A probably-consult-an-expert-not-really-tutorial to make a planter

In a dramatic turn of events last project, my drill died! So I borrowed my neighbor’s, and then immediately started researching which one to buy, which is not very dramatic at all. The first had been a hand-me-down, an inauspicious start for any power tool, I suppose, but I used it all the time and didn’t want to be without it for long. We have a Ryobi Corner Cat, which Nik used for prepping the butcher block counters and likes quite a bit, so after checking in with my handy dad (14, 18, 24 volts?? 18, he said), I narrowed my search to those parameters.

I found that there was an inexpensive drill with mixed reviews, a pricier drill with great reviews, OR a two tool combo with great reviews for less than the pricier drill. And that’s how I wound up purchasing my very first circular saw.

A circular saw hadn’t been on my radar-what I really wanted was a miter saw- but after watching 800 YouTube videos about technique and purchasing the suggested speed square and c-clamp to make straight cuts, I think the circular saw is going to be more versatile and an overall better choice for our city space.

So first things first, I made a planter! As I said in the title, this is not a tutorial. I took wood shop in high school, so I have a basic understanding of some fundamentals (watch your fingers, wear eye protection, keep your body away from potential kickback), but that was around fifteen years ago. You should probably just skim the pictures and then consult someone who knows what they’re doing, if you want to make a planter, too.

Our neighbor collects wood he finds in trash piles for communal use in the basement, which is an amazing resource, so I picked out two relatively matching 1x3s and hauled them up to our balcony.

Using my saw and large dose of exuberance, I cut them into twelve 12″ lengths.

I almost bought L brackets, to use like I did for the radiator cover, but I found this inexpensive corner clamp, which is a useful thing.
I screwed them together at the joins to make three frames of sorts. This resulted in some cracking along the grain. Whether it was the age of the wood or if it was too dry, the type of screws used, the proximity to the edge, or a combination of all of these things, I don’t know. Ask your expert! I forged ahead.

I stacked the frames and attached them by screwing them into a small scraps of wood, also found in the basement.

And then I added some wood to the bottom, leaving wide slats for water drainage.

The bottom was lined with burlap for soil retention.

And some soil and plants later, I had a planter!

I’m going to make a few more of varying sizes for the rest of my plants tonight. Being able to cut wood to size on a whim changes everything, you guys! It’s a whole new DIY world out there.


One comment

  1. I love your planter, it looks so nice with the plants, especially sitting on the little stool. Just a note… my Dad taught me when screwing things together, to always use my drill to pre-drill the holes with a slightly smaller drill bit. That way the screws won’t split the wood. Especially if the wood is older and drier, but it pays to do it even if it’s new. Saves you the frustration of the splitting. I enjoy your blog very much. Your enthusiasm is wonderful! 🙂

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