I've never done any carpentry on my own before, so please be gentle! We recently bought a house that ended up needing quite a bit of work. We're lucky to have some very talented people in our group of friends so most of our renovations were done during days off with myself off-siding whoever was working that day. When we had no option but to hire tradespeople I always helped out to bring our costs down. This means that while I still don't have any formal knowledge of carpentry I'm at least familiar with the basics and the tools. Anyway...
We have a lot of left over chamfer boards and hardwood joists and so forth so I thought I'd put them to good use and make some planter boxes for our soon to be herb garden. This is the first, it measures 1200w x 300d x 240h and to make it I used:
4 x 1200 lengths of chamfer board (cut from 2 x 2400 lengths)
4 x 300 lengths of chamfer board (cut from 1 x 1500 length)
3 x 300 lengths cut off a hardwood joist.
32 x screws
Tape-measure, pencil, drill, drill bit, circular saw, planer
Step 1: Cutting Lengths
I measured and cut all the lengths. The legs stick out 60mm below the base, this is to embed it firmly in the ground since I have a 60kg dog who would definitely move it out of place if she plonked herself down next to it otherwise (in spite of the fact that, the whole thing being made from very hard woods, it weighs as much as twelve suns).
I think that if your lengths weren't all uniform you could get away with this since each of the corners is going to get planed anyway.
Step 2: Afixing the Champfer Board
I checked to make sure all my cuts were exact right angles and then lined up the edges of the champfer board with the edges of the joists. I pre-drilled all the holes and still managed to break my first screw. I did the longer boards first and got one screw in each of the top boards, made sure it was still square and then pre-drilled for the following screws. The boards went on nice and square and that was the tricky part over. The bottom boards were really easy because I was able to just slot the second board behind the first one, check the edges, knock it down to make sure they were tight and then it was snugly held in place while I pre-drilled the remaining ones.
Rinse and repeat for the opposite side. Then another tricky part affixing the two sides together (in retrospect I should have just bought myself a couple of C-clamps). And you are done.
Step 3: Plane the Corners, Sand, Vanish.
I planed off the corners gave it a really light sand all over to get rid of the splinters from the screw holes etc. then gave it a lick of varnish, just because I happened to have some leftovers sitting there.
Step 4: Finished
In total it took me about 1.5hrs to measure, cut and assemble and then half an hour to plane and varnish it. Now it's in situ in a corner of the yard where no one will ever see my nice work! It was a lot of fun, I can really see the appeal in wood work.
Thanks for reading this far.