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The home page in this series on building raised bed gardens is Raised Beds Jim’s Way.
Tools for Dealing With Dirt (Etc.)
This is to mark corners of the garden, beds, and other locations.
- Mantis or other small garden tillers (or garden spade)
- This will be used every year. Larger garden tillers will work, but they’re heavier and harder to hoist into the bed for digging.
- A regular garden spade will work (see next bullet), but it’s much easier with a tiller.
- Spade or other digging implement
This is for manual digging for various things, like holes in which to place the vertical tubes. You can also use one in place of the tiller mentioned above.
Tools for Building the Beds
- Screwdriver, or a power screwdriver or drill
There are a lot of screws. Most people won’t want to do these by hand, although it can be done.
- Bits for the screwdriver noted above.
Need one style for the long screws that hold the planks together, and potentially another style for attaching the plumbers’ strapping to the planks.
- Tape measure
Ideally, this should be longer than the longest dimension of the garden, including the gap between the bed and the yard object to which the garden will be aligned (garage or fence, usually).
Preferably longer than the bed is wide. But, this is not essential.
- This will be used for making small adjustments to the planks as you try to screw them together. (There are no nails in this project.)
- A wooden or rubber mallet will work instead.
This is for cutting the plumbers’ strapping into lengths to go around the tubes that will be attached to the outside of the bed(s).
- This will be used for cutting the planks and for cutting the PVC pipes.
- You may need two different saws. I find a saw with finer tooth-spacing to works better on the pipes, but larger tooth-spacing works better on lumber.
- Ear protection for use with the saw if the saw is powered.
- Saw horses or other surface for cutting the planks and plastic pipe segments
- Straightedge or carpenter’s square
This is useful for cutting the planks. The level can be used, but be sure to measure on both sides of the plank so the cut is perpendicular to the sides.
- Clothing appropriate for the weather.
- If it’s hot, make sure to wear a hat to protect against heat exhaustion.
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