The 1/2in or 5/8in hole is bored in the center of the cut out and goes all the way through the notch. This is where the "pin" goes to hold the frame together. I used 18in long 3/8" rebar as the pin. I left the rebar above the edge of the bed so I can place a plastic frame over it for either shade in the summer for small crops or to cover for frost protection in the late fall/early spring time frame.
I was asked if the overlapping would affect the overall dimensions of the beds. The answer is yes. It will shorten each length by 3" for each seam in the middle and 1.5" on each corner. The fact that the lumber comes in 8 foot lengths which is easy to work with I wasn't really worried about the ~9 inches that it overlapped for my bed. But if you need it to fit in a defined area say around the house you may want more accuracy.
Thanks Qinx --- for sharing some really good ideas. I like the idea of the rebar and pvc pipe to support a covering for shade or frost...~whatever. I hope I can get some of ideas / projects I have in mind for MY garden done this fall -- and I think I'll add this rebar/pvc idea to my list.
>> >> Then I added braces corner to corner (of fence boards) for the next tier to sit on.
Thanks for that idea. I have been mentally wrestling with ideas for supporting "terraces" in a raised bed that spans a slope. I wnat to make a 16" drop into two 8" drops, and add another 12" drop at the very bottom. I don't want the downhill walls on higher terraces to sit on soil, compressing it or sinking itno it.
My walls have been made from paving stones stood on edge or on end (12x12x1" pavers, or 8x16x3/4" pavers). They may not form a very stable wall, but as long as I don't walk on the bed, they stay in in place. I could glue or motar them if needed, but it seems not to be needed.
I would like to make the 16" drop and shelf below it into three shallower drops or terraces.
The trench would turn into a narrower sunken walkway, and the shrubs to the left will eventually come out, and another stair-stepped rasued bed will go in on that side also.
Yeah, but the prices they are asking are unbelievable! A 4' x 4' by 11" bed for $170? That is 32 feet of 2" x 6", with a few cuts and some holes, with four metal pins. Lowes Top Choice 2" x6" untreated pine lumber is $3.82 for each 8' board. That's less than $16 lumber cost for a 4' x4' bed. If you use cedar, then the price is quite a bit higher, about $60 for the lumber. Of course, that's at retail price.
The end overlaps (lap joints have been around a very long time...) can be cut with a handsaw. The only thing that would be any problem is the holes in the joints. Given that the width of the joint is less than three inches, a power drill and a long bit would work nicely. I'm thinking that there could be as much as $20 worth of work time in a properly equipped wood shop (jig saw and drill press) IF you are using union labor.
Yes, naturalyards uses incense cedar, not Lowe's pinewood. They also treat with a non-toxic coating that protects it from the elements. Their beds and planters have a 20-year warranty, which is something that you won't get at Lowe's or if you mess up the project yourself.
So you are spending a little bit of money on some cheap wood and a fair amount of labor (if you have a bandsaw, then you're in good shape).
Or you can spend a fair amount of money up front and have beds that won't corrode in 5-6 years and will be replaced if they do. I am very happy with my purchase. You also get the advantage of trimming and stuff, if you like it to look a bit nicer.
I have a big U-bed (I have a disability) that's four boards high so I don't have to reach down. It cost a bit, but it will last until I die and beyond.