Garden Box Construction, Part 3

Day 3! With all our pieces cut, today was going to be all about piece things together. But as we started to line up all our pieces, Liz discovered that our 2×2’s (which we had cut to 22″) were about 1/2″ too short!

We did some measurements, and discovered that all our 2×6 boards were a little longer than we anticipated. We figured each 2×6 was going to be 5.5″ wide. But we discovered that most boards were about 5 5/8″, and a few were 5 3/4″.

This prompted us to revisit all our 2×6 pieces, and to re-measure every one.

We had to match up all the 2×6 boards in such a way as to ensure that everything would line up. We called up Bob to talk about the variance in width, and he told us this was to be expected. For pressure treated lumber, some pieces would react differently – some boards would be larger, some smaller.

Armed with this knowledge, we began keeping track of the widths of every board we used… as we began building each side.

Liz, putting some pilot holes.

We had drawn some lines on all the 2x2s, to indicate the ends of each board. But something went awry, and this resulted in us having to put in a few new/extra pilot holes.

For me, this part of the process was the most daunting. I was worried about screwing something up. After a few pilot holes though… I quickly became more comfortable about the process.

It reminded me of this time, back in 1999, when I was trying to upgrade my computer. I had a PC at the time, and really wanted to play The Sims – but my old machine didn’t have enough memory.

So I ended up buying some sticks of RAM (which was expensive at the time), and a six pack of beer. I was able to remove the memory easily enough, but I spent about an hour and a half delicately trying to insert the new memory into its slots.

I felt like any wrong movement would result in me snapping the memory like a wafer. Until I realized that, with a slight push, the thing just clicked into place. All that stress and care… and all that was needed was a little shove.

Whatever hesitation I had slowly melted away, the more pilot holes I drilled. I got more and more comfortable, the more we worked.

Liz, being kind enough to take a few shots of me. So it doesn’t look like I just stood around while Liz did all the work.

Liz, driving in some screws and securing the brace into place.

The new DeWalt drill has three sets of LED lights, which illuminate your work area when you squeeze the trigger. It’s a great tool, and Liz and I both love it.


One side complete! This is one of the smaller sides – and since we’re going with an interlacing/staggered approach… we’re alternating lengths. These are all 2×6 boards, and from the top it’s 44.5″, 41.5″, 44.5″, and 41.5″.

A view of the same boards, with the braces exposed. We’ve also pre-drilled some holes on the far left and right braces – which will be affixed to the longer sides when everything is pieced together.

Our new work area. Same plywood, but balanced on the boxes that the miter saw and stand came in. Liz, being the meticulous worker that she is, pulled out the proper number of screws we would need.

Working on the larger boards. These are still 2×6’s, and alternate in length: 72″, 69″, 72″, and 69″. When paired up with the smaller side, each board should interlock into place.

All four boards, done and set aside!

Once more, I was ambitious in my thinking that we would get all the sides of both boxes completed. Turns out, we just got one done.

We did run into some unexpected hurdles… but we did learn a great deal. The first small side took a long time to complete, but the second one we got done in short order. I’m hoping that, when we tackle the second box… we’ll be quite fast at it.

Liz and I called it a night around 5:30PM, as we had to drive to Frankfort to drop off Bob’s truck. Though I was hoping we could do more… it was still a productive day. We’re progressing slower than I thought we might, but we’re still progressing.

I think we’ll look to building out the sides of the second box this coming week… and use the weekend to complete construction. The boxes will be too big (and way too heavy) to put together in the basement. So we’ll likely have to move everything into the backyard and piece things together there.

These boxes are way bigger and way heavier than I expected. But I’m excited to see them take shape, as we go about each step.

Garden Box Planning Mode
Garden Box Construction, Part 1
Garden Box Construction, Part 2

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Okay- I pulled out the specific number of screws cause I was killing time while Felix was contemplating. (I’m not generally that crazy anal,I don’t think….)

    Liz Reply

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