Introduction: Beautiful Wood Plant Stand
So my wife's birthday just passed recently. And to say that she is a plant lover is a big understatement! So, I figured a nice plant stand for one of her pots would make a perfect gift.
I sat down months ago and whipped up this simple design on fusion 360. And if you are interested you can download the template for free on my website - ltdwoodworks.com under the free plans section.
Just download this and print out four copies. This is so you can cut four templates to glue to the wood.
Now it’s time to pick the wood you would like to use. It’s totally up
to you on how you would like the stand to look. Dark wood, light wood, it’s all up to you!
For me, my favorite is walnut, so that’s what I went with. I would say the thickness of the wood doesn’t really matter just as long as it’s not too thin. You will also need to determine what size pot you will be using so you know how long to make the stretchers in the middle of the stand. For mine, the pot had a diameter of 8″, so I made the stretchers 8.5″ plus an 1/8″ just to have a little wiggle room. I used some already dimension-ed lumber that was 3/4″ thick by 8″ wide by 10′. I cut 12″ off the 10′ length and this was all that I needed.
Table saw - optional
If no table saw a wood hand saw will work
Band saw - optional
If no band saw a coping saw will work
The above links are affiliate links for some of the items I use. This
means if you purchase anything through these links I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Just a small way to support my woodworking.
Step 1: Lets Start Cutting.
I started by cutting the stretchers. Setting my table saw to a one inch
cut, I cut two pieces off. I then taped them together and marked out where I needed to cut the half lap joints. For now, I just eye balled the center off these pieces as I knew I would be trimming them to length later.
Once I had them marked out and still taped together, I set my table saw
blade to the correct height. But be sure to leave room to sneak up on the fit. I started by making two cuts just inside the lines. I then made multiple cuts to remove the wood in between these lines. Be sure not to cut too wide as this will make for a loose joint. Always try to sneak up on your cuts. Foreshadowing here.
Temporally separating the pieces, I would do a test fit and them tape
them back together to trim just a bit more. Repeat this process till you get a perfect fit. Once you have the correct width, check the height of your cut as well. In my case, I had to repeat the cuts by raising the blade just a smidge.
A step not shown in the video or pictures here is I took a chisel to the
bottom of the half lap joint to smooth out the saw blade marks.
The foreshadowing I mentioned just a bit ago... ya, I trimmed just a bit
too much on the width. Not the end of the world but try not to repeat my mistake. I'll tell you how I fixed this in a bit.
Now it's time to trim these stretchers to their final length. I marked
out from the center on both ends and made the cuts on my table saw using my cross cut sled.
Step 2: Apply the Template for the Vertical Supports.
To work on the vertical supports, you will need the templates you downloaded and cut out from before. First put down some painters tape on the wood. This little trick will make it a lot easier to remove the templates later.
I sprayed some adhesive on top of the tape and then adhered the templates down on the wood making sure the inner side with the dado was flush with the edge of the board. Now to cut them out. I used my band saw which made quick work of this. One important thing to note. I didn't cut to the line on the inner side. I left this side flat temporarily for the next step.
Step 3: Cut Out the Dados
And the next step is to cut out the dado to accept the stretchers. I left this side flat so that it has a stable surface to sit flush on the table saw while cutting. After setting the table saw blade to the correct height, I cut out the wood similar to the process I did cutting out the half lap joints for the stretchers. Start just inside each line and then remove the rest. Do test fits, remove more and repeat till it fits just right. This time I made all four fit perfectly.
An optional way to do this would be to use a wood hand saw along with some wood chisels. With the work piece clamped facing up, make multiple downward cuts inside the lines with a hand saw. Then lay the piece flat on a work surface and chisel out the excess wood working your way to the lines. This may take a while but it will work.
Step 4: Vertical Supports Continued.
Now that all of the dados are cut, I went back to the band saw and cut to the lines of the template to remove the rest of the wood.
Since the templates are still on the wood this is a great time to sand down to the template line. For me, I used my spindle sander which made quick work of this.
Remember the tape from earlier? This is where you see how easy it is to remove the templates. Just peel and remove!
Step 5: Pre Sanding
Now that the templates are off this is a good time to do some sanding on
all of the pieces. I used a combination of my orbital sander and some fine grit sanding pads.
Step 6: Assembly.
Let's put it together! Using Titebond 3, I spread some glue in each dados of the vertical pieces and inserted one stretcher in between two vertical supports. Making everything was flush and tight, I clamped them together and set the two pairs aside to dry.
Once they were "dry" for about 30 minutes, I went ahead and glued the two sections together. The nice thing about this design is it doesn't matter which side is up as far as the half lap joint goes. In other words, the stand is reversible.
I re-clamped everything and set to dry overnight.
Step 7: Fix My Mistake.
Now back to the little boo boo I made earlier. If you're not already familiar with this "trick" to fill in gaps, well, here you go. All you have to do is mix some saw dust of the same wood you're working on with a little wood glue. Once mixed, just spread it into the gaps and wipe off any excess. Once it dries, sand all surfaces flush.
This project involves some tight corners, so to get into the spots I used a combination of sanding blocks and card scrapers.
And if you have any tiny gaps still left like the last picture you can repeat the process which I did a couple of times.
Step 8: Sanding.
Getting close now! To get that perfect finish you are going to have to do some sanding. I know, everyone's favorite part. I spent some time with my orbital sander(go easy with this sander), sanding blocks and hand sanding going through the grits up to 220 grit.
Step 9: Aplly the Finish.
Now that the sanding is done, make sure to wipe off all the surfaces. I also used my dust collector to vacuum any remaining dust off. Then using some lifting points, I proceeded to spay on the first layer of spar urethane in a satin finish.
I let the first coat dry over night and then came back to give it a light sanding. I took my time using 800 grit paper on all of the surfaces. Once that was done, I repeated the process of wiping down the wood before applying another coat of finish. And as the one screen shot says, I repeated this process three times to get the perfect finish.