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djlen
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Thoughts Turn To Spring & Plant Stands

Well, I'm getting the itch. We're almost out of January and I smell spring coming.....:clap:.....sort of.
In any event I was at Home Depot and saw "Step Stringers" in the lumber dept. and got the idea that if I tie two 5 step stringers together about 7 1/2' apart, I could put 5 'steps' (boards) between them and create a lot of shelf space in a small area.
It would have a grand stand type look and the ability to display each tree individually instead of on a large table. And I'd then have the equivalent of five 8 foot benches in a much smaller area than individual benches would take up.
I'm OK at thinking these things up but poor at design and building. :) I still have no idea how I will 'tie them together' but I'm working on that.
Feedback would be of much help here.
I'd also like to hear your ideas for display stands and maybe see some pictures. Please bare with me. This is just my way of getting through the balance of the Winter with sanity in tact.................hopefully. :roll:
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
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Gnome
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Len,

I don't know how much space you need or what your budget might be but you might also consider doubling your design and putting two sets back to back. This would create two sets of stairs that if viewed from the end would form an inverted " V ".

I have something similar created from concrete blocks. I happened to have some galvanized " U " channel that fit right over the 8" blocks but did not have enough pieces so I have to use lumber for the top.

[url=https://img93.imageshack.us/i/benchqe6.jpg/][img]https://img93.imageshack.us/img93/6674/benchqe6.th.jpg[/img][/url]


Norm

Marsman
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I'm using a kiddie picnic table right now and thinking about getting a full size table in the Spring.

[url=https://s956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/?action=view&current=0c86ed2f.jpg][img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/th_0c86ed2f.jpg[/img][/url]

Also, I found this great dispaly table on the web that I'd love to build, if I had any carpenter skills.

[url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/norbury/sets/72157617697509234/]Bonsai Bench[/url]

[img]https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3598/3516180070_f216fdcf81.jpg[/img]

Victrinia Ridgeway
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I am so having that bench built! lol I would build it myself, but I no longer have the tools (those stayed with the ex)... and I have a contractor buddy who could use the work. I'm in dire need of good benches... I have half the back yard full of trees... :p

And Len... if your trees are in pots less than 10 inches deep (since most stringers are designed for 11 inch treads), using the stringers would be easy. But if you want to go 7.5 feet I would put at least one stringer in the middle. You wouldn't want much more than three feet between stringers or you'll sag in the middle (or you would have to use really thick board which isn't cost effective or as readily available).

If you need help doing a design, let me know... :)

(I am a VERY handy chick...lol I built my first house.)

Kindest regards,

Victrinia
La belle cose prendono tempo... (Beautiful things take time...)

Marsman
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So much for Spring... :?

Guess what it's doing at my house today?

[url=https://s956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Blue%20Moss%20Cypress/?action=view&current=DSC_0002.jpg][img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Blue%20Moss%20Cypress/th_DSC_0002.jpg[/img][/url]

Yes, that's my little [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21273]Blue Moss Cypress[/url] all covered in snow.

Victrinia Ridgeway
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I haven't seen a single flake all year... :cry:

But... I am able to play with my trees right now, so I'll live with no snow...lol :D
La belle cose prendono tempo... (Beautiful things take time...)

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Marsman,
I found this great dispaly table on the web that I'd love to build, if I had any carpenter skills.
I have seen plastic brackets at Lowe's that look interesting. I think they may have come from this company.
https://www.2x4basics.com/garage-storage.asp
A clever fellow/gal could, without any specialized tools, find a way to use these to make an acceptable bench. The two products that look interesting are the 'Workbench Legs' and 'Shelflinks" The legs are probably a little pricey but you could do without them and just use the 'Shelflinks'
https://www.2x4basics.com/Shelf-Links.asp

Norm
Last edited by Gnome on Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Rosaelyn
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Wow. Great thread, all. :)

And great idea on the "shelf links," Norm. It has definitely started me thinking...
Rosaelyn @}>---'---,---

If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees. ~ Hal Borland

Marsman
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Norm,

Great find! Also on that site is the [url=https://www.2x4basics.com/Flip-Top-BenchTable.asp]flip-top bench[/url]. Lock the top up and you had a great display stand! I like this idea! :D

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Marsman,

I did not even look into that product as it did not seem relevant. I like that one a lot too, it has a little more style and seems simpler :)

If you were to use the new 'plastic lumber' one of these would require no maintenance and should last for quite a while.

