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Make and paint a corner planter and pair it with two red metal trellises for an intriguing addition to a deck or patio.
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Cut the sides (A) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List, and Cutting Diagram). Round over the cut ends of the parts with an orbital sander and 120-grit sandpaper so these edges match the factory edges.
If you choose to substitute pressure-treated lumber for cedar, do not grow vegetables in this planter for human consumption—even if you line the interior. When cutting or sanding pressure-treated wood, wear breathing and eye protection, and wash your hands thoroughly afterward. Never burn treated-wood scraps; discard them with your trash.
Build three frames, assembling the sides (A) in “pinwheel” fashion shown (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Drill 3/16-inch pilot holes at each frame corner and drive hex-head construction screws using an electric drill and the hex-drive bit supplied with the screws.
Place one frame on riser boards on your workbench. (The riser boards make room under the frame for the clamp heads.) Position a second frame on the first, flipping the frames to alternate the corner-joint overlaps (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). Clamp the frames together with the faces flush. To fasten the frames together with 4-inch deck screws, drill 3/8-inch-diameter holes 1-inch deep. Then drill 1/8-inch pilot holes centered in the 3/8-inch holes. Drive the screws. (Note that you are building the box upside down.)
Connecting 2 x 4 boards on edge requires a long screw. To reduce the length of screw needed and still penetrate the lower board for a strong connection, first drill a 3/8-inch hole 1 inch deep (called a counterbore) in the top board. Then drill a 1/8-inch pilot hole centered in the 3/8-inch counterbore. Now you can join the two boards with a 4-inch deck screw and have 1-1/2 inches of the screw firmly anchored in the lower board.
Clamp the third frame to the first two, once again alternating the corner-joint overlaps. Drill the 3/8-inch counterbores and 1/8-inch pilot holes. Drive the 4-inch deck screws.
Cut the feet (B) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Sand round-overs on the cut ends of the parts so these edges match the factory edges.
Position the feet flush with the outside corners of the bottom frame. Drill countersunk pilot holes and screw the feet to the frame (Project Diagram, Drawing 2).
Cut the braces (C) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List). With the box/feet assembly still upside down on your workbench, clamp the braces to the top faces of the feet (B). Drill countersunk pilot holes through the feet and fasten the braces to the feet with 2-1/2-in deck screws (Project Diagram, Drawing 3).
Cut the slats (D) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Turn the frames/feet/braces assembly right side up and screw the slats to the braces (Project Diagram, Drawing 3).
Slight variations in the thickness and width of boards may affect the edge-to-edge fit of the slats. Place all the slats in the bottom of the planter box before screwing any of them in place. Then adjust the spacing between slats to allow spaces for drainage and screw them down.
Drill 3/16-inch holes in the outside “leg” section of each trellis upright 3 inches and 6-1/2 inches from the bottom (Project Diagram, Drawing 4). Tilt the bit as you drill through the uprights so the trellis grid does not interfere with your drill/driver when screwing the legs to the box. Then drill three holes—again with a slight tilt—in the inner uprights that will be screwed to the post (E) at the bottom, middle and near the top. Offset the three holes in each trellis so the screws do not touch when fastening the trellises to the post.
Clamp each trellis into the inside corners of the planter box with the three-hole drilled uprights in the same corner. Fasten them in place with #8 x 1-inch stainless-steel panhead sheet-metal screws (Project Diagram, Drawing 4).
Cut the post (E) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Rest the bottom of the post on the top edge of the box, clamp the trellises to the post and drive the mounting screws (Project Diagram, Drawing 4).
If you wish to stain your planter, remove the trellises from the post (E) and the planter box. Vacuum away debris and apply an exterior stain to the planter box and the post (Naturaltone shown). After the stain dries, move the planter box to the desired location and reinstall the trellises and the post (E).
Add potted plants in the box or plant directly into potting soil. For direct planting, cut a 48-inch x 48-inch piece of black plastic sheet. Center the sheet on the planter box and tuck it into place. Make sure the sheet is pushed tightly into the bottom corners and fold it (no cuts) at the vertical corners. Fold the excess sheet even with the top edge of the box and staple through both layers of plastic. Cut small drainage holes in the bottom above the spaces between the slats. Fill with a potting mix and plants.