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Handsome planters you can make.

Choose the size, choose the shapes. You cut and stack layers of redwood

As attractive as the plants you grow in them, these containers are all made with layers of redwood. Here we give steps for building the planters from a smoothsided square to dramatically textured dodecagons like the one shown in our cover photograph. Simply cut, glue, and nail your own planters to the size you wish.

All designs are based on built-up layers of same-size pieces with identical angles at each end. You can use a handsaw and a miter box to cut pieces for the first three. For the more complicated 12-sided designs, use a table saw and the jig on page 96. (To use a circular saw, see page 118.) To avoid rust stains, use galvanized nails. Bases are 1-by-6s or 1-by-8s; drill three 3/4-inch holes for drainage. Finish planters with a clear water seal, wood stain, or diluted enamel.

1. Our easiest planter is a smooth-sided square

Interlocking corners, reminiscent of Lincoln Logs, highlight this easy six-layer planter. You need 24 lengths of redwood ripped from 2-by-8s 20 pieces measure 1-1/2 inches square and 14 inches long; 4 lengths are 1/2 inch shorter. (For all pieces, you can use 2-by-2s, but the planter's sides will have shallow grooves where the layers meet.) Start by butting four 14-inch-long pieces to form a square; each length should have one cut end exposed, the other end glued to the side of another length.

Build the planter upside-down so nails (use 2-1/2-inch ones) won't show; glue and nail the four pieces of each successive layer on top of the one below. To give the look of interlocking corners, alternate sides on which cut ends show. End with the 13-1/2-inch-long pieces; this smaller square creates a lip inside the planter to support the base pieces. Sand and finish.

2 Hefty ridged planter holds bigger plants

This beefy container works well for larger plants or small trees. The six layers--each one cut, mitered, and nailed like a picture frame are made of alternating rows of rough-sawn 4-by-4s and 2-by-2s. Start with three 8-foot lengths of each size of wood. Miter 24 sections in all, 12 each of 4-by-4 and 2-by-2. Cut the top five rows (three rows of 4-by-4, two of 2by-2) so the pieces' short sides (the inside faces) measure 16 inches. Cut the four remaining lengths of 2-by-2 so their short sides are each 15 inches long.

Using 3 1/2-inch finishing nails, nail and glue each layer as a separate square. Next, nail each small square to a big square. Stand the sets on their sides and toenail from little square to big square, three nails per side (see sketch at left); this conceals the nail heads. As with the first planter, the smaller square on this container's bottom creates a lip on which to rest the base.

3 Wiggle board's waves create dramatic patterns

Often calle "wiggle board," undulating redwood molding, used to reinforce corrugated fiberglass panels, forms rhythmic patterns in this planter. Sold at many lumber and garden supply stores, the 1-1/2inch-wide wood comes in 8-foot lengths that cost about $2.50 each.

The equal spacing of the board's peaks and troughs determines your planter's width. Miter cuts at each end start at a trough in one row and a peak in the next. Although the outside lengths of the pieces are different, the inside lengths (on the flat sides) should be equal. Patterns are created by offsetting layers so a peak stacks on top of a trough.

We cut 24 pieces (12 each of peak-topeak and trough-to-trough) so all flat sides measure 15-3/8 inches.

Using glue and 1 1/4-inch nails, anchor each of the lengths to an 8-inch-long piece of 2-by-2, which forms one of the planter's inside corners. Start so the first length of wiggle board (mitered through a peak) sits flush to the tops and outside edges of a pair of 2-by-2s. Next, attach a length mitered through a trough. Repeat, alternating peaks and troughs, to complete the side. The bottom length should overhang the ends of the 2-by-2s by about 1 inch.

Repeat for the opposite side. Join sides with the remaining lengths, gluing and nailing them to the 2-by-2s. Remember that troughs should miter with troughs, peaks with peaks. Fit the base to the bottom, adding 1-by-2 cleats to join the bottom boards. Nail the base to the ends of the 2-by- 2s where they stop short of the lowest layer of wiggle board. Turn over and cap the planter with a frame of mitered 1-by-3s, securing frame to 2-by-2s.

4. For a woven look, try these 12-sided stacks

A dozen sides to each layer give the handsome planter on Sunset's cover an unexpected woven appearance. The same goes for the two similar dodecagon designs shown on page 95.

Each layer is a ring made of 12 trapezoids with 30[deg] angles on both ends (see drawing of module above right). Offsetting every other ring creates the pattern.

To make the trapezoids, start with 8-foot lengths of clear redwood 2-by-8. Since a 2-by-8 measures about 7 1/2 inches wide, you can rip 5 pieces measuring just under 1 1/2 inches wide-including the width of the kerf-from each length of wood.

Making the trapezoids. The key here is to construct a two-part jig that positions the wood at a 30[deg] angle to the saw blade, at the same time controlling the length of each trapezoid. Here, we give directions for building a jig for a table saw, shown in the sequence of photographs below. If you're using a circular saw, see page 118 for another jig.

For our table-saw version, rip two pieces of scrap wood to fit in the slots in the saw bed. Nail the scraps, positioned to fit into the slots, onto a 2- by 3-foot piece of 1/2-inch plywood, Now feed the plywood through the blade about halfway. With saw off, butt a 30[deg]-60[deg] triangle against the blade (the 30[deg] angle should be closest to it). Draw along the hypotenuse, then continue the line across the entire piece of plywood, Nail or screw a length of scrap 1-by-2 or 2-by-2 along that line:

For the second part of the jig, make a simple L-shape out of scrap wood; this

clamps to the fixed piece as a stop.

To position the stop, make a test cut on a piece of the ripped redwood. Turn the wood over so the point faces away from the blade. Position the wood so that the blade would cut a triangle across the wood's full length. Clamp the stop to the fixed guide so tbat the stop just touches the redwood's outside point. Mark the spot on the guide where the bottom corner of the L touches it. Then mark 1/4-inch intervals ftom that point.

Use the marks to determine the length of the trapezoid's short parallel side (this length dictates the outside diameter of the 1 2-sided rings).

The short sides of the trapezoids in the 17 1/2-inch-wide planter on the cover measure 15/8 inches tong; for the low, 25-inchwide planter on page 95, the side is 43/4 inches long. The cone-shaped container starts with a 1/4 -inch-long side; each successive layer of trapezoids grows in 1/2inch increments. We topped the cone with a thicker ring cut from 2-by-3s.

No matter what size you use, make the lowest ring with trapezoids 1/4 inch shorter than the ones above; this creates the lip to support the base. To assemble, see the photographs below.

The 12-sided planters were based on designs by Andrew G. Anderson of Winters, California.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1989
Words:1296
Previous Article:Living tapestry in Santa Fe; easy-care garden uses ground covers and stone for color and texture.
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