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What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

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What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  middlemamma on 9/21/2010, 5:43 pm

Hubby and I are trying to figure out how we are going to scrape the $ together to make 4 more boxes for spring. We thought we would pick up the materials here and there over the next few months. We made my original 4 boxes (all 4x4) with redwood....used the tax return. We want to build 2 more 4x4's and 2 3X3's.

I found this at Home Depot (online) http://www.homedepot.com/Lumber-Composites/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1ximZbqpg/R-202047297/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

What is this?

What did you make your boxes out of?? I don't want pressure treated...what about other woods besides redwood that may be cheaper?

Any suggestions?

Thanks friends.

middlemamma
 
 

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  Icemaiden on 9/21/2010, 6:24 pm

It is fir, says so if you click on the Specification tab and scroll down a bit. Says it is not pressure treated
I think KDDF must stand for Kiln Dried ?Douglas Fir.

I used pine but I expect it will not last very long. It was very cheap though and I wanted to get going at once. I figure I can replace it later, one box at a time when I don't have the expense of the other stuff too.


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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  Icemaiden on 9/21/2010, 6:31 pm

Just looked again and it says Fir (Abies) so perhaps it is this Hemlock wood here
http://www.alkilumber.com/lumber.htm

I love the smell of wood being sawn. Forget gluesniffing, give me a plank of wood Very Happy

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  boffer on 9/21/2010, 6:37 pm

If you're on a budget, it doesn't matter what the new price is, it's too much!

Why does your box have to be made out of wood? Why not big rocks, sand bags, RR ties, cinder blocks, milk jugs full of dirt or concrete, larger branches, cut-short, placed vertically in the ground, used lumber, small logs, old pallets, or bricks.? The plants don't care! Check Craig's List, freecycle, and your local Little Nickel or equivalent. Use your money to make the best darn Mel's Mix in Idaho-that's the important part.

What's wrong with pressure treated wood? If you really think the chemicals might leech and become a problem, put plastic between soil and wood. All of my boxes are PT. Some are lined with plastic; some aren't. Think outside the box! Have fun being cheap!

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  camprn on 9/21/2010, 7:17 pm

I bought pine 2"X8"X12' and just cut them and used decking screws to put them together. They will last me a several years and the box itself cost less than $18 (if I remember correctly). I got the lumber at the Orange Box store. Wooden pallets are often made of oak. If you are on a budget and are not opposed to using scrap, that is a good solution and the boards will last several years. I have done that before and just used stakes & gravity to keep the boards in place.

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Re: What kindof wood.....

Post  trustinhart on 9/21/2010, 9:28 pm

My first bed was made with the remnants of a single bed frame. The sideboards were 6" and DH just nailed them together. My next ones will be from pallets. I live next to a aircraft tire retred plant and can get all the junk pallets I want/need. Live cheap or die!!!!!

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  middlemamma on 9/21/2010, 10:58 pm

LOL...ok I get it....thank you everyone.

I wanted wood for some kind of conformity...and just wanted to know that they didnt have to be redwood for them to hold up a few years.

I have the weed barrier in my current boxes between wood and dirt so that makes sense with the treated wood Boffer...thanks for that. I honestly have never researched the PT wood...so honestly I know nothing about it...just heard chemicals and steered clear....good to know some of you use it and how to get around it! Thanks!!

I did get some freecycyle semi truck tires and those will be my flower beds around the yard in spring Very Happy

Thanks everyone for giving me a hand out of my box (and into a few more SFG boxes!)!!

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  Chopper on 9/21/2010, 11:16 pm

I think you have your answer but I concur with everyone. I did not look at anything but price. I finally got a box down to under $15 including right angle brackets. I took full advantage of HD and Lowe's free cutting of the wood. I decided it was wood being filled with dirt. So, who cares what it looks like ultimately. And with neglecting to cut the grass, you can't see the wood anyway!

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  quiltbea on 9/21/2010, 11:58 pm

I couldn't find any cedar here that wasn't pressure treated so I made the 2nd best choice, spruce. I was told its stronger and longer-lasting than fir.

