Using the right sort of planter bench plans at the start will have you building a great planter bench for your garden in no time at all. It will be a great place to unwind with the kids or even just to chill out by yourself after a long day at work.
The most important thing to do from the outset is to get a good set of planter bench plans, the sort that have a good representation of what you want to build, along with accurate schematics and a comprehensive list of materials and sundries needed.
I don't know about you, but I hate it when I don't get a full bill of materials and I have to go back to the store repeatedly to get something not mentioned on the list.
You pay for a good set of cedar bench plans and they're really incomplete without this.
Have a really good look at the plans and make sure you understand what is needed, take the plans and component list to the store with you so you don't forget anything important otherwise what should be a great time doing woodworking will be a frustration instead.
Now you might have some of what you need already in your garage or shed, but you will be able to get everything else you need at your local lumber yard.
I like to use cedar to build my planter benches, frankly, I don't think the alternatives are that good really.
You could use pine, but unless you really paint it up well it won't last more than a season before rotting away. Considering all the hard work - well easy work really - you want it to last a bit longer don't you?
Pressure Treated Softwood
You could use pressure treated building lumber, but the stuff that makes it last is poisonous. Considering my kids are going to be around my garden and jumping around on my planter bench, I don't want them getting an accidental splinter of something that may do harm to them. Also when you work with this sort of stuff you have to be careful of the dust and shavings for yourself.
Cedar is a great timber to work with for planter benches as it is smooth and even, will accept nails and will finish up fine with varnish, woodstains or even paint. It's pretty durable left to the weather too and will take on a silvery hue after a couple of seasons.
So you have a great choice of finishes to work with. Its planted and harvested in the US as well so you can be sure it's from a reputable timber source.
As it's a building timber, its readily available at most timber merchants at a reasonable price too.