Norm
Last edited by Gnome on Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rosaelyn
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They do look awfully easy to assemble, eh?
Rosaelyn @}>---'---,---

If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees. ~ Hal Borland

Marsman
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I agree about the synthetic lumber. For $50 plus $12 shipping & lumber, I'd have a nice bench. (That's for just for one bench.) Big decision: green, white or sand color?

[url=https://s956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Various%20Hosting%20Pics/?action=view&current=2.jpg][img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Various%20Hosting%20Pics/th_2.jpg[/img][/url]

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rainbowgardener
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GREEN!!


White is very glaring in a garden and shows all the dirt.

Sand would be my second choice.

Rosaelyn
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<catches RainbowGardener skulking around the bonsai forums again>

Busted! ;)

Just come over to the dark side already. hehe
Rosaelyn @}>---'---,---

If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees. ~ Hal Borland

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djlen
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Marsman - that is so cool!! I really like that and might even be able to figure out how to put it together.......nah! I'm a building incompetent. :)

Victorinia - I am soooooooo turned on right now...lol. A woman who can build things. I'll bet you are even into Football.......nah!
Yes, I did actually think of the 3rd stringer idea on my own. This puppy is going to have a lot of weight on it. I'm just concerned that larger trees are going to cause me a problem from a width perspective and that the 'shelves' maybe should be a little wider........no? I guess I'm wondering if a regular stringer set is workable for trees or I should design my own stringer, make a template and then cut them from that, with wider shelves and higher risers.
I wouldn't do that it I thought the available step stringers would be OK.
Thoughts?
Ohhhhhhhh, I need a cold shower! :eek: :eek: :eek:
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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djlen
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Gnome wrote:Marsman,
I found this great dispaly table on the web that I'd love to build, if I had any carpenter skills.
I have seen plastic brackets at Lowe's that look interesting. I think they may have come from this company.
https://www.2x4basics.com/garage-storage.asp
A clever fellow/gal could, without any specialized tools, find a way to use these to make an acceptable bench. The two products that look interesting are the 'Workbench Legs' and 'Shelflinks" The legs are probably a little pricey but you could do without them and just use the 'Shelflinks'
https://www.2x4basics.com/Shelf-Links.asp

Norm
Norm, I'm going to check that company out, if not for the brackets, for the Corvette in the garage. I had a Stingray just like that at one point.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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djlen
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Rosaelyn wrote:Wow. Great thread, all. :)

And great idea on the "shelf links," Norm. It has definitely started me thinking...
I'm going to get everyone involved in this. It's so much fun when you have nothing else......lol. We're not all priveleged like Victrinia.....we are all covered in snow currently.
Keep those ideas coming, and yes this is a great thread!!
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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djlen
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Marsman wrote:I agree about the synthetic lumber. For $50 plus $12 shipping & lumber, I'd have a nice bench. (That's for just for one bench.) Big decision: green, white or sand color?

[url=https://s956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Various%20Hosting%20Pics/?action=view&current=2.jpg][img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Various%20Hosting%20Pics/th_2.jpg[/img][/url]
I priced that synthetic stuff at HD as well and it's out of my range folks. I'd love to have it but just too high for me.
And I agree, the sand color is the nicest.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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Len,
Yes, I did actually think of the 3rd stringer idea on my own. This puppy is going to have a lot of weight on it. I'm just concerned that larger trees are going to cause me a problem from a width perspective and that the 'shelves' maybe should be a little wider........no? I guess I'm wondering if a regular stringer set is workable for trees or I should design my own stringer, make a template and then cut them from that, with wider shelves and higher risers.
Going back to my original thought, rather than buying three pre-made stringers for a 6' bench how about 4 stringers for a 'back to back' version of a 3' bench? That way the top shelf would be twice as wide.

