Garrett built me a garden bed cover!
*This post is sponsored by PORTER-CABLE
A couple months ago, I asked Garrett to build me a garden bed cover. We’ve had a pest in the garden - some sort of rodent or rogue chicken or nocturnal creature that sneaks in and snacks on our leafy greens. Ugh. A cover seemed like a relatively easy and attractive fix. Plus it tied in perfectly with Garrett’s new hobby: welding! (I swear, the guy never rests 😅) Now that the bed cover is done, Garrett’s ready to show it to you and talk tools.
And for the record, I think the cover turned out GORGEOUS! Going on 20+ years I’m still surprised and amazed by what he can do!
Alright, take it away Garrett!
I was excited when Cathy asked me to build a protector for our greens bed cause that I meant I could use my new welder and metal fabrication tools to create it from scratch. My first welding project was actually the raspberry hedge corral and that turned out well enough so I felt ready to level up my metal fab game!
For the design, Cathy gave me a vague idea of what she wanted regarding shape and dimensions then I ran with it. The overall length and width is simply to fit the raised bed (~8’x4’). It’s essentially a right triangle on top of a 9” tall rectangular base. To make planting, weeding, and harvesting easy, I added 4 operable panels that pivot open to rest on the frame, meaning they can stay open without propping them up.
Since this cover is made from steel and metal screen it should outlast any type of wood cover I could make. The other big benefit here is that the structural elements are smaller and less obtrusive than if I had used wood. Steel just made sense for this project so grabbed a couple new tools and put my rookie metal working skills to the test.
I cut all the metal pieces using a new metal chop saw (my old hacksaw wasn’t going to cut it for this one!) which was pretty essential for this project. I was able to make miter cuts which helped keep a clean look and square angles. I also used some standard construction tools like squares, clamps, locking pliers, a hacksaw and a PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX* Cordless Drill/Driver to create holes for the panel pivot points.
If you’re considering any metal work at all an angle grinder is another essential tool. By selecting the appropriate disk, you can cut, shape, grind, or polish metal. But even metal aside, I find angle grinders really useful for general renovation as they can remove old paint, grind off nails, and cut masonry/tile. PORTER-CABLE makes a 20V MAX* Cordless Cut Off/Grinder that ties into their 20V MAX* Cordless platform (which we’ve been using the heck out of for a few years now) and it came in super handy for putting the finishing touches on the bed cover. I forgot to weld out my center support after tacking it in place so I grabbed the Cut off/Grinder, prepped the support for a new weld and gave it a nice new bead.
A couple of things I like about the PORTER-CABLE grinder is the quick adjust guard and a third handle position perpendicular to the wheel for better control when using the tool in the vertical plane.
I purchased the metal through a local fabricator and also our local farm supply in 20’ lengths. The frame is primarily 1” x 1” x .125” angle iron. I used 1” x 0.5” x.125” channel for the middle support and then stretched and tacked the ¼” galvanized screen to the inside of the frame with small pieces of .5” x .5” x .125” angle iron. This smaller angle iron also forms the corner braces which stiffen the panels a bit.
Do you have any projects that you’d like done with metal? Cathy has some rose trellises for the chicken coop in the queue and I’m also trying to convince her to let me tackle a gate…
*Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts. Nominal voltage is 18 volts.
Thanks to PORTER-CABLE for sponsoring this post!