Monday, March 24, 2014

Eat Your Greens: DIY Salad Table

Look works! 

The weather in California has been ridiculous this year! HOT, HOT, HOT, HOT, and more HOT! It has brought spring on super early and I had this idea to not only build a compost bin, but to make my very own salad table. One of my cool friends built one and it looked like a genius idea! I did some research, found one that I liked the most, and adapted the directions to meet my needs. Here is your very own DIY tutorial to build a delicious salad table. Happy building everyone!

1. Gather your supplies:
  • 7- 2x4x96 untreated lumber
  • 4- 1x7x60 boards for shelves
  • 4- 2in. locking swivel casters 
  • 1 box of 2 1/2-inch galvanized deck screws
  • Staple gun and 1/2-inch staples
  • 3-by-5-foot roll of aluminum window screening
  • 3-by-5-foot roll of 1/2-inch mesh hardware cloth (galvanized wire mesh, comes in a roll)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Square (if you're feeling super exact!)
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Circular saw
  • Scissors 
  • Tin snips
  • 1 pound of 1-inch roofing nails (totally optional...I didn't use any except for holding the cute labels on!)
  • Seeds for 12 rows of lettuces, about 8 packets
  • 1- 2.5 cu feet bag of potting soil
  • Paint stir stick or yard stick cut to 30 inches 
  • Cute tags to label your greens
2. Cut your wood:

From your 2x4s:
  • Cut 4- 36" pieces (these are the legs)
  • Cut 4- 58" pieces (these are the long sides of the frame)
  • Cut 7- 30" pieces (these are all of your cross pieces)
From the scraps you should have or be able to cut:
(these get attached to the legs and support your top and bottom shelves)
  • 4- 12" pieces
  • 4- 8" pieces
I was a genius and didn't measure before I went and cut my boards in half. There was NO NEED!!!! Leave your 1x7x60 boards whole and make your shelves with them...or get sassy and cut them however you want them! 

3. Make your salad holding shelf:
Just the frame
  • Take two of the 58" two-by-fours and attach them to two 30-inch two-by-fours with 3 galvanized screws. 
  • Attach the interior cross pieces 18 3/4-inches from each end of the long piece, making three equal sections. You now have your basic frame! 

The window mesh and hardware cloth
  • Decide which side of your frame is the prettiest and flip your frame so the pretty side is down. 
  • Pulling the window screen tight as you go, staple it to your frame. Trim excess off. 
  • Center the hardware cloth, pull it tight and staple it to the bottom of the frame. Trim off any extra with the tin snips (I totally wore gloves for this part because this stuff can rip your skin up!) Oh...and you may notice that my hardware cloth is smaller than my frame...that's because I used leftovers that were 2 feet wide, not 3 feet wide! This worked fine but your mini-farm will have more support if you get the 3 feet wide stuff! 
4. Make some legs:
  • Go get your rad leg pieces (36") and your shelf support pieces (12" and 8" pieces).
  • Attach the 8" pieces, matching the ends of the piece with the leg piece. I just used two screws to attach them. This is the bottom end of your leg and your bottom shelf is gonna sit nicely on top of this piece!

  • Next up your gonna attach the 12" pieces to the top end of the leg. I used a spare 2x4 to help me space it so that the salad shelf sits right on top of this piece. Once again, I used 2 screws to attach the two pieces together. Check it out! 

  • Next up...casters! Flip your legs so that you can attach the casters to the bottom end. You might want to use an extender on your drill because the dang caster kept getting in my way! 
  • Do this for all 4 legs!!!! And take a dance break!!!
Dancing legs! 

5. Attaching the legs:
You may need to recruit a second pair of hands at this point. I went out to my sidewalk and looked up and down the street. My neighbor was out in his yard and I recruited him to help with the cause! He just held stuff and I did all the hard stuff! 
  • Keeping your salad tray upside-down, attach each leg to each corner with 3 screws. Make sure that the legs are flush with the sides of the tray. 

  • Flip the table right side up and admire your handy work! 
  • Let your neighbor go home for a while and drink a glass of water! 
6. It's time to make the storage shelf! 
  • Grab the two remaining 58" 2x4's and and the three 30" 2x4's
  • Take the 58" two-by-fours and attach them to two 30-inch two-by-fours with 3 galvanized screws. Then attach the final 30" piece in the center of the frame. 
  • Attach your shelf wood onto the frame 
  • Go back out to your sidewalk and find a neighbor to help you lift the shelf onto your table. I nearly had a hernia trying to lift mine by myself! It was a great moment in time! 
  • Attach the shelf to the legs. You may need to have your neighbor help you push the legs to make it all square up...not saying that I had to do this...but...
By this point in time I was exhausted and sunburnt! I needed a full on craft break! I busted out my label supplies and made these cute tags to add to my table:
These are little wood pieces I bought from Joann's, black acrylic paint applied with a sponge brush and white paint pen. TADA...CUTE TAGS!!!!

8. Let the planting begin! 
  • Divide your potting soil equally between the three sections
  • Using either the paint stir stick or yard stick, create 4 furrows in each section
  • Sprinkle your seeds in each furrow. I used about a packet for each 1.5 rows 
  • Push the dirt over the seeds so that they are fully covered
  • Label your rows with whatever cute labels you decided to use
  • Using the mist or shower setting on your hose, gently water your seeds. Make sure that the dirt is thoroughly soaked but don't blast the dirt so that the seeds go flying out before they have a chance to grow! 
  • Water about every 3 days
  • Lettuce will be ready to trim in about 30 days! 

And now you are ready to eat your greens like a pro!!!! 

If you like videos...check this out Salad Table Video 


Maren said...

I think this is the coolest thing that I have ever seen. I totally want one!

Erin said...

Thanks Maren! We can totally build one! I bet your kids would love all the drilling!!!

Laura said...

wow! awesome!

kenders said...

I want one too! Totally awesome. I miss our Provo Garden.