Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Building a Raised Bed - Part 1

My vege garden is in a bad state - but this is deliberate.
I found that the location made the garden difficult to work in, without tramping all over the garden itself, so I am letting it go fallow - and starting to build new vege beds.
But don't worry, all the work Mr & Mrs Skivvy & I put in won't go to waste - the chickens are going to move in, and stay in the run when we aren't home.

So now that J5 has started school - I have the time to start building the new beds, with the help of Mr Skivvy of course.

I decided on corrugated iron beds, but when I investigated purchasing the size and number of bed I wanted from a commercial source the cost added up to over $700 dollars. Eeeeeek!

So, after seeing the rustic, recycled corro beds at our friends' house in Stanthorpe, I decided to do it myself, and source the iron from the Treasure Market.  I worked out that this would cost about $35 for the materials.  A bit of a difference eh?

But......then a friend told me how reasonably priced they found the Colourbond bought direct, and cut to length by the supplier.  Getting new steel, to match the shed, would make SMD happier, and there would be less sharp edges & rust for the kids to injure themselves on.  The cost? $177.  I did compromise my recycling ideals, but I have made SMD happy.

After collecting the steel in Mr Skivvy's 'Truck' (read Landcruiser - an old one for towing their off-road caravan), 4 x 2200mm and 4 x 1200mm, we had to cut the sheets in half lengthwise.

The standard width is about 850mm, but I want my beds around 400mm high, so they needed to be cut, and the supplier's machine can't cut lengthwise.

I looked up info on cutting corro & found this page.  We bought the appropriate blade for Mr Skivvy's circular saw just before collecting the material.

SAFETY - You will notice that I am wearing long trousers, long sleeves and a high neck, hearing protection and (harder to see) safety glasses.  Mr Skivvy (who held the sheet still from the other end) was wearing the same.  These precautions are essential.  The swarf (the little bits of metal that fly off when cutting) come off the saw red hot and, although being so small they cool very fast, they do sting as they hit.  I think I would wear a hat and a bandanna over my mouth if I were ever to do it again.
We have wood supporting either side of the cut, and decided cutting in a trough was easier than cutting on a peak, as the saw could rest on the peaks either side.  A proper tradey would have a much better set up.  But this did the job.
One important point - make sure that your power cord is kept completely out of the way.  A significant cause of death & disablement in the garden is people cutting through power cords while using hedge cutters & similar.
More soon (I hope) - as soon as I get onto the next step.


  1. CareerusInterruptus19 February 2012 at 07:14

    Do you know what? I think what I like, almost as much as the content, is the casual way you get stuck in with a power tool. It delights the old feminist in me - of all the strong women I've met, you're only the second who does that. Go, Rav :)

    1. Thanks. Nice to hear from you again. I was a little nervous at first though - haven't used a circular saw all that often.