuts.

Liz and I both have all of our fingers, so I take today as a check in the win column. We did have a few miscalculations on the amount of wood we needed.

We cut too many 2x2s, but this error was negated by an error of us buying too many 2x2s. And we needed a few more 2×4’s for the top, but we decided to hold off on that for now.

All in all, not a bad run for a partial work day.

To celebrate, here’s a little animated GIF I made, of all the cuts:


Garden Box Planning Mode
Garden Box Construction, Part 1

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