the Carpentry Way: Lo-Cust Raised Beds?                                                          

Lo-Cust Raised Beds?

Spring is here in the northeast and added to the various tasks I am engaged with at present is getting the garden ready, which has so far included planting several fruit trees and roto-tilling the 15'x20' plot we have in the community garden.

Last year we moved into our house at this time and didn't have quite as much time to get a garden together as we might have liked. We managed to put in some raised beds and had a great crop of tomatoes, basil, and kale. Not so much luck with the arugula, which bolted, or the squash, which suffered from the predations of the squash beetle.

This year we're doing raised beds again, and for a variety of reasons i have decided to make wooden raised bed frames. As the wood sits directly upon the soil, I needed to pick a suitable wood for that, and it is hard to do better in that regard than Black Locust. There is lots of it growing in this area, and there is a sawmill business just 20 minute's drive away which specializes in cutting BlackLocust and has lots of stock on hand.

I went and picked up half a dozen 12' long, 6/4 thick by 8" tall sticks to start, which should see me through the making of at least two beds. Planning on 3 or maybe 4 beds altogether. The material is green, which is a somewhat rare occasion in terms of my work in recent years. Here I'm making some decisions about where to crosscut:

The material is fairly tight grained:

I decided I could make the beds about 4' wide and 10' long, and cross cut the material accordingly:

Some of the pieces were bowed, so I elected to joint some/all of the bow out, without taking the available thickness down too much:

Then a run or three through the planer to dress the material down. Have the planer set on metric at the moment, so took it all down to 194mmx30mm:

I'll be putting the beds together with nails and glue - - just kidding. I'll detail the joinery in a follow-up post. Thanks for visiting.