I suppose it depend on how many of what size pot you need to accommodate. Some trees might also be more shaded than others depending upon you situation/orientation.

Norm

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djlen
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Norm, I have not forgotten that idea at all. I'm so bad with this building stuff that I can only wrap my semi-comatose brain around one 'side' at a time.
The double-wide top shelf would be great for all the Yamadori I'm dreaming about collecting this Spring.

Once I have 1/2 a clue what I want to do it it will be much simpler to build two and butt one side up against the other. Easier to construct as well because one side will support the other.
My tendency is to over build EVERYTHING! You should have seen the stand I built, years ago, for some of my aquariums. You could have used it as a foundation for a small condo building.
I don't want this stand to look clunky if you know what I mean.
Last edited by djlen on Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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Marsman
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djlen wrote:I priced that synthetic stuff at HD as well and it's out of my range folks. I'd love to have it but just too high for me.
And I agree, the sand color is the nicest.
Wow, I did some research on the Web and yeah, the synthetic/composite is way too expensive. Standard 2x4's are pretty cheap. I'm definitely going to look for a local dealer for this.

Victrinia Ridgeway
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Len...

I enjoy football... not a fanatic, but I watch it if I like a particular team. I'm a Seahawks fan by default, but I have always loved Dallas... it's a Texas thing. lol

Anywhoooo.... The problem with creating a wider tread is that you would be using 2x12s to create a standard stringer, and getting boards over 12inchs is more problematic unless you live somewhere that has a decent lumber yard. If you do it, be choosey, boards that wide can have a tendancy to be warped in the worst way. I've had to go through dozens of boards to find a few which were not not warped in some fashion. Sadly there is no easy way to get wider shelves with a stringer as the foundation. Kiln dried wood is sometimes straighter because they get the moisture out of it so quickly.

The truth of the matter is that you'll need to get your hands on various lumber, a skill saw, drills etc anyway... so you'd be better off in the long run to just build a regular bench than you would to use the stringers, if you need something wider than 10 inches.

Believe me anything which requires complex math and geometry is more challenging that building a straight forward bench. You'd likely be surprised at how easy it would come together. Stringers and rafters are among the hardest things to lay out in construction... it's the geometry of it that gets you... Measure twice, cut once. :wink:


But as I sit here and think of it, there would be a way to make at least the top and bottom "shelf" wider by a few inches, but it would require making something of a cantilever attached to the stringer. It would extend the shelf width. It would be fairly simple actually.

I'm off to bed... nighty night my friends...

V
La belle cose prendono tempo... (Beautiful things take time...)

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My neighbor has one of those tilt-benches. Going to ask him where he got the kit.

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djlen
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Following Norms post about them being available at Lowe's I checked out some local stores and they do not carry the Flip Top Bench Kit so I suggest that anyone looking for them call the store before making the trip.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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djlen wrote:Following Norms post about them being available at Lowe's I checked out some local stores and they do not carry the Flip Top Bench Kit so I suggest that anyone looking for them call the store before making the trip.
Len,

I have only seen the basic components, shelf links I think they call them, at Lowe's. For the more uncommon ones you may indeed have to make a special order or go the mail order route.

Norm

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I stopped at Lowe's today and you're right, they only carry the shelf units. Cabelas has the flip benches on thier on-line catalog. They say they make good shooting and reloading benches. I have a big Cabelas in the town where I work. Always fun to stop in there.

