Introduction: Curved Railing Planter Adapter

Picture of Curved Railing Planter Adapter

I got some planters to grow a few things on my small balcony. These ones looked suitable because they hang off railings, so they wouldn't take up any of the limited floor space.

I bought a pair. Lo and behold, their design requires a 2x4 type railing. My railing has a smaller, curved profile. These planters would fall off without some sort of adapter.

I wasn't quite sure how to solve this, but figured the first step was to take a reasonably accurate profile of the existing railing.

My place is a rental, so any sort of destructive modification is out of the question. I cannot saw, drill, braze or otherwise modify the railing itself.

Step 1: Use a Contour Guage to Transfer the Railing Profile to a Cardboard Template.

Picture of Use a Contour Guage to Transfer the Railing Profile to a Cardboard Template.

I asked "How do I take a contour off my balcony railing and transfer it to a piece of wood?" in this discussion.

wilgubeast suggested I use a contour guage, so that's what I did. Got a decent one for $4 + tax at Harbor Freight Tools. I got my money's worth out of it on this project and I am sure it will be handy in future.

I transferred the contour to a piece of cardboard and cut out a template for "wings", as suggested by caitlinsdad.

Step 2: Transfer the Curved Railing Profile From Cardboard Template to Two 2x4 "wing" Pieces.

Picture of Transfer the Curved Railing Profile From Cardboard Template to Two 2x4 "wing" Pieces.

One nice thing about using a pair of 2x4s as uprights for the wings is - no need to fiddle with the effect of a saw kerf on the waste that will be cut out to make the wing-type clamp fit the railing.

Once the profile was transferred, I drilled a few holes to make cutting out the waste easier on my jigsaw.

Most of the waste was cut out with a jigsaw. A rasp was used to smooth out and fine tune the voids.

I used a Kreg-type pocket hole jig to make pocket holes for the screws that hold the two pieces of upright 2x4 together.

I changed my mind on where to position the void on the second pair of uprights, so this project is lacking somewhat in symmetry. It does seem fairly sturdy.

Step 3: Screw the Wings Together and Screw the Horizontal 2x4 to the Wings.

Picture of Screw the Wings Together and Screw the Horizontal 2x4 to the Wings.

I used a pocket hole jig to make pocket holes in both ends of the horizontal 2x4, to secure it to the wings.

If you're using a drill/driver as I did to screw the wings together and attach the horizontal 2x4, be sure to use a low torque setting on the drill/driver. Too much torque can shatter your workpieces.

Comments

craftclarity (author)2014-04-29

Ah, the contour gauge. One of a woodworker's best friends. Nice job! Thanks for sharing this and for showing how you designed it!

Mr_Liss (author)craftclarity2014-05-01

Thanks. I like your monitor stand. I have a monitor with a home theater pc attached to the VESA mount on the back of the monitor, so am going to have to figure out something different from your nice stand. Right now I have that monitor+htpc sitting on top of a shoebox on my desk, to get it up to a comfortable viewing height. This looks nasty and I want to recover the surface of the desk underneath the monitor.

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