Sunday, August 6, 2017

Building Cedar Planters With My Wife

I challenged my wife to come up with a project that she would like to have done that we could do together.  Her answer was two large planters for the back yard.  I thought this was an excellent suggestion.  The project would be just long enough to be worth doing, and just short enough that she wouldn't swear off working in the shop forever.

I decided on red cedar for the wood due to it's rot resistance (we are going to be filling these with soil after all.)  I chose a very basic design, and based the measurements for this project on the dimensions of the cedar boards that were readily available and reasonably priced.  I'll give the measurements for this project as well as a cut list for anyone wanting to replicate it, but I don't see any reason that anyone should feel the need to use the exact same measurements.  This project is easy enough to adapt to your specific environment  or available materials.

Cut List
(8) 22" x 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" (legs)
(16) 16-3/4" x 3/4" x 2" (top and bottom rail for sides)
(24) 18" x 3/4" x 5-1/2" (side slats)
(6) 16-3/4" x 3/4" x 5-1/2" (bottom slats)
(8) 15-1/4" x 3/4" x 3/4" (ledge for the bottom slats to rest on)

So here are the measurements.  At this point I hadn't decided what type of border I was going to use for the top, so you won't see it in the cut list.  I wanted to see what the planters looked like before I made that decision, so I just bought an extra 8ft 1x6 board and set it aside to be cut later.

This is proof that my wife actually helped to build these.  She did most of the cutting on the radial arm saw, although she shied away from ripping on the table saw.  One step at a time.

So here are the planters assembled sans the top border.  This should go without saying, but this should be glued as well as screwed together.  For outdoor projects always be sure to use an appropriately waterproof glue like Titebond III, and exterior wood screws.

Now it was time to make the border for the top.  I thought that using the router to make any sort of rounded detail would look out of place on this project, so I decided to just cut a 60 degree chamfer on the table saw.

Here is the finished product.  We lined the inside of the side panels with garden fabric before filling with soil to keep the soil from dripping out the spaces between the slats in the side panels when watered.  We didn't put any garden fabric in the bottom, and actually drilled some holes in the bottom slats to aid in drainage.  The bottom pieces are not actually glued or screwed to the rest of the planter, so they are easily replaced if they start to lose their structural integrity.

No comments:

Post a Comment