I needed to build some planters because I had two problems. The first was these rooted cuttings:
The second was this stack of leftover V-board from our ceiling project:
The plants are Brugmansia cuttings and I needed planters for them. Apparently they need a lot of growing room and a set of purchased planters would cost over $400. Eeek!
So I used the wood I had on hand and built my own using these plans from Popular Mechanics. I won't go into a step by step how-to as they have already done that. I'll just note the changes I made on each step to make the planters fit my needs.
Intro/Materials: On the materials list, I used pine tongue and groove(T&G) instead of cedar. I did it because I need to use up the pine, even though I know it won't last as long as cedar. Also, none of the big box or lumber yards near me stock T&G cedar.
I used pressure treated (PT) pine for the cleats and slats. Big Box does carry one inch cedar, but it's a fence grade and wouldn't begin to hold up the weight of soil in the planter. I used 1-1/4 inch PT decking planks for the slats.
|Step 1: Cut planks into 24 inch pieces|
|And cut 1/2 off each end piece|
|Step 2: Attach Planks to trim rails.|
Step 2: I didn't use glue. I figure the weight of the soil in the planter will hold the planks snug against the trim, and the trim is screwed together well. I also made my trim rails longer than they did, so that they extended 3/4" on each side of the panel. I wanted the trim to butt up to each other. I also made my bottom rail extend past the panel so it would cover my casters, but found out later that didn't work out well.
I found it easiest to put the panels in place over the trim pieces, use a piece of scrap trim to space the 3/4" and shoot one nail in each corner. Then use a board to tap down all the planks and shoot the rest of them.
|Step 3: Attach the cleats|
Step 3: I did not offset the cleat, but put it flush with the bottom of my panel. They used the cleat to both hold up the slats and to be the feet of the planter. I wanted my planter to be mobile and needed the cleat to be flush with the panel to have the right size surface to attach the casters.
|Step 4: Build the box|
Step 4: I used 2 inch screws, not that it makes any difference. I think they used the longer screws to avoid buying more screws. Since I had all sizes, I used a smaller one for this step. I also found it easier to put one screw in each end of the rail trim and then square up the top before putting in the other screws. Then flip it over and do the same with the bottom. I also counter sunk my screws because I didn't want them showing. Then I covered the hole with a button plug.
I didn't add the slats at this step either because I still have to turn the planter over to add the casters.
|Step 5: Attach the rim.|
Step 5: I wanted a mitered corner, so I cut each piece at 25 inches and cut a 45 degree angle in it. Then just attached with finish nails.
I didn't want the lattice, so this would be the end of their instructions. However, I'm adding a couple of my own steps here.
|Step 6: Attach casters|
Step 6: I used these 2 inch locking casters in the front and non-locking casters in the back, and as you can see I had to put a block under them. I found that the extended bottom rail trim interfered with the swivel so had to use the block. That's why I should have done it like they did. The caster is set back enough that the ugly part isn't really visible.
These are the casters I used but I'm not really happy with them. They're hard to lock.
|Step 7: Bottom slats|
|Drill bits used to make drainage holes|
Step 7: Here's where I added the bottom slats, and I didn't nail them into the cleats, just placed them on top. Then I drilled four drainage holes. I made the first hole with bit #1 and it didn't work well at all as you can see. The PT wood was still wet and that might have been it. I switched to bit #2 and it worked much better.
|All three built!|
|Step 8: Staining|
Step 8: I stained them with an exterior fence and deck stain. I may put a second coat on them if they lighten more as they dry. I just stained them this morning.
Step 9: My next step will be lining the planter with black plastic to keep the wet soil from the pine. Maybe it will last a little longer that way. Then I'll poke holes in the plastic where I drilled holes.
My total cost was $88.84 and most of that was the casters. If I had to buy all the wood I used it would have been about $200. If I had bought T&G Cedar it would have been about $250. So I'm happy.
Next week I'll show you what I did with the scraps from this project.
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