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Sanderson's Table Top Beds I22gcj10Sanderson's Table Top Beds 14dhcg10

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Sanderson's Table Top Beds

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Post  sanderson 7/18/2018, 4:01 am

There are several ways to make a SFG table top bed.  This is just the way I chose after viewing other folks' designs.  A little of this one, a little of that one.

I can't find where I previously posted photos of the making of one of my table tops beds, so I decided to make a new thread so I won't have to reinvent the wheel. thinking  Some of my beds (those that are only 2' wide have 1/2 or 5/8 inch plywood bottoms.  The beds have an underneath support frame made of 2'x4'.  I'm guessing the 2' x 3' could be used for the underneath support for small beds.  Bolts and nuts of the size used on my beds are expensive.  To save some money, long wood screws could be used if the bed is not going to be moved.  The legs on my beds are treated 4"x4" because they sit on the ground.  Two pieces of treated wood could be used if they are screwed together.  I found that if one end is on soft or wet dirt and the other end is on hard or dry dirt, the legs will start to sink at the soft end.  Shocked  I also found that modern treated wood is only treated on the outer layer and the inner core is really nice for termites.  For my newest TT, the treated legs are set on bricks.  Much better.

This is an important detail.  When building table tops with plywood bottoms, the inner bed dimensions will NOT be perfect square feet.  A half sheet of plywood is 4'x4', or 48" x 48".  The frame of the bed has to fit on this sheet.  Therefore, the inner dimensions of the bed will be 45" instead of 48".  Don't worry.  Just divide the interior into equal squares, roughly 11"x11" and call it good.  Just make the Mel's Mix closer to 7" to make up the difference if you want.

True measurements of a 2" x 4" = 1.5" x 3.5".  A 2" x 8" = 1.5" x 7.5".  A 2" x 10" is 1.5" x 9.5".

Make the bed frame using 2"x8" the size of the plywood bottom.  Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_12

For the bottom of the bed, use 3/4" plywood for longer life, 1/2" at a minimum.  Screw the plywood to the bed frame. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_13

Turn the bed upside down.  Using 2"x4", make a frame on the bottom of the plywood.  A cross brace is needed every 2'.  This is a square bed so braces go in both directions.  Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_14

For a square box, add braces in the cross direction.  My husband toes these cross braces.  You can also slightly off set the 2 short pieces to make it easier to screw in place. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_16

Attach the legs with bolts and nuts (pre-drill the holes in the legs) or use long screws that will reach through the leg and bed frame.  If the screws stick out on the inside of the bed, rasp the small tip of the screws on the inside of the bed to prevent any injury to the hands while playing with the Mel's Mix.  NOTE:  the legs are attached in the wrong direction in this photo!  Something gets lost in translation between the wife's instructions and the husband's construction. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_15

This is the proper way to attach the legs.  Both ends of the long and short sides rest on the notch of the leg.  Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_22

Drill a 1/2" hole in the middle of each square foot.  This box was 3.5'x3.5' so there are holes in the half square feet areas. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_17

Optional:  This is a feature that I add to every box - a 1" PVC "cup holder" for 1/2" PVC frames that every box has.  This is one project that I, me, myself can actually do!  For 2'x8' beds I install "cup holders" mid-point. Note:  I no longer use the cheap, black, plastic-like weed fabric.  Now I use the commercial grade weed fabric. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_21

Line the bed with weed fabric. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_18

Fill with Mel's Mix. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_19

Install grids.  Optional:  Make the PVC frame. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_20

For a long, skinny bed, like 2'x8', cross braces are installed every 2'.  Extra legs are installed at the mid point on the long side. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_23

This is my newest little bed, 2' x 1.5'.  The legs are are set on bricks.  And yes, the legs are attached in the wrong direction.  Venetian vs. Martian. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_24


Last edited by sanderson on 10/11/2018, 12:07 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post  SQWIB 7/18/2018, 7:37 am

That is awesome great tutorial and I'm sure a lot of folks will be jumping in and making these, because you made it look so easy.
It almost makes me want to build more beds...almost.
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Post  bluelacedredhead 7/20/2018, 7:40 pm

I've been thinking about these lately. Thanks for posting this!
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Post  Leone 7/22/2018, 6:08 am

Thank you so much, Sanderson. This really makes sense to me.

You said, "Make the bed frame using 2"x8" the size of the plywood bottom." For these, what kind of wood did you use?

I noticed that you did not cover the bottom with 6 ml plastic like some people do. Do the chemicals in the plywood have any effect on the plants that you know of?

The PVC pipe with a cap on it in the middle of the garden... Is that a worm feeder?
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Post  sanderson 7/22/2018, 4:26 pm

1.  Plain 2" thick pine or fir.
2.  Modern plywood does not have formaldehyde.  No, I don't line the plywood with plastic, only commercial weed fabric.
3.  Yes, a worm tube. The 1/2" holes are drilled below the top of the Mel's Mix, like at 2" and 5" from the bottom. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Worm_t10

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Post  Scorpio Rising 7/23/2018, 6:03 pm

NICE!!!!  Love it, sanderson!Sanderson's Table Top Beds 3170584802
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Post  dstack 7/26/2018, 5:52 am

Beautiful! Hi Sanderson! Nice job!

