Actually to make this pallet wood planter for the garden I not only use pallet wood, but I also use a pine slat that I had in the workshop. I only wanted to make this planter to test to see how the pallet wood looks like once planed with our I didn’t want to get too complicated thinking of a “curious” way to join the boards, so I decided to resort to this system of square strip and grooves, which is very easy to do if we have a milling table.
How to prepare pallet wood
First we see how I cut and prepare the pallet boards, and then how I make a nice wooden planter box and how I put the flower pot in the inside.
The best thing is that in some projects with pallets like this one, there is no need to disassemble the wooden boards. It is enough to cut with the jigsaw the pieces that we may need.
As you can see in the photos, the planed pallet wood looks quite good, it even looks like new wood.
The biggest problem is that they may have nails or pieces of nails that are not easy to see, so if we want to brush them we run the risk of damaging the planer blades. That is why I recommend that you run a small metal detector through the boards before planing them. I’ve had this detector you see in the photo for a few years now and I’ve never used it except to play with it, but now it looks like I’ll always have it on hand.
Another problem is that the boards may be curved, so they are not easy to planer, and because of the curvature they can sometimes offer a lot of resistance when passing between the planer and the guide. Out of about twenty-five pieces of board that I planed I only had this problem with a couple that were a little crooked. I am referring here to when I brush the faces of the pieces, with these vertically. In the video I talk about the problem of planing the edges, with the wood horizontal in the thicknesser and without a guard.
How to make a flower pot with pallet wood:
As we already saw in this post and in the video of the first part of this woodworking project on how to make a planter with pallet wood, for the sides we need to thickness the pieces of pallet board until the thickness is equal to the groove we milled in the legs.
The bottom and top frame boards do not have to fit into any groove, so we do not need to adjust the thickness too much and we can be satisfied with a couple of planing on each side. Even so, we must make sure that these boards are all of the same thickness, especially those of the upper frame, or they will not be flush with each other when making the miter cuts. To get the boards to fit I had to make many passes with the homemade thicknesser. The next time I make a planter like this I think I will not get so complicated, and instead of a 1cm straight milling cutter I will use a 12 millimeters one.
For miter cuts we can use a miter saw or our homemade miter gauge that we use with the disk saw. For the upper frame of the wooden planter we need to cut four equal pieces. We measure one and with this we adjust a stop as shown in the video to cut the four exactly the same length.
In the comments of the Youtube video you tell me that you like to see that mistakes are made and can be fixed. When making this wooden planter, I painted separately with a protective stain the box and the top frame of the planter thinking that even with the stain the glue would hold well (for outdoor projects you have to use outdoor, water resistant glue. If it doesn’t say so on the bottle, it is probably only for indoor use). The next day I realized that the glue did not dry and when it finally dried it did not stick to the wood. Surely there are other products for gluing already stained wood, but what I have on hand in the workshop is bicomponent epoxy resin, so I mixed some and glued the frame on top.
This is a project with no nails and no screws!
Regarding the plastic pot that does not catch through the top mouth of this wooden planter…. well, this was part of the design. I wanted the mouth of the pot to be well hidden under the upper frame, so the bottom boards are loose and have a lot of space between them, so I could put the pot underneath and then easily put the bottom slats back on.
You can see that the idea of this project with pallets in which we planed the boards, is to achieve that in the end the pallet wood is not differentiated from any new wood.
I don’t know how long the wood would last with several coats of preservative if I put soil inside instead of a plastic pot, but I don’t like the idea of putting the soil in contact with chemicals, because that soil might end up in the composter someday. This way I can also remove the pot and re-treat the wood with more protective stain. Perhaps I could line the inside with a sturdy plastic, but I think I’m better off with the idea of using a plastic pot. I may have to remove the plant first to be able to remove the pot, but this way I can renew the soil while I’m at it. Speaking of the plant… I got sunburned :_(. I’m waiting to see if the green color comes back. This happens to me for not informing me well if it could withstand direct sunlight and trusting.