Scrappy Scrapper

Wood, wood and more wood! I am surrounded by off-cuts, angle cuts, circular cuts, random lengths, shapes and sizes. It is amazing the amount of scraps a person can accumulate, so it is time to start using it. Some of it will be smaller projects. I want to dabble in carving wooden spoons, gluing pieces together for coasters or cutting boards, just creating with the scrap pieces of my other creative outlets.

I decided to start with some of the larger pieces. I promise this will be my last post about a planter for a while! I had one more need, which was a smaller planter by our back steps for some herbs to grow. I decided to see what I had to make the planter, and I found a bunch of cuts from the air-conditioner planter that were all similar in size. I wanted it to fit across the cement pad, so I had to get creative to get the length I needed. I did a little playing with dry-fitting it together, clamping and moving, flipping and turning pieces to get it to what I wanted. Once I had the general idea it was time to start putting it together.

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I gave all the boards a quick stain on the sides that I thought would be the best outer facing side. A lot of these pieces I had cut off purposely due to imperfections, knots, twists, etc. I decided to only stain the side that would be on the outside so that I would be able to remember how it needed to go together.

I pulled out one of my favourite tools for this type of work, my handy little Kreg Jig. It is a convenient little tool, but for this project, it was the most key piece of equipment I could use. See, the wood that I was using was all warped. Not a little, a lot warped. I figured if the planter ended up this sad, little twisted box, it would still be in the yard, serving its purpose of planting my herbs. Maybe I would just have to have 4 different sized legs on it to get it to sit flat! I put a lot of pocket holes to suck all the boards together in a somewhat uniform manner.

I put together the sides first, and then started connecting them to each other to create the box. As I was working it all together, I had to throw in some elbow grease and wrestle the wood a little. I started laughing at one point because it actually looked like the wood panels hated each other and were doing everything they could to not be close or connected to one another.

In the end the box came together relatively nicely. I took it outside to see how it was looking before I added the final touches of the top frame and fabric on the inside. I loved the design with some boards being horizontal and some vertical, but it was still missing something compared to the other boxes. It needed some decorative edging to match the air-conditioner boxes. So back into the shop we went to finish off the look of my scrappy little planter.

I had a few spare boards from the boxes that I made at Christmas. I had planed them down to 1/4″ boards, so they were nice and thin and could be added to the box without creating too much bulk. Remember, it is a small box, so I didn’t want it to be more wood than growing space. I took the spare Christmas box panels and ripped them down to 1″ strips on the band-saw. From there, a little wood glue and finishing nails, and ta-da! The scrappy little box shined up and looked pretty. Biggest surprise is it sat flat and didn’t have any wobble!

Final addition was some plants and a few cross-boards to try to keep the herbs from growing and inter-twining themselves. I love my scrappy little herb box. It was a tough wrestling match, but in the end, it was a win-win.

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