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djlen
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Still checking it out. There is a link on the page that says 'dealers near you'
and I got a list of dealers that carry their products....mostly Lowe's but a few other hardware and lumber places. For each location they specify what which of the 2 X 4 products they carry. I'll call around tomorrow and see if there are any in my area that carry the Flip Tops. Actually, I'm not even certain that this is what I want but I'd like to see them to decide.
I also clicked on the 'contact us' link and sent them an e-mail to find out my options if I can't find them locally. We'll see...........

I'm also still thinking seriously about the "Stringer" idea. Two of them back to back would hold a lot of trees.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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josh1812@live.com
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I just stumbled on this and I just finished building my shelves a few hours ago. Help from my carpenter friend I have way more space than i need I made it from a ladder shaped side that they sell at home depot and pieces of 8 foot by 6 inch wood about 1in thick wood for a table top. Here in Florida it is horribly hot I was sweating like a pig :lol: you guys are lucky :wink:

When you go to the garden center the plant shelves they use are super easy to make thats what i did.
HI

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djlen
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Show us a picture Josh!!
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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Marsman
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Just ordered the [url=https://doitbest.com/Main.aspx?PageId=64&SKU=829072]2x4 Basics Flip Top Bench[/url] in Sand. Free shipping if shipped to a local store, and there was one close to my house. I'll take some pictures once it's delivered and set up. I'll also keep track of total costs.

[img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Display%20Bench/CVT_animated.gif[/img]

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djlen
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Marsman wrote:Just ordered the [url=https://doitbest.com/Main.aspx?PageId=64&SKU=829072]2x4 Basics Flip Top Bench[/url] in Sand. Free shipping if shipped to a local store, and there was one close to my house. I'll take some pictures once it's delivered and set up. I'll also keep track of total costs.

[img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Display%20Bench/CVT_animated.gif[/img]
Looking forward to seeing it set up.
This is the first time I've seen the cost of a set of these and it's too high for my pocket book considering all the shelves I'm going to need.

I'm thinking that I'm going to go with the stair stringers. Of all the options I've found so far, that seems to be the most cost effective, with many many variables as to number of shelves and shelf lengths. I can go with 8 or even 10' lengths if I want to by using extra stringers in the middle of the structure, and they are fairly inexpensive to buy and even cheaper if I buy one and use it as a template for more that I'd cut out myself.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
_________
How To Post A Picture

Marsman
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I received the bench parts and picked up the wood last night at Home Depot. Also picked up some stain and a brush.

Costs so far:

2x4Basics Flip Top Bench Kit: $51.93
Wood (9 ea, 8' 2x4's): $23.04
Stain: $29.95 * (I bought a large can, 90% of it left. Only needed a small can.)
Brush: $6.97

Total: $111.89

* Could have saved money buying a smaller can of stain, but I can use it on my deck this Spring.

[url=https://s956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Display%20Bench/?action=view&current=0a764744.jpg][img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Display%20Bench/th_0a764744.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://s956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Display%20Bench/?action=view&current=69d3e683.jpg][img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Display%20Bench/th_69d3e683.jpg[/img][/url]

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djlen
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Looks like it's gonna be a nice bench!!
Will you need to seal after the stain sets up or will that act as a
preservative?
This also reminds me that I need to pick up some hardware for a set
of saw horses. :roll:
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
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How To Post A Picture

Marsman
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It's a stain/sealer.

2:00 PM and I'm done. Hardest part was putting the seat boards on while lying on my back on the cold garage floor.

[url=https://s956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Display%20Bench/?action=view&current=bc58623e.jpg][img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Display%20Bench/th_bc58623e.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://s956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Display%20Bench/?action=view&current=DSC_0005.jpg][img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Display%20Bench/th_DSC_0005.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://s956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Display%20Bench/?action=view&current=DSC_0008.jpg][img]https://i956.photobucket.com/albums/ae50/marsman61/Bonsai/Display%20Bench/th_DSC_0008.jpg[/img][/url]

I'm very happy with it. :)

Edited to add clearer pictures.
Last edited by Marsman on Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Gnome
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Marsman,

Looks good, thanks for posting the pictures.

Norm

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