Asian inspired plant pot

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Project by Heyz posted 11-10-2008 05:31 PM 1836 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently installed bamboo flooring in the basement and really liked the look of the bamboo. So, why not make something with scraps?

I was at a garden store the same day and saw an asparagus fern which looked really neat. Instantly I saw a design for a nice bamboo plant pot in my head and decided to proceed. The plant was about $4, and the bamboo was free. Well, my quick one day project took much longer than anticipated…..

I started with ripping off the tongue and groove from the bamboo. This made the width insufficient for the height of my pot. So I used a biscuit jointer and joined together two peices for each side. I proceeded to draw out and calculate my compound angles. I made a boo-boo on double checking my 45 degrees on the saw and so the corners are off a little bit. These were my first compound mitre cuts on a table saw. I have a compound mitre saw, but hey – why not try a table saw? (I think actually my mitre saw only cuts 5.5 inches and wouldn’t cut the whole way through these – don’t remember though why I went the table saw route).

The two lines ripped into the side were an impulse cut. I first thought of keying the mitred corners, then I thought of inlaying some darker wood, but all I had around was cedar. So I just ran it through the table saw and added the detail.

The toughest part was glueing it. I was determined to keep this a ‘quick’ project. I dry fit it sitting upside down on the work bench (the pot not me) and it sat there just fine. So I mixed up some epoxy and let it drip into the not so perfect joint. Once dry it was stable, but not strong.

I need a bottom because I planned put put a pot inside this. But because nothing was really precise with this, I couldn’t just cut a perfect bottom. I made it a little oversize so it didn’t quite fit. I then would trim very small amounts off until it fit just right. It was great because I could slide it down from the inside and the taper meant it would have a nice snug fit. Once it fit I mixed up some more epoxy because I wanted to waterproof the inside of this pot. You can see in the second picture the brown material in the joints. This is epoxy with wood dust to make it thicker ( I didn’t have any proper thickening agents). Lastly I poured in some epoxy to coat the bottom and sides so the water wont soak into the wood.

I also decided to make a custom insert so that it would have drainage. Using my pot as a mould (with a spacer at the botom), I made it from fibreglass. Drilled a few holes in the bottom of it, and it drains into the bottom of the pot.

And now I have a nice asparagus fern in a bamboo pot. I had planned to make it in a single day, but you know how it goes….

On a side note, in the third picture the front corner looks rounded. Turns out bamboo isn’t THAT strong. The thing fell about 4 feet and landed directly on the corner. Glad my epoxy joints held up though!

-- Heyz, in the cold winterland of Canada

4 comments so far

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

501 posts in 3509 days

#1 posted 11-10-2008 08:18 PM

For what it is worth, flour, the kind you cook with, is a good thickening agent for epoxy. I ran out of the thickener I had bought from my supplier this summer and called them because I needed to finish the job quickly. They told me to use the flour, and although dubious at first, I am glad I followed their instructions. The color would have been a good match for your project.

I like the pot.

-- jstegall

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4070 days

#2 posted 11-11-2008 05:46 AM

nice pots…great use of scraps…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3480 days

#3 posted 11-12-2008 01:24 AM

It is funny how those simple ideas turn into major projects. I can feel your pain on the compound miter cuts. I really like the end product though, but must hide this project from my wife….

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View Heyz's profile


22 posts in 3509 days

#4 posted 11-12-2008 03:51 AM

Thanks for the comments.

Flour eh? Maybe I’ll try it just for kicks one time… colour would have been much better. I used wood dust from belt sanding some fir. That’s certainly not the color of the fir, so I imagine any thickening agent must be a much lighter colour than your stock to have a matching end colour…

-- Heyz, in the cold winterland of Canada

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