Introduction: How to Make a Propagation Staion

About: Hi there everyone! I have a huge passion to design and build things, preferably out of wood. And of course I love to share my projects on both Instructables and my YouTube channel so make sure to follow and su…

If you or someone you know has an interest in propagating plants, this is the perfect little project for you. This simple design utilizes a rectangular frame stabilized by two triangular pieces at the bottom. For my build I utilized rabbet joints at the corners which make for a much stronger joint. But if you do not have the tools to do this method I'm sure that butt joints would work just fine as there is not going to be much stress on the joints.

I personally used walnut wood I had around the shop but you can use just about any wood you can think of. Your local stores should carry a large selection of woods to be used and should already be the correct thickness. Not that that really matters either. You just wouldn't want to go too thin. In my case I designed this to use 1/2" thick wood.

Be sure to check out the free plans for download on my website.

Also be sure to check out the build video here.

So go grab some wood and get to building!


Wood of your choice.

Glass Test Tubes

Titebond 5003 II Premium Wood Glue

Table saw or hand saw to rip the wood to width and length.

Band saw, coping saw or hand saw to cut out the triangle pieces.


Tape measure or ruler.

Forstner Bit Set or One inch hole saw

Power drill

DEWALT Random Orbit Sander

72 PCS 5 Inch 8 Hole Hook and Loop Adhesive Sanding Discs Sandpaper

Shop towels

Marking Knife or razor blade

Crown 377RW Burnisher and Card Scrapers Set (optional)

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 channel.

Step 1: Cut Down Your Lumber.

As I've stated you can use any wood that you would like. For me, I used walnut I had around the shop. It had already been sent through my power planer down to 1/2" thick. So all that was left was to first rip down two strips to 2" wide. Once that was done I used my crosscut sled to cut them to final lengths.

Of course I use a table saw to perform these tasks, but by no means do you need to use these tools. Simple hands saws will do the job, just may take a bit longer.

Step 2: Cut the Rabbet Joints.

For a stronger corner joint I choose to use a rabbet joint. A rabbet joint is just a recess cut across the end or down the edge of a workpiece into which another board is glued. For a simple project like this one I would say this is not entirely necessary. I'm sure butt joints will work just fine as this piece will not receive that much stress. Small nails or screws would also help to strengthen butt joints.

For me, I first lined up a side piece under the top piece. Like a butt joint. I then took my marking knife and made a small mark on the top piece of wood. This method ensures a perfect referential measurement of the thickness of the side piece.

I then took the top piece over to my table saw. I had already inserted just one main blade of my dado stack blades. I use this one as every other tooth on the blade has a flat tooth so that this will leave a nice flat surface on the wood being cut. I set the depth of the cut to roughly half of the thickness of the wood. Doesn't have to be exact.

Then lining up the mark I first made to the edge of the table saw blade I made made the first cut followed by two more in this case to finish the rabbet joint. And of course I repeated this process on the other three corners.

Finally I did a dry test fit to insure that everything was fitting just right.

Step 3: Drill Some Holes.

To start this process I first marked out where the center of the holes would be by following the building plans measurements. I then used a one inch diameter forstner bit on my drill press to drill holes all the way through. Be sure to use a sacrificial piece of wood under your main piece to help prevent tare out on the underside of the wood.

As an option you can use a hole saw in a power drill to complete this task.

And another optional step is to drill countersunk holes into the bottom piece for the tubes to "sit" in. To do this step I took the completed top piece with the holes drilled through and laid it on top of the bottom piece. Making sure that all edges were lined up I took the one inch forstner bit and pressed it firmly through the top piece. This will leave a center mark on the bottom piece for you to then line up the drill bit. Back at the drill press I drilled roughly half way through the wood which left nice little counter sunk holes for the glass tubes to sit in.

Step 4: Assembly Part 1.

Before I glued everything together I spent a little time sanding just the inside faces using 120 and 220 grit sandpaper. It's just easier to do this step first. Then laying everything out I applied wood glue to the rabbet joints followed by putting the side pieces into the rabbet joints on the top and bottom pieces.

After it was clamped up, I used a shop towel to remove as much of the glue squeeze out as possible. Once it was dry I used a card scraper to get right into the inside corners to remove any of the dried glue I didn't get before.

Another option would be to use painters tape applied right up at the edge where the two pieces line up. This way any glue squeeze out can then just be peeled away after the glue has set up just a bit.

Step 5: Make the Supports.

Back to the left over wood I had, I first marked out the triangle shape per my building plans. Then over at my band saw I cut them out.

And of course you do not need a band saw. These can be cut out with a wood hand saw or even a coping saw.

Once they were cut out I used my random orbital sander with 120 grit sandpaper to round off the corners. Just to give it a nicer look.

Step 6: Assembly Part 2.

To finish assembly, I first made sure that all corners were flush from the side pieces meeting up to the bottom piece. Once that was done I clamped on a scrap piece of wood to the bottom to help line up the triangle support. This really isn't necessary as you could just have the stand sitting on the bench and line up the triangle piece that way. I guess I just felt like working on it at this angle.

Applying a bit of wood glue I set the triangle piece in place. I pretty much just eyeballed it's alignment from side to side till it was centered. Then I clamped it in placed till dry. And of course I repeated this on the other side as well.

Step 7: Final Steps.

To complete the project I went over all the edges with 120 and then 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the sharp edges.

And finally I dipped the whole thing in a bath of mineral oil I keep around for cutting boards that I make. Once it was fully covered I wiped off all the excess and let it dry. Of course you don't have to use mineral oil like I did. There are many other options for wood finished so pick the one you would like most.

That's it, all done! Now just fill up the tubes with your plants to be propagated and put them on display!

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