Add Architectural Interest with a Garden Frame
By Rob Brown
Now you can add refreshing colour and light to any area of your lawn, garden, porch or patio. Customize your free-standing garden frame to the size, finish, and detailing you desire. The options are as endless as the places they will go!What You'll NeedMaterials
Cedar Planter Frame
- 2 x 4 (12') cedar or spruce
- #10 x 4" long exterior screws 2182-453
- exterior glue 2020-067
- hanging hook
- nail-on glides 2348-597
Spruce Lantern Frame
- Wood Shield Best exterior stain
- lantern 3640-816
- Cut the sides to final length. (shown: 32")
- Cut the top to final length with a 10° angle on the ends. (shown: 25")
- Cut the base pieces to rough length, joint their edges, and glue up the base. (photo 1)
- When dry, plane the base to final thickness and cut it to final size. (shown: 6" x 28")
- Sand pieces and ensure all edges are eased. (photo 2)
- Mark a line on the underside of the tops, 11/2" in from either end, and bore two screw clearance holes through the top that align with location of side pieces.
- Mark lines on the base the same distance apart to locate the side pieces on the base, then bore screw clearance holes to align with the side pieces. (photo 3)
- Assemble top, bottom, and sides with #10 x 4" long exterior screws and exterior glue. (photo 4)
- Drill pilot hole for hanging hook.
- Apply finish. Shown: Wood Shield Best exterior stain Ebony WSC43-9. (photo 5)
- Nail glides on bottom of base to reduce water transfer into wood.
|Glue Up the Base |
A contrasting strip of spruce glued up between two pieces of cedar is a nice look. Note: spruce doesn’t have the same weather resistance of cedar.
|Sand Smooth |
A belt sander makes quick work of mill marks and rough surfaces of 2 x 4 lumber. Sand the pieces before assembling them.
|Locate. Drill. Screw. |
Using some basic math, mark lines on the base and the underside of the tops to locate the side pieces, then drill clearance holes and assemble the frame.
|Solid Joints |
Use #10 x 4” long exterior screws because the screws are the only mechanical fasteners holding the joints together. When sinking the screws that hold the top in place, be sure to leave the heads flush with the wood, so water doesn’t pool.
|Add a Finish |
Brush on a couple coats of stain for protection and beauty. Using a clear finish on cedar is also a good approach.
Rob Brown designs and builds custom furniture and is editor of Canadian Woodworking and Home Improvement magazine.