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Post  sanderson 7/26/2018, 7:39 am

Dstack! happy hi

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Post  donnainzone5 7/26/2018, 12:45 pm

Dstack,

It's great to hear from you again!  How's your garden?
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Post  dstack 7/26/2018, 2:31 pm

donnainzone5 wrote:Dstack,

It's great to hear from you again!  How's your garden?

Thanks for asking donnainzone5! I'm still plugging away, and still learning more and more whenever I can. I'm now working from home so I get a little more time during the day to keep the garden in check. My tabletop beds are solarizing for the summer, and I've got my summer garden in pots and the ground.
Sanderson's Table Top Beds 20180710

I also erected a bat sanctuary consisting of two back-to-back Audubon Society bat houses, and corresponding pup catchers. Our unusually wet spring brought a plague of mosquitoes much worse than usual, so that motivated the bat house project.

Sanderson's Table Top Beds 20180711

Back to the subject of tabletop SFG, and SFG-ing in general, I'm forever grateful to Sanderson and the very friendly and helpful community of his forum. I'll try to not make myself scarce here. Wink

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Post  sanderson 7/26/2018, 6:31 pm

Dstack,  So good to hear from you.  Is it the Aedes Aegypti mosquito or do you have others, also.  Of all things, the A. aegypti made its way to my area.  They aren't suppose to survive here.  Ha!  She only needs a teaspoon to lay a single egg.

May I steal your photos of solarization and bat houses to share?

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Post  dstack 7/26/2018, 6:49 pm

sanderson wrote:Dstack...May I steal your photos of solarization and bat houses to share?
Please do! 😀

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Post  sanderson 7/26/2018, 6:57 pm

Very Happy Thank you.

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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt 7/27/2018, 11:11 am

sanderson wrote:Dstack,  So good to hear from you.  Is it the Aedes Aegypti mosquito or do you have others, also.  Of all things, the A. aegypti made its way to my area.  They aren't suppose to survive here.  Ha!  She only needs a teaspoon to lay a single egg.

May I steal your photos of solarization and bat houses to share?

DStack, those are awesome bat houses!

Hm. I'm going to go hide my measuring spoons so the mosquitoes can't find them. Razz
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Post  sanderson 7/27/2018, 2:36 pm

Razz

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Post  BDumler2 7/27/2018, 3:51 pm

This is very good.  I want to try and make one.  Just not sure where I will put it.  The only difference I would make would be to put wheels on them so they can be moved around.  Thank you.
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Post  sanderson 7/27/2018, 7:33 pm

I do have three beds with wheels.  Two are 2'x4' that are low to the ground and can be moved on the patio.  The third is a salad bed made of a black cement mixing pan set in a wood frame. The table tops are on either dirt or lawn and it would have to be industrial-sized wheels and a lot of muscle to be able to move them even an inch. Once filled, the beds are really heavy.

Sanderson's Table Top Beds Rob_s_10

Before wheels attached. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_25

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Post  trolleydriver 7/27/2018, 10:00 pm

Sanderson, this is an excellent thread. Should be pinned on the home page.
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Post  JessicaTX 10/11/2018, 10:57 am

Hi Sanderson! This has been so helpful!  What do you use to attach the cup holders?
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Post  sanderson 10/11/2018, 12:10 pm

A section of Plumber's tape bent in shape and screws.

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Post  JessicaTX 10/11/2018, 12:41 pm

Thanks!
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Post  has55 10/11/2018, 6:25 pm

Sanderson, I can't say enough but those tables are beautiful. I glad I taught you how to make them. Nottttt:D
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Post  sanderson 10/11/2018, 11:53 pm

Wink

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Post  sanderson 6/26/2022, 2:15 am

One by one we have been replacing the beds either due to the failure of the plywood bottoms, resizing, or needing to elevate to 2' high.  This bed was made in March 2013 with free lumber from a construction site. In 2014, it was elevated off the ground due to root intrusion from a tree, roses and star jasmine.  It was a simple design with the bed set across 3 pieces of a treated 4"x6" post.

Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_84

Mel's Mix for the bed was made in March 2013, and has been in use summer and winter ever since. Two or 3 years ago, I did refresh with 1" of Fluffed peat moss and 1/2" of coarse vermiculite.
Sanderson's Table Top Beds Mels_m14

The plywood bottom had finally given way.  Getting 8 years from the plywood
was excellent. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_85

Two (layers of "cementy" cement board set on 8"x8"x16" cinder blocks. Not visible are 2 of the blocks in the center to provide the best
This is my latest version of table top beds. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_86

Ken made the new frame of 2" x 8" lumber with 1" "cup holders" to hold the EMC trellises. They are secured with plumber's tape and screws.Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_87

Durable weed fabric from Home Depot to hold in the MM.
Sanderson's Table Top Beds Weed_c10

Soaking each 1" of MM put back into the bed.  Just 48 hours without E-Z Straw allowed the MM to dry out in the bed until I scooped it out with a kiddie sand bucket and half-filled 3-gallon buckets.
Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_88

MM replaced and the weed fabric trimmed to fit.Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_89

Finished!  Drip lines, PVC composite grid and trellises re-installed!!  Tomorrow I will replant new Blue Lake Beans. Sanderson's Table Top Beds Table_90

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Post  Scorpio Rising 6/26/2022, 10:44 am

The beds look great! Lots of work!
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