After my workbench project with my Dad last week, I gained a bit of confidence with the mitre saw.
“Cocky” might be the word – although this tabletop greenhouse project very quickly humbled me again.
I’d seen this image from Pottery Barn (click image to be directed to this page):
Come on – this looks doable right? Especially given my new-found talent with a mitre saw.
I surfed a bit and found a version of it that was made from old picture frames:
This tabletop greenhouse tutorial from Country Living (click image for step-by-step tutorial) seemed easy enough…
what they don’t specify is that the picture frames you use have to be made of WOOD.
Dollar store picture frames are made from compressed paper and fall apart when you try to screw them together (learned the hard way)
The upside of this is that even though I lost out on the frames, it did give me all of the glass I’d need for my hand built one!
Now comes the good stuff…
I picked up some 1×2’s at Home Depot. I measured the actual glass size (above shows how they were advertised after matting) and added 1.5″ on each side. This was so that I could glue the glass panes onto the wood once the frame was done.
These are the measurements that worked for my glass pieces. If you’re trying this, make sure to measure your glass pieces first, or buy plexi glass that can be cut to size afterwards.
First I made the front and back of the tabletop greenhouse. This is for the largest panels of glass. Use wood glue and then wood screws to hold together.
Once the front and back squares were done, I connected them with the side pieces.
Yup, perfectly cut! Granted this is only a 1×2, but I’m a first-timer, so I was pretty pleased.
Next up – the roof.
Take your 16″ (40.64cm) pieces and glue and screw them together with your 4″ (5cm) ones.
Use a 90 degree L-bracket to hold them together.
You can see in the photo below that one side overlaps the other:
Even with this overlap, I did have to bend my brackets a bit to get a better fit.
Here’s where you begin to see all of my boo boos. Ignore that ginormous gap in the peak – not my finest work.
Next up you want to add 1″ (2.5cm) utility hinges to connect the back of the box to the lid.
Not bad right? If you look at the photo on the right you’ll see more than a few mistakes.
I won’t go into how to cut the triangle piece to close up the lid – click the Country Living Magazine link above. I put my L-brackets too close to the edge so my triangles weren’t a tight fit at all. There’s also a gap between the edge of the lid and the box – totally intentional. I was thinking that the plants might need some airflow.
Okay, I’m lying – bit of a screw up there as well.
This is where wood filler can help hide a few imperfections.
A coat of primer and two coats of spray paint in a white gloss and my DIY tabletop greenhouse is looking a bit more like the inspiration photos. (Note: put your quality greenhouse up on blocks before spray painting so it doesn’t stick to the garbage bag – learned the hard way)
Once it’s completely dry, use a clear silicone to hold the glass/plexiglass in place. Hot glue does not hold well (learned the hard way).
Yup, eating a lot of humble pie here – but overall I’m pleased.
Three small cuts, no major blood loss, two eyes and 10 fingers all intact. That’s a success story in my books!
I’m pretty sure the little plants like a bit of airflow? lol
My DIY tabletop greenhouse lumber came in at $4.20, glass ~$8, hinges $2 and wood screws ~$2 = so roughly $16. Mistakes or not, that’s a pretty far shake from $299!
My first mitre saw project all by myself!
Tomorrow a built-in for the basement!
Have a great one!