I couldn't afford to make more than 9 boxes so my long rear beds are raised berms. You know, you pull the soil up into a mound. I added composted manure and amendments and use that area for crops that take more space or for which I want to put in a dozen plants or more....1st year: annuals and gladiolas, sweet corn and potatoes, this year: zucchini, cucumbers, watermelon and cantaloupe. Next year it'll be different once again.
Not all your raised beds have to be enclosed with wood.

Here's some annuals going in the back bed. The ones on the right are saved for potatoes and corn. This year I filled in the space between those two shorter beds to make it one long bed where I planted zucchini and cucumbers.
I'd love to enclose mine with cement blocks someday, so I can sit on the sides when I'm weeding. The old legs and back would love it so maybe when these spruce beds wear out, I'll put in some cement blocks beds, if I'm still in a condition to garden. I hope so. I love it.


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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  middlemamma on 9/22/2010, 12:12 am

Chopper you are so funny! I love you!

Quiltbea...never thought of that...hmmmm.

I think everyone must have a different garden vision. Someday I would like to have a couple benches, pavers, a fountain and maybe a pond. I real secret garden type of place.

I love growing and harvesting the plants and I am also enjoying working towards my vision, what I would like my garden to be in 4-5 years...albeit frugally.

LOL...though from what I read here...I wonder if I will get it just the way I want it and then decide it's time to remodel! Ack!

Thanks again everyone for the thoughts and ideas. I have a tendancy to be a much better copier than I am a creater. I am not very creative so it really helps me that people here share ideas of what they did or what I might do. I appreciate it.

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  Old Hippie on 9/22/2010, 12:52 am

@middlemamma wrote:

I think everyone must have a different garden vision. Someday I would like to have a couple benches, pavers, a fountain and maybe a pond. I real secret garden type of place.

I love growing and harvesting the plants and I am also enjoying working towards my vision, what I would like my garden to be in 4-5 years...albeit frugally.

Thanks again everyone for the thoughts and ideas. I have a tendancy to be a much better copier than I am a creater. I am not very creative so it really helps me that people here share ideas of what they did or what I might do. I appreciate it.

Jennie, our visions are as unique as each of us. My vision of my yard, includes a lot of those same things and I am having a wonderful time doing it frugally. It is amazing the stuff you can get for free. I couldn't in a hundred years afford to buy a lot of the stuff that I have gotten. It does take more time and work to recycle things but hey, I have more elbow grease than money. And I love keeping things out of the landfill.

And I think you are wrong about not being very creative. Seed of creativity need to be nurtured just like your garden seeds. That is what you are doing when you copy something you have seen done elsewhere. After you have done that for a time, you will find that you will start coming up with your own ideas. You wait and see.

GK

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  Odd Duck on 9/22/2010, 1:11 pm

I was lucky enough to get some "small" cut slabs of concrete. The DH had a company out doing plumbing work on the building where he works and they had to cut out some floor and he claimed the pieces for me. These pieces run from 12"-14" wide and 12"-28" or so long and few smaller, broken pieces. I combined these with some salvaged brick that we got from a friend and made my asparagus/strawberry bed. I used the concrete at the corners and filled in between with brick. It ended up a nice sitting height, so it will be easy to work the strawberry runners to keep perpetuating the plants. It also has a nice, rustic feel to go along with my rustic type theme I've got going in the back yard.

I used concrete block for my first 3 beds with what they called "split-face" block - rougher face to be a bit more appealing/rustic looking, mixed colors/batch ends to be cheaper and more rustic, too. We salvaged 3 pieces of what I think were some sort of shelves or something like that. We made them into an arbor for the gate into the veggie garden area. We were VERY lucky and were able to use a very old, rusted, wrought iron foot-board (it fit perfectly, who knew?) we got at a garage sale for $10.00 (the head-board part of the set is just leaning against the wooden privacy fence looking rustic). I'll be growing some vines up and over the arbor to attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. I can't WAIT until the vines are covering the arbor with flowers and my garden is swarming with pollinators along with the beautiful butterflies and hummingbirds.

