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Planters made from flat wood panels and boxes can go vertically or horizontally. Mix the combinations and arrange them to suit your space.
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For the panels (A), cut three 3/4-inch x 20-inch x 36-inch edge-glued pine panels to 27 inches long (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram).
Cut the cleats (B) to length. For the three horizontal cleats, drill three countersunk pilot holes through the faces. Then drill two countersunk pilot holes through the top edges (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). (You’ll drive screws through these holes later to mount the planters to the hanging cleats.)
For the six vertical cleats, drill a countersunk pilot hole through the back face near the top. Then form slots at the center and bottom end of each cleat (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). To form the slots, drill a series of 3/16-inch holes and clean out the remaining wood with a 3/16-inch round file.
The panels (A) will expand and contract across the grain from season to season. Drilling holes at the tops of the vertical cleats and slots at the middle and bottom keeps the top ends of the cleats and top edges of the panels flush while allowing the panels to expand and contract. Simply drilling holes and screwing the vertical cleats to the panels could cause the panels to bow or split.
Using exterior wood glue, glue and screw the horizontal cleats (B) to the panels (A). Spread glue only around the upper hole on the back of the vertical cleats (B) and screw them to the panels. Drive screws through the centers of the slots (Project Diagram, Drawing 2).
Cut the long fronts/backs (C), short fronts/backs (D), and ends (E) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram). Sand the parts with 120-grit sandpaper and assemble the boxes with glue and nails (Project Diagram, Drawing 3).
Assembling the boxes with a pneumatic nailer speeds the work and keeps the pieces from shifting as they would when hand-nailing.
Cut the long runners (F) and short runners (G) to length. Glue and nail them along the inside bottom edges of the box fronts/backs (Project Diagram, Drawing 3).
Lay the backers face-up on your workbench. Apply squares of double-faced tape to the backs of the boxes, position them on the backer panels, and press them in place (Project Diagram, Drawing 4). Flip the assemblies over, drill pilot holes through the panels and into the boxes, and drive the screws.
Remove the boxes from the backers and mark their locations for reassembly. Then apply an exterior stain to the backers and an exterior primer and paint to the boxes in your choice of colors. After the finishes dry, re-assemble the planters.
Cut the hanging cleats (H) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram). Screw the cleats to the wall, making sure they are level (Project Diagram, Drawing 5 and Drawing 6).
Beginning with the bottom planter assembly, hang the planters on the wall with the horizontal cleats (B) on the hanging cleats (H). Drive screws through the holes in the edges of the horizontal cleats and into the hanging cleats.
Place flowerpot saucers or trays in the boxes, resting them on the runners. Add potted plants (remove the plots when watering).