I have moved my yard renovation project to its own dedicated blog since I doubt anyone interested in woodworking wants to see me move dirt around but my long dry spell for woodworking is getting a temporary reprieve with the construction of a timber raised planting bed. During construction of the walls and leveling the yard I discovered that the difference in yard height between the two properties was higher than expected and I encountered a concrete footing that interfered with the wall’s foundation. The solution to both of these problems was the addition of a raised planter bed made of timbers.
Last weekend I picked up 1,500lbs of eucalyptus landscaping timbers from my usual green waste saw mill. They were a bit wetter than I was hoping but I hate the look of pressure treated lumber so this was the best option. Those step pieces are 6″ x 12″ x 3′ and weigh ~100lbs each.
The surface saw marks were a bit rougher than I was hoping and the attempt to run them through my thickness planer was comedic at best. Normally I would have just used by #6 plane to take down the rough bits but between my shot timeline and my physical limitations (I am doing heavy labor every weekend and every night after work) I decided to get an electric hand planer. I picked up the Porter Cable one from Amazon and it arrived last night (the irony is I turned down a free Makita one that my dad offered me last year).
After moving dirt around until dark (around 8:30) I moved to the garage and fired up the new tool. The planer made short work of the saw marks (green eucalyptus it soft stuff, not so much when dry) and I was able to “smooth” 4 of the three foot long timbers before stopping around 9. All in all I think it was a good decision though I do wish I had time to let the timbers sit around for a few month before installing/staining them.