I saw the patterns for these gardens stakes in Creative Woodworks & Crafts last year and thought they would be fun to make. So, this spring I finally decided to make them.
I started by tracing the patterns supplied in the magazine. I fit three to a sheet of tracing paper. Because there were not patterns for peas, beans, or kohlrabi … I had to get creative and make a few of my own. The beans and peas I just sketched from memory. Kohlrabi was another story; I couldn’t remember what they looked like. So … I looked online for cartoon pictures of Kohlrabi.
After I had all the sketches done it was time to prep the wood. I had some Spanish Cedar that was intended to for a humidor, but, some gotten a little water damage because of a leak in the shed. I also picked the cedar for its resistance to rot and the elements. So, I re-sawed the cedar to close to 1/4” inch and then sent it through the drum sander. I made 8” x 11” x 1/4” pieces to match the patterns.
I used spray adhesive to attach the patterns to the wood. Then used the band-saw to separate each stake. I used the scroll saw to cut out the patterns. I ended up having a little help with this part. My wife and daughter both tired their hands at the scroll saw. My daughter decided she don’t care for it much. But, my wife, seemed to like it, and cut out several of the outsides of the stakes. I followed up and cut out the rest and the insides as well.
Once the shapes were set and all the cutting was done I sanded, and sanded, and sanded … and … you get the idea. I used the drum sander to sand down the “pointy end” of the stakes to a better point. I sprayed water on them to raise the grain and then sanded everything smooth again.
After taping off the lower parts of the stakes, I used the airbrush I got for Christmas to paint the main parts of the vegetables. I used brushes to do some detail work and a toothpick to ad fine lines.
After everything dried and I was happy with the look the tape came off and it was time to apply finish. I picked a spar varnish for the way it is supposed to hold up to the weather. I decided to use a spray can for quick coverage and re-coat times. I threw together a simple stand to hang wires form and suspend the stakes from while spraying. I did all the spraying outside on warm, breezy day. After applying 3 coats of finish I let the stakes dry for 48 hours and then my wife placed them in the new home in the garden. Now we know where the different vegetables are planted … if we ever get them to grow … is another story all together.
-- RavinHeart - Wisconsin