2x4 Planter Stand and Planters

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Project by leonmcd posted 02-01-2008 04:27 AM 5422 views 3 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ever have one of those projects where nothing seems to go right. It seems like a good idea and the vision in your head is great but it just doesn’t turn out the way you envisioned.

Because of the limit to a 2×4 it was necessary to make the staves for the planters 5/8” x 3/4” and I needed 30 of them 20” long to create the planters. Seemed so easy in my mind. You ever try to get 30 sticks to line up in circle while you glue them. Not so easy. Even harder when one of your staves has a knot and snaps. So now you are 1 stave short ( no more lumber in the 2×4 ). Oh well, so you roll it up and it kinda works.

Now you throw it on your lathe to turn it. I’ve turned lots of things but never a 2×4. Way too soft so wound up with lots of tearout. My original view was a nice polished wooden planter. By the time I got through patching all the tearout, I was obvious that a clear finish was not going to work. So when all else fails, paint it. I thought with enough coats of glossy paint it might look kinda like ceramic. Don’t think I quite achieved that goal either.

I also managed to miscut the cross pieces that connect the legs to the stand. Lucky I had enough material left to replace those parts.

BTW – The lower planter is trapped inside the stand. I wanted a close fit between the planters and the stand so I built the stand around it.

I’ve decided to go ahead and enter it into the 2×4 project just to give the competition some balance.

You know how I was saying that with some projects nothing goes right. Well I just ( 8:30 PM CST) tried to enter this in the 2×4 contest and apparently it is already closed. I was thinking that we would have all day on the 31st to enter our projects. Oh well.

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

15 comments so far

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 5242 days

#1 posted 02-01-2008 04:54 AM

as with many others, we sure took on some ambitious use of the 2×4 – Looks like we both ran out of time. Next contest I’ll (intend to) start right away!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View CharlieM1958's profile


16289 posts in 5133 days

#2 posted 02-01-2008 05:01 AM

I’ll join the protest march, Leon. Today is the 31st, and you should be able to enter your project. Heck, I’ll even vote for you just for having the gumption to give it your best shot and post it for the world to see. With all the problems you had, it is still better than I, or most weekend warriors could have done with a single 2×4!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4737 days

#3 posted 02-01-2008 05:04 AM

the real value of the 2×4 contest was simply taking part in the competition. You persevered and, despite numerous barriers which afforded you an excuse to quit, successfully managed to complete your project. This is really what counts.

By the way this is an interesting piece. As I have said all along it never ceases to amaze me what is residing inside a common 2×4.

Thanks for sharing

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14187 posts in 4897 days

#4 posted 02-01-2008 06:05 AM

looks good. fun too !

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Grumpy's profile


26702 posts in 4766 days

#5 posted 02-01-2008 08:54 AM

Sorry you did not make the time limit Leon. Nice project.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4980 days

#6 posted 02-01-2008 08:55 AM

Good project and A+ for sticking with it and finishing. Good looking project.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4789 days

#7 posted 02-01-2008 11:01 AM

Great job finishing your project, sorry you missed the deadline.

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 4727 days

#8 posted 02-01-2008 12:08 PM


-- Jiri

View Copperjock's profile


130 posts in 4713 days

#9 posted 02-02-2008 07:54 AM

Looks like your entry made it after all. Congratulations on that and good luck in the contest. It looks like a very ambitious project, and it turned out well. Good job.

-- All the test cuts in the world won't stop you from cutting the outside when you meant to cut the inside. doh!

View shaun's profile


360 posts in 4820 days

#10 posted 02-02-2008 01:55 PM

Nice work Leon. Glad your entry made it in to the contest.

-- I've cut that board three times and it's still too short!

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4803 days

#11 posted 02-12-2008 12:01 AM


Since you asked for it (you do not know how happy I am that you started the criticism discussion), here it is:

Things I like:
1. The idea is nice.
2. Coloring the planters differently than the support adds visual interest

Things I do not fully like:

1. The legs of the stand do not flow to the floor. They finish in a flat area that is large. I know what your concern is: not enough strength for the legs if you finish them in a curve. I would have probably strengthen the legs by inserting another piece or something. In any case, it is a problem to be solved since most people do not care about wood limitations, they only care about how it looks. The legs go straight up but are ended in a curve. It would have been nice to get a slight curve on the legs along the length as well. Mixing straight lines with curves is tricky.

2. The pictures you posted are low quality. You have too much compression on the jpeg and there are a lot of artifacts showing in the image. Because of this I cannot judge the quality of the finish
and I have trouble seeing the piece the way it is. You do not need a better camera, you just need to be careful with the compression.

3. The pine has an unpleasant yellow color (that is true for most 2×4 competition entries). That is due to the heavy finish that the pine does not like. What I would have done (and I did on my 2×4 entry ) is to apply a single coat of finish and sand it down. Pine does not really need a lot of finish and ages beautifully without. This is why drawer insides that are made out of pine are left unfinished.

4. The cylindrical shape on the planters is rather boring. A slight curve would have made the piece way more interesting. Getting slight curves on large pieces is very hard though, but a thing to aspire to.

-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View leonmcd's profile


204 posts in 4886 days

#12 posted 02-12-2008 03:59 AM

Alin, thanks for taking the time to comment. You are the first to take me up on my request.

You picked the perfect project to critique too because there is not much I like about it.

I can see how some curve in the legs would help. Much more interesting than the straight lines.

The curve at the top of the legs and at the top of the planters was an attempt to blend the leg form with the planter form. Apparently it did not work. You mentioned that is it difficult to blend straight lines and curves but I wonder about blending curves in the legs with curves in the planters.

I thought about going with the planters with the middle larger than the ends with a smooth curve from top to bottom. Didn’t think it would look good with the straight legs. I guess I could have brought the legs up to flair out like a flower petal and follow the curve of the lower part of the planter/vase. Might have to try and sketch this.

Trust me it is a blessing that the photo quality is so poor. As I mentioned in my post, I had a hard time with tearout in the pine. I used some wood filler to patch as best I could but in retrospect, I would probably just plaster it to get a smooth surface.

I’m not a big fan of unfinished pine and I thought of finishing it with a very lite white wash. Just enough to take away the yellow and soften the grain.

I appreciate you comments and thanks again for taking the time.

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

View CharlieM1958's profile


16289 posts in 5133 days

#13 posted 02-14-2008 08:03 PM

Oops…had to cut a long comment here meant for the forum.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4714 days

#14 posted 01-31-2009 11:31 PM

great style

-- making sawdust....

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4509 days

#15 posted 04-21-2009 07:23 PM


-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

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