As soon as March begins, many people start to experience the restlessness of spring fever. It doesn’t help that a lot of places are still getting pounded with snow! If you have had just about enough winter, I’ve got a project to assure you that spring is right around the corner: the Three Tier Planter.
I designed this to be an easy, stress-free project that you can make with limited tools and budget. If it’s still cold where you live, this is a great way to transition back into your workshop.
Tools you’ll need:
- Miter saw. You could use a circular saw or jigsaw, but it will be much easier to cut angles with a miter saw.
- Drill. All the pieces are glued and screwed together.
- Bar clamp. Not absolutely necessary, but it will make assembly easier.
You will need eight, 8 foot long 1×4’s. (These are actually 3 1/2″ wide by 3/4″ thick.) Metric: 244cm long, 19mm thick, 89mm wide.
These boards cost me $2.28 each at Home Depot. Note that these are not the “good” pine boards, but are cheap furring strips. Take the time to pick through the stack to find ones that aren’t too mangled. A few knots and imperfections are fine for an outdoor planter. In fact, they even look better a little rustic!
Cutting the boards
Cut the two long supports, (the front legs) at 25° angles. The other pieces for the two sides are cut at 10° angles. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to get everything perfect. I really designed this project with a lot of leeway. Remember, it’s a rustic outdoor planter!
To help me line up the legs and supports, I clamped a 2×4 to my workbench. This acted as the floor to that the legs would be on the same plane. The trickiest part here was repeating the assembly on the left side because it needs to be done flipped. I printed out a flipped view of this side to help me set it up. If you have good spatial awareness and can flip things around in your head, you have my respect!
Everything gets glued and screwed together.
The crates, or planter boxes are easy. The two long sides and the three bottom boards are all the same lengths Cut these all at the same time, as well as the shorter end pieces. Glue and screw these together.
Finishing the three tier planter
The best protection from the elements would be a coat of paint. I decided to use a transparent redwood deck stain for the stand. Deck stain is quick and easy to use because it only requires one coat, you don’t have to wipe off excess, it dries quickly, and you don’t need any further clear coat protection.
I decided to stain the planter boxed with a dark color to look like rustic old crates. After the wood stain dries, it needs a top coat. I like to use Spar Urethane on outdoor projects.
- WWMM Three Tier Planter (pdf)
- Sketchup file
- WWMM Three Tier Planter METRIC (pdf)
- Sketchup file METRIC