I've also gotten a BUNCH of windows for very cheap from Craig's list that will someday be a greenhouse (this winter if I'm lucky). I found my manure source from "freecycle.net", so ask around, you never know what you're going to find once you start looking and thinking outside the box! The arbor bits I brought home to be fencing, then realized it was too narrow to be tall enough to hold the dogs out. Then I realized I had 2 identical pieces and 1 shorter but wider piece that was made of the same stuff. Then things fell into place. Made my month when I realized what I could make out of free-for-hauling-it-away stuff.

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  WardinWake on 9/25/2010, 11:41 am

Howdy Folks:

Most of my beds are made from 2X4 scrap from the dumpster behind the big box stores. The material and looks differs a bit from box to box but I also paint the outside of the box with mis-matched paint from the same stores. $5.00 per gallon and a gallon goes a long way. A little paint covers a multitude of errors!

If I have to replace a bed every 4 or 5 years no problem on a limited budget. My bigest expence is the screws to put the boxes together. Nails are cheaper, but, I like screws.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.




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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  acara on 9/26/2010, 5:16 am

x2 on the above ... $8.00 can of Killz primer, $8.00 can of paint & anything can look good......nobody knows that none of it matches under the paint Very Happy

One good day of cleaning the garage/attic & you can usually scavenge enough materials to build just about anything (at least if your garage is like mine).

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  Weedless_ on 9/27/2010, 11:41 am

I used the composite board, first two boxes made from scraps at heavily reduced price, and the third one I made from the same material, but paid the full price. NOTHING gets to them - not sun, not moisture, and they are heavy. Took a while to put them together, had to predrill the holes for the screws, because it's very dense. But it's worth the effort/money. If you decide to use this material, make sure to buy the special screws for it.

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 9/27/2010, 12:08 pm

I ordered white oak from a local saw mill. They were rough cut 2"x6"x8' for the beds. I also had them make some 2"x2"x8' lumber that I used to make my trellis frames. This "rough cut" lumber is heavy, hard to cut, and hard to drill, but my intention was to make it last as long as possible. I was very pleased with the results.

The oak (which is a very hard wood) was less than half the price I saw for pine (a soft wood) at Home Depot. I think I will get several years out of this. I have looked, and after 3 years I am just starting to get some rot on the inside of the beds.

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  Old Hippie on 9/27/2010, 1:05 pm

@Squat_Johnson wrote:I ordered white oak from a local saw mill. They were rough cut 2"x6"x8' for the beds. I also had them make some 2"x2"x8' lumber that I used to make my trellis frames. This "rough cut" lumber is heavy, hard to cut, and hard to drill, but my intention was to make it last as long as possible. I was very pleased with the results.

The oak (which is a very hard wood) was less than half the price I saw for pine (a soft wood) at Home Depot. I think I will get several years out of this. I have looked, and after 3 years I am just starting to get some rot on the inside of the beds.

OMG!!!! You used white oak for your boxes!!!!!! Your darn right it is heavy and hard to cut or drill. My husband would KILL for white oak. We pay through the nose and then some for it. My husband has a piece he is hoarding for a furniture project he has in mind. You are so lucky we live far far away or some night your garden might be raided but not for the veggies.

GK

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  cachecrashers4 on 3/26/2011, 8:27 pm

I'm using 2x8 rough cut Hemlock for my boxes because it is way less expensive than cedar or redwood and will last a lot longer than pine, spruce, or fir. I plan on staining the outside with an acrylic stain when it warms up outside.

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  milaneyjane on 3/26/2011, 9:09 pm

I have been pretty vocal that I am type A as far as aesthetics, and wanted gorgeous wood boxes since it is the focal point of the yard and is seen from every room of the house. But a few trips to various places looking for good deals quickly put a damper on my hopes. In the long run inexpensive composite was a better option for me.

