One Board Cedar Planter Box DIY

It might be a gloomy weekend in Ohio, but I’m thinking Spring Time, and we definitely need some new planters around the yard. I think these will look nice on our patio, full of herbs for summer drinks!

For more detailed plans, visit my Instructables post, and please vote in the competition!

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For this project you will need a singled board, I used a 1″x6″ cedar board 6’ long from Menard’s; I picked up three for just under $10 each, each board will make one planter that is 18 inches long. Remember, a 1×6 is actually 3/4″ thick and 5-1/2″ wide. You will also need 24 wood screws. Try and find a coated screw, but any wood or drywall screw will work. I chose a #8 1-1/4” long coated exterior screw, because I already had them from another project.

You’ll need a few tools to build this planter box:

  1. A miter saw or hand saw to cut your pieces to length
  2. A table saw to rip the bottom to width and cut the bevel
  3. A cordless drill to drill and screw the box together
  4. A block plane or sand paper to take off the sharp corners
  5. Pencil, square and tape measure to mark your lines
  6. Two 24″ clamps that span at least 20″

Here’s some recommendations:

Bessey GSCC2.524 2.5-Inch x 24-Inch Economy Clutch Style Bar Clamp
DEWALT DW2711 No.8 Replacement Drill Bit and Countersink
IRWIN Tools Rafter Square, Hi-Contrast Aluminum, 7-Inch
Stanley 12-920 6-1/4-Inch Contractor Grade Block Plane

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First, the straight cuts. Use a tape measure and speed square to mark lengths and cut your pieces one at a time. Be sure to account for the blade width in your cuts. I find it best to make one cut, and use that piece to mark the length of the second.

2 pieces at 9″ long
2 pieces at 17″ long

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Set your table saw blade at 25 degrees, and the fence at 4 inches on the long side of the cut. I use the board to measure the height. Rip both sides of the remaining length (I had about 20 inches leftover.

After you rip the bottom to width, cut two 1.5″ wide pieces off, these will be the handles. Make sure to leave 17″ on the bottom, so your saw cuts should be on the short side of your measurements.

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Now is a good time to dress the edges of the board. Use a block plane or sandpaper to smooth of the edges. I count the number of strokes to keep the chamfer even on all the pieces.

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Set your bar clamps and hold the ends, bottom and sides in place. You may need an extra set of hands to hold everything in place. Using a #8 countersink bit and 1-1/4″ exterior grade screws to hold everything together.

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Pre-drill and screw the handles in place, I set these 1 inch from the top of the planter.

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All that’s left is to fill with dirt and wait til spring! I used a potting mix, some perlite would probably be a good idea too, and fill to 1” below the top. I’m going to try planting herbs in these for the summer. And knocking together three took about 2 hours. Happy Building!

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