Today our guest contributor Thad is sharing a wonderful DIY design for your gardening adventures–make this garden tool caddy for yourself or a friend this season!
Have you ever spilled your seed packets when planting the garden? Me, check. Do you grab a bowl out of the kitchen to collect your harvest? Yup. Do you take multiple trips to and from the garden transporting tools, started plants, or harvest? I sure do. I thought I could design a caddy that would solve these issues. The caddy has a center handle for easy transport, a slotted and beveled bottom to allow drainage, and slatted sides. This design creates a ¾ inch slot on the inside of the caddy that holds your seed packets (upright, thank you very much), stakes and a hand trowel. Drop in your gloves, kneeling pad, started plants and you are set in one trip to plant. Come harvest, you can pick, transport and rinse the dirt off of your produce in the caddy. For garden maintenance and cleanup, just pull those weeds and spent plants, drop them in your caddy and dump in your garden waste or compost pile.
Make This Garden Tool Caddy:
All you need is a piece of 1 x 12 pine and some ¼ x 3 or 4 inch material for the side slats. I found ¼ inch aspen at my lumber yard for the slats.
For the bottom, I ripped a couple of 20 inch lengths of the 1 x 12 to 4 ½ inches and used the 2 ¼ inch left over pieces to make the 4 uprights 10 inches in length. I trimmed 3 of the 4 ½ inch pieces to 16 inches and cut out 4 corners to fit the 2 ¼ x 10 inch uprights. I then put a slight bevel in the 4 ½ inch bottom pieces so that water will drain without pooling when rinsing the harvest. You can skip that part if you don’t want to mess with it.
My center handle piece is a full 16 inch piece of the 1 x 12 with a 22.5 degree cut down to 10 inches to match up with the length of the uprights. Drill a couple of 1 3/8 inch holes and use a jig saw to cut the rest of the handle hole out or just draw the handle hole and use the jig saw for the whole thing. I used a round over bit in my router to smooth the edges of the handle hole and the top edges of the center piece. Sandpaper and elbow grease will get the same result.
Cut the slat pieces of ¼ inch material to 13 ¼ and 16 inch pieces and you have the sides for the caddie. I spray painted all the pieces before assembly so that the wood is well protected, it’s going to get wet and dirty.
Drill pilot holes and use two screws to secure each upright. It is best to use a countersink bit to prevent splitting but if you don’t have a counter sink bit just use a regular drill bit and then a phillips head bit to make the countersink to accept the angle of the wood screw. Center the handle piece in the 3rd bottom piece and use 3 screws to secure it. Before you go any farther, secure one slat on the inside of the uprights, this will form your seed packet, stake and tool slot.
You’ll have 3 separate pieces that make up the bottom and you’ll use the side slats for securing these with a gap between them for drainage.
I used a staple gun to lay up all the slats which made assembly quick and easy.
The tools I used were:
- a table saw
- miter saw, drill
- jig saw
- and a pneumatic staple gun
But you could accomplish this project with:
- a hand saw
- miter box
- coping saw
- sand paper
- and small finish nails
Make this garden tool caddy, you won’t regret it, and this is a great project for two. Ladies, if your guy is looking for an excuse to pick up some new tools, well, he’ll be very appreciative of this project, that is, if he is the handy one of the two. You can also paint on some art work to make it the talk of your gardener friends. Just be careful with those gardener friends, they’ll want you to make one for them too.