Build an outdoor planter bench that combines convenient seating space with the beauty of your backyard plants. Find the cut list, project diagram and step-by-step instructions at http://www.lowescreativeideas.com/idea-library/projects/Outdoor_Planter_Bench_0511.aspx To begin, the tools you will need to build the planter bench are: a jigsaw, power drill with a countersink bit, a screwdriver, some sandpaper, paint brushes, eye and ear protection and a dust mask The first step is to cut your wood planks to size. For the outer frame, you'll need 2 long rails and two short rails. These boards will form the rectangular outline of the apron beneath the bench seat. You will also need 5 width-wise internal frame supports and 8 long top slats that will form the actual seat of the bench. You're also going to construct a simple leg at each corner of the bench, and add these stretchers for stability. Start by screwing together the 2 long and 2 short rails that form the outline of the bench. Be sure your frame angles are square. If they aren't, your whole bench will be bent out of shape. You can check for "square" by taking two measurements, corner-to-corner diagonally, and making sure the two lengths match. When you're putting these pieces together, add a little glue to each screw point to help set the frame solid. Don't forget to use a countersink bit on your screws -- this will help the screw heads sit flush with the wood, and it'll keep the wood from splitting when you tighten them. Then you're going to set the 5 internal supports according to plans, again using glue and screws to set them in place. Once you have the frame built, you can begin attaching the 8 slats that will form the top of the bench. Now, cut some holes to allow the planters to peek through. First, find the center of the bench by drawing a line from edge to edge using your yardstick. Drive a screw in to hold your place. Use a with a hole in one end to create a makeshift compass. Measure the diameter of your planter pot and use a pencil to draw a circle on the bench 4 inches smaller than the measurement of the rim. Drill a hole just inside the circle and use it as the starting points of your cuts. Repeat this at the other end of the bench. Use the jigsaw to cut your holes. Now you can attach the legs at each corner and the 4 stretchers. Just like when you built the bench frame, there will be 2 long stretchers and two short. Once your cuts are made, you can sand and finish it. Don't forget to wipe the dust off with a tack-cloth before you apply any paint or stain. Find a nice, even patch of ground to set your planters on, and place your bench over top of it. Find all the supplies you will need for this project at http://www.Lowes.com Subscribe to Lowe's YouTube for great how to videos and home improvement tips: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=lowes Or head to our channel: http://www.youtube.com/Lowes
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