Patio Planter from Offcuts

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Project by Don Johnson posted 04-10-2020 03:18 PM 537 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Patio Planter from Offcuts
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When my artist friend – for whom I make frames for her oil paintings – moved over to shallower canvases, I changed from fabricating the frame surrounds from two timber lengths glued to an ‘L’ section to cutting a rebate ( dado) from one larger size length on my table saw. This meant that I ended up with lots of strips of the cut-out pieces – from 1/2 inch square to 3/4 by 1 inch in section as the design was refined. These strips came under the heading of ‘might be useful’ and therefore were to be kept, but added to my problems of wood storage in my limited work areas, so I tried to find things for which to use them. I made a couple of frames to support roses and shrubs in our garden, but still had a lot left.
When we saw that our sweet pea plant was overgrowing its pot on our patio, I initially thought of making a larger planter for it from cut-offs from decking material, but found that I had used all the bits that I possessed, though thinking of the grooves in decking somehow led me to thinking of using the cut-out strips to make something similar. Although I would obviously need to paint these pine strips with preservative, I thought that a plastic inner container would protect the wood even more, so, after searching E-bay, found a square flip-top waste paper bin that looked as though it would do that job – and discarded the lid.
I chopped the strips to a suitable size, then glue-laminated them together, alternating larger and smaller sections, and added cross pieces to make each ‘board’ more stable. I cut the four boards to size and joined them together – just using small brackets inside – to form a box into which the plastic container would fit with some clearance. I added legs, screwed to the boards at each corner, to lift the main section off the ground, then added a mitred top with a centre section that supported the lip on the plastic container. To protect the legs themselves, I made feet from the plastic fittings sold commercially for joining boards together.
For once, I had copied people on YouTube woodworking videos (e.g. April W), and painted the planter components BEFORE joining them together – I’m usually too impatient to see an object assembly finished – as I thought that this would be important for protecting the pine. The paint I used was Cuprinol Garden Shades, and the colour is willow – though the internet sample of that colour looks more grey than green. I love this paint, it applies very easily, and a second coat can be applied after not much more than an hour (did I mention I am impatient?), with touch-ups blending invisibly.
My wife, Avril, was delighted with the planter, declaring it the best one I had made, and I must admit that it does look pretty good. Perhaps, as I make more picture frames, I will make more planters.

-- Don, Somerset UK,

5 comments so far

View Andre's profile


4741 posts in 3050 days

#1 posted 04-10-2020 03:24 PM

Looks good, what is the size?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View recycle1943's profile


5854 posts in 2867 days

#2 posted 04-10-2020 03:31 PM

nice build, your sweet pea’s will love it

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View BurlyBob's profile


9339 posts in 3510 days

#3 posted 04-10-2020 06:38 PM

What a great looking way use up left overs. Just in time in planting season.

View Don Johnson's profile

Don Johnson

743 posts in 4025 days

#4 posted 04-10-2020 07:17 PM

Looks good, what is the size?

- Andre

Thanks; the plastic container is about 15 inches square

-- Don, Somerset UK,

View crowie's profile


5025 posts in 3195 days

#5 posted 04-11-2020 12:41 AM

Well done Don, that’s the seal of approval with a compliment from your beloved.
Just don’t make too much fuss or you’ll be making another.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

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