Introduction: Square Meter Vegetable Garden on Wheels
I live in a small house without a garden, but still wanted to grow my own vegetables. I do have a small courtyard, which is partially covered, so I decided to give the popular square meter/foot gardening concept a twist: wheels!
I case of heavy rain I can put my garden in the sheltered area and in case of sunshine I can put it in the middle.
The inside of the planter is one meter by one meter (about 3 feet by 3 feet), the outside is 110 cm by 110 cm. Without the casters it is 28 cm high.
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What could I possibly do with a laser cutter? Oh boy, what couldn't I do? At first I would probably make some enclosures in wood and acrylic (well, boxes basically...) for electronics projects. When that gets old I would move on to some more advanced uses: engraving the anodized aluminium enclosure of one of my next projects, cutting precise mechanical parts (gears a.o.), selectively removing paint from the back of a sheet of glass, ... In summary: a lot of good content for many Instructables!
Step 1: Materials
I used the following materials:
- 3 square Douglas fir beams of 50 mm by 50 mm (each 3 meters long)
- 2 Douglas fir beams of 150 mm by 50 mm (each 3 meters long)
- 4 Douglas fir boards of 200 mm wide and 22 mm thick (you guessed it, each 3 meters long)
- 4 small rotating casters (two with a brake, two without a brake)
- 4 stainless steel bolts, each with a nut and two washers (to attach the casters)
- 8 metal braces (L-brackets), salvaged from Ikea furniture leftovers
- 130 Torx screws (40 mm) and 8 Phillips screws (60 mm) - your mileage may vary
- Waterproof canvas, some nails and duct tape
- 12 kg of coconut coir bricks + water (can be substituted with bags of potting soil, about 180 liters)
I used rough lumber, so the measurements are not exact. You could make you life a little easier by using S4S lumber (surfaced on four sides).
And the following tools:
- Miter saw
- Drill press (optional)
- Cordless hand drill
- Table saw
- Circular saw
- Power sander
- Shop vacuum
- Chisels, hand plane, hand saw and hammer
- Square, pencil, utility knife, measuring tape, sanding paper
- Several drill bits, a 25 mm flat wood bit, a Torx T10 bit, a Phillips bit and a nut driver
- Gloves, safety glasses, dust mask and earmuffs
Step 2: Bottom Frame
The bottom frame is made out of sturdy 150 mm by 50 mm beams. These beams were cut to 110 cm with mitered corners on the miter saw. The joints were glued and screwed together. Instead of using long screws to tighten the insides of the corners, I used L-brackets. These brackets will be on the inside of the bottom of the planter and will not be visible.
I will allow the pictures and annotations to do the rest of the talking.
Step 3: Casters
The casters were mounted on the corners using bolts. I drilled a hole on each corner on my drill press and used a 25 mm flat wood bit to countersink the nut. You could probably use a hand drill for this step as well.
Step 4: Top Frame
The top frame is similar to the bottom frame, but there is a rabbet on the inside to hold the side boards. Its a bit hard to explain, but the pictures should clarify!
The miters were cut on the miter saw and the rabbet on the table saw. I smoothed these pieces with a hand plane and a power sander (80 grit). I finished of the smoothing by hand with 120 grit sandpaper.
The pieces were again joined with glue and screws.
Step 5: Corners
The corners are cut to length on the miter saw, sanded and glued to the top frame.
Step 6: Sides
I cut the boards for the sides and bottom to length outside using a circular saw. the four side boards were mitered on the table saw and screwed into the top frame and corners using a lot of screws.
Step 7: Joining Top and Bottom
The sides/corners/top assembly and the bottom frame were joined using two 60 mm screws in each corner, from the bottom up (into the corner pieces).
Step 8: Floor
The five 1 m floor boards were screwed into the bottom frame.
Step 9: Water Proofing
I attached waterproof canvas by putting nails along the top edge into the inside of the top frame. I would advice using staples if you have a staple gun available. I also hit my finger in this step, awtsj...
Step 10: Filling
I filled the planter with 12 kg of coconut soil and added a dash of water. I love this stuff. You could also use bags of potting soil (180 liters).
Step 11: Planting
I planted some tomatoes for now. And some bamboo, because, euhm... yeah.
Step 12: Fertilising
Finally I added a dash of liquid fertilizer to some water and watered the plants.
Third Prize in the
First Prize in the
Teach It! Contest Sponsored by Dremel
Participated in the
Epilog Challenge VI