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Some basic tabletop questions

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Post  arla on 5/16/2012, 1:43 am

With a prevalance of ants in my garden, and having read through a lot of posts here, I'm thinking of making a 3x3 tabletop to go along with my current 4x4 groundtop.

However, I have some, really stupid basic questions.

1. I have a good amount of hardware-cloth and have read/seen a good amount about stapling that to the bottom of the box, how exactly do you do that? What kind of stapler is needed to do that, what's the cheapest option I can get away with for this?

2. I've seen stapling the weed cloth inside the box, hardware cloth onto the bottom, makes sense, anything else needed, or does this just keep everything in fine?

following up on 2, in This post it talks about putting in 2x2's every 12 inches, that seems fine, but do you put the wire in on top of this, or underneath, if on top, doesn't that severely limit your 6 inch depth?

3. Legs, for someone who is NOT good at precise woodworking (no matter what my "straight" cuts always seem to be, not very straight What a Face what is the easiest type of legs to put under? Preferably cheapest too (but I'll probably have to pickup the stuff from home depot to make it, so unfortunately free is probably out of the question)

4. Anyone have actual plans for building something?
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Post  givvmistamps on 5/16/2012, 3:49 am

Hey, we haven't built any TT yet, but boffer put a great thread together regarding table tops here: http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t41-table-tops-take-sfg-to-a-higher-level
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Post  gwennifer on 5/16/2012, 3:59 am

The legs question always gets to me too. Here's a thread that furbalsmom posted some great pictures in, showing how she constructed the wire mesh bottoms on her TT's, with support. The 2x2's go on the bottom to support the mesh so it won't eventually sag.

http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t11432-longevity-of-table-top-boxes
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Post  WardinWake on 5/16/2012, 7:53 am

Howdy:

I experminted with vairous methods of table top SFG's and have found that using plywood for a bottom worked best for me. I used 2X8s for the sides (they were cheaper to buy than 2X6s). When we used hardware cloth and weed barrier for the bottoms we had a problem keeping the soil moist as the water went through the MM to fast to soak in. For that reason solid bottoms worked better for us.

As for what to put the table tops on we have used various methods. We have built 2X4 frames, an old kitchen cabinet with doors and attached wheels from an old lawn mower to make a moble bed, and large (free) wooden wire spools from a big box store (some people make pinic tables out of them). We used blocks at one point but found that I smacked my shins on them. I read somewhere that someone used a level stack of firewood to put the Table Top garden on.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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Post  boog1 on 5/16/2012, 11:15 am

I used saw horses from Menards 10$ per pair,mine are made out of An old wooden crate I lined the inside with weed cloth to keep the mm from fallin out from between the boards.

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Post  walshevak on 5/16/2012, 11:23 am

I'm construction challenged and used cinder blocks, one on its side and one standing up for stability. I used the hardware cloth and weedblock because the plywood made the box too heavy for me to put on the blocks by myself. And that method needs the extra support under the wire to prevent sagging. I screwed in 3 1x4 boards.

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Post  llama momma on 5/16/2012, 12:13 pm

Have a table top 6 weeks old. It has a plywood bottom with 2 drain holes per square and one extra hole in each corner. Lined with weed block to keep every bit of Mel's mix inside. It sits on cinder blocks, 4 blocks high. (no shin smacking issues as wardinwake mentioned) And for good measure added another support in the center, 4 blocks high. That was to help my fear of plywood flimsy-ness. Total of 36 blocks, that is, 8 per coner and 4 in the center. Used a dark greenish stain on the blocks, blends in nicely with surrounding grass. It gets full sunlight, sunup to sunset. Even so it holds water very well, about 5-6 days or so. I am so glad I didn't use hardware cloth (drying out) because summers here can be brutally hot. The strawberries are loving it.
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Post  CindiLou on 5/16/2012, 12:25 pm

I used the hardware/weed cloth and use an old bed! The springs support the box to I didn't have to worry about sag! I love having a tt! Wish I had done it with my new beds!
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Post  llama momma on 5/16/2012, 2:02 pm

Yeah but my husband used 2in. x 4 ft x 8in. deep wood. When the plywood was attached I thought it was freakin heavy. Mel's mix still needed to go in!
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Post  Lindacol on 5/16/2012, 2:46 pm

The info on my tabletop is here:

http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t462-raised-bed-filler-question#105795

I now have 2 like this and love them. The bottoms are old security screen doors, the kind with a heavy frame and that is covered with expanded metal and came with the jamb/frame attached. I had the 2x8s cut to size at HD. All I had to do was screw the wood together and screwed to the frame using the existing holes in the jamb. I set them on cindar blocks (most were free) and lined it with feed sacks and cardboard and filled with MM. Because the frame is rigid I was able to set the blocks slightly under it and the middle ones are underneath in the center. The biggest pain was getting them level and my son did help putting the empty box up on the blocks.
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