BUT, I did build two 4x4 potato boxes for a steal. I was at Home Depot and the poor young man helping me was probably glad to see me leave after two hours hemming and hawing with my calculater. I ended up using 4 inch wide tongue and groove boards, several of which I got out of the junk wood for free. Even purchasing it I spent just a few dollars, and the nice part were the pieces slid together to make whatever height bed I wanted. I kept the four inside corner posts tall so I could add more boards as needed. And the young man was kind enough to do ALL the cutting of all 32 pieces Very Happy .

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  Megan on 3/26/2011, 9:32 pm

@cachecrashers4 wrote:I'm using 2x8 rough cut Hemlock for my boxes because it is way less expensive than cedar or redwood and will last a lot longer than pine, spruce, or fir. I plan on staining the outside with an acrylic stain when it warms up outside.

Hello cachecrashers, welcome to the forum and to SFG! Wow, Maine, that takes me way back. Smile We don't have hemlock readily available here in the major big-box stores, but it sounds like a steal and a great option to use. I just got my lumber today and am debating between stain and paint. And then, what color(s)? Decisions, decisions. Smile Anyway, congrats on your new boxes-in-progress!

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  doc_jh on 3/27/2011, 9:08 am

I used 1x6 oak from a local sawmill. Fairly cheap and they've lasted over 3 yrs. Starting to show signs of rot, but I didn't think they would last years. Boffer said you could use anything and maybe use some plastic on treated wood. Personally I don't want any chemicals near my food, but it can't always be helped. Also, RR ties shouldn't be used. I work on the railroad and would not recommend using ties no matter what.

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what kind of wood

Post  westie42 on 3/27/2011, 11:18 am

I paid the price for cedar 2" by various heights. However I got very lucky in finding a local small guy lumber yard that had some slightly weathered 2x10. Enough to make two boxes at 4'x12' cost $101.63 which was a steal. Hoping now they will outlast me at 70 years. There was a lady here showing her new green treated frames which were lined with plastic to avoid soil contact with the wood. Like you I don't wish to take any chances with my food production. Cedar one bys are a bit cheaper but may tend to bow under soil pressure, then you could install several stakes to control that.

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White Oak

Post  maryseely on 3/27/2011, 11:36 am

Westie,
We purchased rough cut lumber from a local Mennonite for quite a good price and it was white oak, too. We had it cut 3" thick and 12' long. It's doing well starting out on our 3rd year. I want to add a protective ledge to sit on and keep the rain from soaking the wood. I haven't painted it, but might do the outside this year.
~Mary

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  ashort on 3/27/2011, 11:39 am

Plain old untreated pine... no paint, no stain....

I am sure I will have to replace them in a couple of years, but that is part of the plan. I will replace them with sawed stone when the time comes, but that was not in the budget this year.

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Re: What KIND of wood did you make your boxes out of?

Post  Old Hippie on 3/27/2011, 12:04 pm

@maryseely wrote:Westie,
We purchased rough cut lumber from a local Mennonite for quite a good price and it was white oak, too. We had it cut 3" thick and 12' long. It's doing well starting out on our 3rd year. I want to add a protective ledge to sit on and keep the rain from soaking the wood. I haven't painted it, but might do the outside this year.
~Mary

White oak!!!! I feel like I have been stabbed through the heart!!! White oak is so expensive where we live! Interesting how that works.

If you don't mind me giving you a suggestion.......... painting or using solid stain on something that is going to constantly have water put in it is not the greatest way to finish a wood product. Water from the inside of your planting box will always try to evaporate through the wood. It never tries to go out the same way it went in. So the trapped moisture is going to cause the wood to rot sooner as well as make the paint or stain lift and peel sometimes within the first year. I am stingy and lazy.....and have better things to do than scrape lifting and peeling stain or paint. A semi transparent stain works well and there are lots of water based ones out on the market now. Or just a plain oiled finish works well too. Every few years just clean them and add another coat.

Also, when you do put a protective coat on it......make sure you have not watered for about a week. The sub-layers will have moisture in them and your coating may not last because the adhering quality is compromised.

Gwynn

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