A Rather Odd Planter/Seat

As I survey the mess I call home, it becomes clear that as important as a tool is, a place to put it is every bit as important.  Even when a tool is being used, it needs a place.  So I have started to put small racks and shelves all over my yard to allow me to put a tool down, without leaving it a mess.  When a sudden shower ocours, keeping the tool clean and dry is not such a problem.

This is a rather eccentric one, but I think it will do the job nicely.

The shelf can hold a few woodworking and yardworking tools or hose fittings and keep them safe from intermittent weather.  Not really a good place for tools long term, but it reduces my time looking for what I put down somewhere over there.

It has a nice long bench and a small platform by the shelf for setting a mug of coffee.

The young calamondin trees planted at the back of the planter are in unlined soil.  In the front lined section, I have pak choy, choy sum, elephant garlic, and swiss chard planted.

The calamondins will eventually provide a nice fruiting privacy hedge.   The back side of the shelf needs something in the way of an ornament to relive the plainness.  The seat is however quite ideal.


4 comments to A Rather Odd Planter/Seat

  • While browsing through many of your projects, I see you using a lot of cedar. It must be abundant, and maybe inexpensive, where you live … and about where would that be?

    Cedar is hard to find here, about 35 miles NNE of New York City. I use white cedar for boatbuilding and have to travel to a specialized wood merchant and pay specialized lumber prices. 🙂

    So. I’m envious and curious about where cedar is apparently so abundant. Or … is is not abundant and not cheap, but you pay the premium for the rot resistance.

    Enjoying your projects. Good ideas, nicely done!

  • Thanks, Bob!

    Here in Texas, the good cedar is Juniper, Juniperus ashei, Juniperus sabinoides or Juniperus mexicana, depending on who you ask. It is a wonderful wood. It is invasive, propagates itself freely and is hated by everyone as an allergy causing, invasive non-native trash tree.

    As far as it being a non-native, this is one of the places where science has been hijacked and turned into political pseudo-science. It is a native. And eating the juniper berries seems to cure most of my allergies to it. As far as trash trees go, I find that some of the finest wood in existence is labeled as a trash tree. Wing Elm, Cedar, Mesquite, Osage, you name it, some of the most amazing woods in the world grow right here and are considered to be trash.

    Most of the picket fences around here are made of a much lower grade of wood, but on occasion you can get some that was locally harvested. The cedar available at the big box stores around here is usually from lower grade logs of Western Redcedar (Thuja plicata) from British Colombia. Sometimes a better cut or different source sneaks in however. This is a cyprus relative, it too is not a true cedar. It is quite light, but it holds up quite well. If you pick and choose you can get some amazingly nice wood on occasion. I do have some issue with getting it, since the harvest of it is not being managed well in general. At about $2 a dog eared 1/2″ thick 6′ x ~5.5″ board can at times tempt me to abandon my battered ethics. When I see a nicely colored well grained piece, that would be wasted in a picket fence, My wood greed, selfishness and frugality, makes war on my ethic, social consciousness and love for our planet. I will probably burn in hell for making some of those planters.

    http://www.mgsawmill.com/product.htm has 4/4 cedar (Juniper) for $1.85 a board foot, so while it is a bit expensive for someone in as low an income tax bracket as I am in, it is not the most expensive wood by far. And it is weather resistant and stable. The beauty of this wood is exceptional.

    I have already used the method of fixing knot holes you gave in your blog, http://www.bob-easton.com/blog/?p=235 Before that when trying to waterproof a cedar roof, I would try to fill in around the knot with epoxy. Often this did not have the desired results, so thanks for posting your methods. Anyone who wants to see some lovely boat building should check out Bob’s blog.


  • Thanks for the explanation Bob. It’s obvious that I live in the wrong place.

    We’re in a band of hardwood forests here. Our “trash trees” are black locust and all varieties of oak. Further up the coast they have so much Northern cedar that they waste this good boat wood by putting it on the sides of houses. Further down the coast is Virginia white cedar, which is a Juniper like yours.

    It’s the Virgina stuff that I can get from a reasonably close dealer, for the special price of $4.95 a board foot. Their sizing includes the heartwood and a couple of inches of sapwood that I can’t use for boats, making the actual cost about 20% higher.

    I’m now going to go out and look for “trash trees” that produce lightweight, rot resistant, knot free lumber that has heartwood a minimum of 10 inches wide at 18 foot lengths. 🙂

  • Uhhh, one more thing. Before you fix any more knots, make a tapered reamer, like this one:

    It’s on my list of tools to build.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>