Three-tier planter (from Mere Mortals)

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Project by ajw1978 posted 06-08-2015 08:22 PM 2502 views 5 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While killing time waiting (very, very, very patiently) for my flight to bring me back from Spring Training (I feel the need to emphasize, VERY patiently waiting; nobody wants to leave Arizona and go back to Wisconsin in March), I caught up on Steve Ramsey’s latest projects and caught this little planter. Seemed right up my alley; limited tools, inexpensive lumber, etc etc etc…

To my shock, I came home to find not three feet of snow and arctic conditions, but a stunning stretch of 50-degree, sunny days so I decided to pull the tools out of storage and give it a shot.

I’m so glad I did. This turned out to be a relatively easy project. Spent $20 on 1×4s at Menard’s, bought a box of screws and a gallon of redwood tinted deck stain on clearance and got to work. I made a few mistakes along the way, notably assembling backwards and not affixing my stop blocks tight enough which lead to some uneven boxes. I also got lazy and tried using brads to connect the box bottoms (without glue … moron) and ultimately, had to make some adjustments a few months later.

I was worried about stability, so I ended up ripping the middle board off the bottom of each planter. I thought it was smart at the time, but it ended up backfiring on me. Stupid expansion/contraction.

Still, it was a fun and simple build. Even the CEO got involved, handling some of the staining, and the four-legged Control Manager seemed to approve, as well. We just finally got around to filling the boxes … but haven’t actually finished them all. Maybe by Labor Day…..

My only other regrets (aside from learning math), is I wish I would have sanded everything before I assembled it. Would have made the stain look much better and more even. I also wish I’d assembled it correctly, but live and learn. I’ll put all those modifications to use on my next batch, as this little boredom project led to my first-ever commissions. Pretty excited about that.

Here’s the link, BTW: (Thanks, Steve!)

-- May the good Lord help me if I ever actually have a shop, garage or basement.

3 comments so far

View JimRochester's profile


573 posts in 2502 days

#1 posted 06-09-2015 06:59 PM

They look good. Are these the same ones in this month’s issue of WOOD?

-- Schooled in the advanced art of sawdust and woodchip manufacturing.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4119 days

#2 posted 06-09-2015 07:03 PM

Don’t worry about the sanding. It just adds character to your project, and I think it looks just fine.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View ajw1978's profile


165 posts in 2309 days

#3 posted 06-09-2015 07:31 PM

Jim—I think they’re similar to the ones in WOOD, actually. Steve actually mentioned it in a follow-up video a few days later. The difference, from what I gather, is the WOOD version is more of an A-frame and designed to drop plastic planters into it. I’m considering giving a shot at that, too.

MT—Thanks very much. When I was digging through the piles of lumber to find relatively decent work pieces, I intentionally chose some with the “live” edge for the boxes, just to add a bit of flavor to it. My only thought of sanding came from the better appearance once it was stained.

-- May the good Lord help me if I ever actually have a shop, garage or basement.

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