Versailles Planter Boxes

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Project by Chauffeur posted 08-23-2020 03:23 PM 1312 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My spouse has been raising a couple of potted Calamansi plants for over 25 years. It’s a small citrus product native to the Philippines. To me, the juice is the offspring of a lime and orange. Great for marinades and margaritas. The ones in the photo are currently root bound and need a new home.

The plants are not very fond of cold temperatures and must be protected or brought inside if the outside air temperatures are projected to be below 32 degrees F. Hence, we occasionally drag them into the garage for overnight vacations during the winter.

100% solid white oak; incorporating modified mortise and tenon joints from a Woodsmith planter box video I found online. I was surprised by how heavy they are once assembled. We stained and finished them with five coats of a marine grade spar varnish.

The legs are not an illusion. They are cut to address the slope of the driveway. If/when we ever move, I’‘ll cut off the excess. I could not find slides or pads large enough for the legs, so I made my own version by cutting up a $10 black plastic cutting board.

We lined them with a pond liner. They are watertight. We used tank bulkhead pvc fittings as drains. The plants do not like wet roots.

The intent is to lift and move them with a motorcycle lift. Works well for now; hopefully I can say the same when they are full of soil.

A photo of the plants in the new planters is couple months away. SWMBO wants to wait til the fall for the transplant operation. She’s right. I cannot recall ever finishing a project months ahead of schedule.

9/13/2020 update – Transplant has been completed. New photo added.

-- Dave, Texas

9 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile


6780 posts in 3548 days

#1 posted 08-23-2020 04:20 PM

Very pretty.

You seem to have thought the project through all the way!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8345 posts in 4634 days

#2 posted 08-23-2020 04:59 PM

Wow! Very nice looking planters and with a beautiful finish! The finish is better than some of our furniture.
Well done and your wife must be thrilled to have these for her plants!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View sras's profile


6425 posts in 4411 days

#3 posted 08-23-2020 05:11 PM

These turned out great I enjoyed following the blog as well.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View pottz's profile


21271 posts in 2266 days

#4 posted 08-23-2020 06:00 PM

wow those are some of the nicest planters ive seen.what did you use as a finish.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View grovemadman's profile


963 posts in 5053 days

#5 posted 08-23-2020 11:51 PM

They look nice and they serve two purposes; keeping the plants alive and keeping your wife happy. Good job!

-- "It is the job of the woodworker to hide his mistakes and keep a tight set of lips about them!"--Chuck

View Ivan's profile


17046 posts in 4149 days

#6 posted 08-24-2020 05:55 AM

Excellent job! They are so beautiful, I wouldn’t put any dirt in them…

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

845 posts in 5190 days

#7 posted 08-24-2020 11:20 AM

Very nice planter boxes.

Is that a trash can dolly under your air compressor? Very smart idea for mobility.

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View Peteybadboy's profile


4146 posts in 3231 days

#8 posted 08-24-2020 01:01 PM

Very well done!

-- Petey

View Chauffeur's profile


50 posts in 3173 days

#9 posted 08-24-2020 02:59 PM

Thanks for the positive comments!

what did you use as a finish.

- pottz

It’s the same process I use on all of my exterior projects. Three or four coats of a marine grade slow curing spar varnish (~$40/qt) followed by two coats of Cabots satin exterior urethane. The varnish is applied with a brush, with a good sanding after each coat. The Cabots is sprayed on with an HVLP sprayer. It typically lasts five years or so before it needs to be lightly refreshed.

Is that a trash can dolly under your air compressor? Very smart idea for mobility.

- Grant Davis

Interesting observation. It is not a trash can dolly. Several years ago, I took scrap plywood and made painted round saucers with casters for some potted indoor plants. One of them found its way back into the garage and amazingly ended up right next to the compressor when I was sweeping the floor. One of those serendipitous moments. Yep, the compressor fit it perfectly.

-- Dave, Texas

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