All Replies on Help designing my planter box

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View walkerbait's profile

Help designing my planter box

by walkerbait
posted 07-26-2016 03:55 AM

2 replies so far

View JBrow's profile


1368 posts in 1807 days

#1 posted 07-28-2016 04:18 AM


There are two considerations associated with the stopped sliding dovetail joint. Some care would be required if the time ever comes when the planter box must be lifted and moved and no glue is used. The side slats could lift out of the dovetailed grooves. The second consideration relates to the fit of the sliding dovetail joint. If the dovetail tongue is just a little too large, fully seating the slat could be difficult (the longer the dovetail the more difficult). If the joint is too loose, the joint would be weakened. A few test cuts could help dial in the fit.

If the planter box components are glued in place, the design looks fine to me. Wiping both side of the joints with acetone and then immediately applying a good water resistant glue (Titebond III has worked well for me) after the acetone has flashed off can help strengthen the glue bond. However, if the design is a glueless box, trying to dislodge the sliding dovetail joint when disassembling the planter box could be next to impossible since the wood may swell. Also, a knock down planter box (no glue) should probably have a lower slat with a sliding dovetail below the mortise and tenon bottom supporting rail. The lower slat could keep the leg from splaying out over time. If a lower side slat is added but held off the floor, the planter box would be more likely to set on the floor without rocking. On the other hand, if the planter box is glued together, I doubt the lower dovetailed slat would be needed.

Ideally the mortise and tenon joints should be a good friction fit. If the dovetail grooves are milled by first using a straight bit to hog out the majority of material, there will be less stress on the dovetail bit.

I would think cedar would be more rot resistant that untreated spruce. If the planter box is lined with a waterproof liner, the planter box could last even longer. A 3 mil contractor trash bag comes to mind. If unlined, and glue is used, a water proof glue may be a good idea, since the damp soil could weaken even a good water resistant glue. Water proof glues can be a bit messy to use and clean up of squeeze out problematic, but should hold up well under constant moisture.

View HerbC's profile


1812 posts in 3746 days

#2 posted 07-28-2016 04:30 AM

Instead of sliding dovetails, why not use thru tendons with wedges? that could be easily disassembled and yet very easy to assemble and quite solid.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

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