Instructables
I got a new house with a teeny tiny backyard (roughly 15 x 10) that ends at someone else's side wall. When you look out the dining room window, all you see is brick. So I thought it would be nice to make some planters in which to grow climbing green things (so far, got cucumber, tomato, and various peas). But it would also be nice to have someplace to sit out back when we're grilling, so enter the planter-seats. 

The real thing ended up remarkably like the digital plan. I'm impressed, and for that I have to thank Patrick, who made this plan into a reality. 
 
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Step 1: The Plan

5ft bench finished.jpg
12ft bench finished.jpg
Both complete.jpg

The nice thing about having a plan is it kind of allows you to measure twice and cut once (though you should also still measure twice and cut once...). Here we used google sketchup, which is a really nice and simple free product. Patrick did a great job getting the plan just right.

Creating a detailed plan also helps you conserve your resources and use only as much material as you really need. We decided to make the long planter 12 feet long, 1 foot wide, and 18 inches deep. Short one in 5 x 1 x 18. The seats are 4 feet and 11 feet, and 15 inches deep.

Once you have the plan, it's time to get the materials...

Latona382 years ago
This is lovely! I want to build this in the spring. Thanks for sharing.
agilbull2 years ago
this is a NICE work. I am so impress!
wonderfull
wierdguy032 years ago
If you plan on putting edible plants into this planter, you would NOT want to use pressure treated lumber because of the chemicals used to treat it. However, if you just plan on planting flowers or some ornamental grasses, i say go ahead. If you plan on using all wood construction, i suggest getting a wood with natural rot-resistant properties (cedar, white oak, etc.) that way you can plant whatever you like (edible or not) and not have to worry about the chemicals in the wood.
Dragonothe2 years ago
Very attractive and a great use of limited space. Could the framework be made with pressure treated wood instead of metal? If so, I'm going to steal this idea too!
solmstea (author)  Dragonothe2 years ago
You could definitely do that, and it would probably be cheaper. My boyfriend was urging an all-wood construction, but aesthetically, I just preferred the mix of steel and wood.
ecstasy4262 years ago
Can you forgo the welding if you use L-shaped steel channels with holes for bolts?It'd mean being slightly less sturdy (and your measurements would be limited to the length of the channels, i.e. 5' 6' 7' etc.) but with some galvanized locking bolts and perhaps an extra leg on all sides, it might do well, perhaps?
solmstea (author)  ecstasy4262 years ago
Yes, you can probably bolt the whole thing together (we bolted the two main structures together at the corner, so we could take it apart if we ever want to get it out of the backyard without having to grind off the welds). I think it would actually end up being somewhat more work to do it that way, but you certainly could. Depending on how many bolts you use, it probably wouldn't be that unsturdy.
chuckyd2 years ago
You have pretty much made the plastic useless by punching holes in it. The entire bottom panel will be wet, and will eventually fail. The plastic, itself, will fail if it's biodegradable, or if it's too thin.

There are many alternative solutions for liners, although not as cheap as plastic, unless you can scrounge up used material. Fiberglass and resin is a good alternate, and you can include a pipe at the drain holes to allow the water to drip away from the wood. If you just have the hole there, the water will spread out across the bottom of the plywood.

Other alternatives are metal sheets, such as copper or aluminum flashing. They may not be wide enough for the planter, but you can solder the copper and you can connect the aluminum with foled seams and sealant.

Another altertnate is membrane waterproofing typically used for basement walls.

In all cases the drain holes should have a pipe connected to drain water away from the wood bottom.
solmstea (author)  chuckyd2 years ago
The pressure treated wood should hold up pretty well, even touching soil. The only reason I used the plastic is to keep the soil away from the pressure-treated wood because I'm paranoid about the chemicals leeching into the soil/plants (at the bottom it's less likely to get into the soil), not to make it waterproof.

But if I was trying to make it waterproof, I like the drain pipe idea.
mygibzone2 years ago
OOOO I want one! I hope my husband can build it! :)
spike35792 years ago
Well done!
I rarely make such detailed drawings but I can see how it would help here since the framework for the seats is pretty complex. Your tomatoes should like the heat reflected off the brick wall.
solmstea (author)  spike35792 years ago
I rarely do either, but the Make it Real contest was good incentive. I think Patrick got a little carried away with it, but it is a fun program to play around with. And, as you say, helps for the more complex projects. PLUS, it was a good way to make sure what was in my head is what was in Patrick's before we started working at cross purposes.
Yeah, I noticed the make it real banner right after I commented ;)
Hope you win something...
BTW I put your project on this week's Show and Tell 
solmstea (author)  spike35792 years ago
Thanks!
Beautiful Definitely going to steal this idea.
solmstea (author)  Marcaine Art2 years ago
Thanks! Steal away! That's the whole point of Instructables, isn't it?