Bonsai Box by TechShop

Introduction: Bonsai Box by TechShop

This step-by-step will show you how to build a bonsai planter box out of a small plank of wood using the standard woodshop tools available at TechShop, cutting a length of wood into four equal and angled sides, then fasten and glue them together with a square base. Taking our woodshop class is highly recommended for projects like this.

You will need:
1) wood
2) 8 screws
3) wood glue (Titebond iii is preferred)

1) Sawstop
2) drill press
3) miter Saw

Small tools, Misc.:
1) countersinking drill bit
2) driver bit
3) square
4) measuring tape
5) pencil

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Project overview:

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Step 1: Step 1 - Cutting the 45's

Adjust the table saw to the 45 degree position.  

Move the fence to an amount larger than you intend to use and run the entire length of the wood.  

Turn off the blade and move the fence into position at the desired number.   It is important to do this in order to get a more accurate cut.  Place the cut end against the fence but so that the angle is away from the fence (shown).  This will keep it from moving under the fence.  Run the entire length of the board.

Step 2: Step 2 - Cutting to Sides

Simply use the miter saw to cut the board into four equal parts.  Don't forget to accommodate for the thickness of the blade.  I usually go for something under the total length of the board and discard the scrap.

Step 3: Step 3 - Mark and Drill the Holes

Next, use a lumber pencil to mark the place where you will put the screws into the four sides.  The holes should be equidistant from the sides and the bottom.  It is important to be consistent here, so I built a quick guide using some scrap wood.  A manila folder and a hobby knife work well for this as well.

The holes are also countersunk, which allows the head of the screw to seat lower than if not.  This is an aesthetic choice.  Pre-drilling the holes is more functional, keeping the pine from splitting.  Using a drill press also keeps the pilot holes straight.

Step 4: Step 4 - Gluing and Screwing

This is probably the most challenging step and may actually require a few attempts before success.

Step 3.5 (not shown)

A single piece of scrap wood was cut into a square to use as a base for this.  I used two of them to keep the box square while the glue set.  I use titebond iii because of it water-proof capabilities and strength.  It was only necessary to glue the walls, not the base since I was using screws.

Keeping the four faces together and equal requires patience and vices.  Keeping the vices tight while screwing each face in keeps them from moving as the screw puts pressure on them.  Using four vices also allows you to tighten and loosen each as the wood flexes.

Let sit for 24 hours.

Step 5: Finish

You should be ready to finish your box.  I used the laser cutter (not described in this instructable) to etch this one done in plywood bamboo.  Looks nice, no?

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