Raised Planter Box

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Project by Fettler posted 03-24-2015 05:03 AM 1595 views 10 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I built this cedar mortise and tenon planter box to replace the rusty nail butt joint box that came with the house. Total cost was around ~$150 including $33 for a truck full of top soil.

The 2×4s and 4×4’s are from lowes and it took about 25 minutes to find 1/2 way acceptable sticks. The rest of the lumber came from Dunn Lumber which is the only lumber yard open on Sunday (Limback lumber has the best selection of Cedar in Seattle). I used fir 4×4 posts for the legs to cut down on cost and sealed them with arbor seal end grain sealer (mostly paraffin wax).

The box is approx. 8’x3’x18”. I cut the rails to those dimensions before cutting the tenons on a bandsaw and crosscut with a handsaw. The 4×4’s are routed to hold the 5/8”x 5 1/2” slates. The slates are half lap spliced on the router and spaced 1/16” to allow for expansion.

The top is 2”x6” cedar, uses bridle joints and is attached with galvanized L-brackets. Joints are reinforced with water proof yellow glue and dowels.

The mortises were cut on a jet Mortising machine I purchased on Craigslist several years ago. I didn’t calculate enough relief so a couple of the shoulders blew out during fitting. I blew out two 3/8” bits before switching to a 1/2” bit (I had to order a collet to hold 3/4” shaft bits and could only use 5/8” bits). Most of the Mortising time was spent sharpening the chisels.

Took about two full days to complete and I slept pretty good those nights.

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

1 comment so far

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Jim Jakosh

16797 posts in 2525 days

#1 posted 04-20-2015 01:42 AM

Great job on that planter box. Good solid joinery too!! it should last a long time using cedar!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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