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Tall on six legs, big planter can hold a tree ... or more.

In summer in Helsinki, the Finns rejoice in color. To bring colorful flowers to the city's curbs, they line the streets with hexagonal planters like the ones pictured at right above. We've developed a similar, large-scale planter you can build in a few hours.

Make the planter any size you want as long as the side boards are all the same length and all the grooves are cut at the same angle. You'll need a table saw with dado blades set at an angle 30[deg] off vertical to cut leg grooves, as well as a tape measure and a hammer.

For a planter that measures about 24 inches tall, 26 inches wide, and 13-1/2 inches deep, you'll need:

* 2 6-foor 4-by-4s

* 4 6-foot 1-by-8s

* 48 2-1/2-inch (8d) nails

* 44 1-1/2-inch (4d) nails

* Galvanized wire screening (to cover drain holes, optional)

* Oil, stain, or paint

You should be able to buy all-heart redwood or equivalent cedar for less than $40. Sometimes less expensive lumber sold for fencing will work--if you choose heartwood that will resist decay. Buy hot-dipped galvanized nails.

Start by cutting the 4-by-4s into the six 23-3/4-inch-long legs. Set up the dado blades to cut grooves 7/8 inch wide or as wide as your 1-by-8s are thick. (If your saw arbor can't accomodate the blades, make two passes, moving the fence and lowering the blades slightly for the second pass.) Using photograph 2 as a guide, set the fence and cut the grooves.

Replace the dado blades with a conventional blade and cut each 1-by-8 into one 30-inch length (for the base) and three equal shorter lengths (for the sides).

To assemble the sides, place a leg flat on the floor, then insert the side boards and nail them in place with the larger nails. Make two three-panel halves (photograph 3), then put the halves together.

To make a base, lay the four 30-inch lengths side by side, turn the planter over on them, center it, and trace the inside perimeter, angling across where the legs are. You should have 3 inches of excess on each outside board; out the excess off, then rip it into four 1-1/2-inch-wide pieces. From these, cut two 22-inch-long crosspieces for the base support, and six 10-inch cleats.

Use 10 nails to secure each crosspiece to the base. Then use a table saw or handsaw to cut out along your earlier tracing (don't worry about a perfect fit; a few gaps will help provide drainage). Drill a few drain holes in the base and cover with screening if desired.

Inside the planter, use four nails to secure each cleat flush to the bottom of the sides. Drop in the base to rest on the cleats. Finish the planter with oil, stain, or paint, or let it weather naturally.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jul 1, 1985
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