If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you’ll know that my husband Dave loves to make things.
Not just any old things, mind you. He’s built and designed our house, and many others for clients, plus he’s made me a funky coffee table with a secret compartment, a shoe seat, a swing for the kids – the list goes on.
He gets incredibly restless when he’s not making something, so when he was getting in my way the other week, I told him to head into the garage and make me something. So he did.
I told Dave I wanted to showcase these on the blog and provide a how to, so he made another one after having just made nine, giving me a rundown of exactly what he did. I think he secretly wants to star on his own youtube channel, where he can do this sort of thing all of the time.
Over to you, Dave.
- Choose the timber you want to work with. I’m using a 200 x 25m Spotted Gum. The beauty about these boxes is that you don’t have to be precise. Just cut two sides at one length and two at another. You can make two long and two short, it doesn’t matter.
- Choose which side of the wood will go on the outside. Here’s your first pointer – you want to pick the good side of the timber to face out. Anything with knots you want to keep on the inside.
- Cut your first piece on either side with a 45 degree mitre.
- Cut your second piece with a 45 degree to one end only. Align one piece of timber with the other and mark with a pencil.
- Cut where marked. Repeat with the other pieces. You want to end up with four pieces of timber looking like this.
- Now you want to nail and glue them together. The easiest way to do this is to clamp the mitres together, so they don’t move when you’re gluing and nailing.
- Align the edges and glue with either an exterior grade PVA or polyurethane glue. If using a polyurethane glue, wet one end with a wet cloth to help the curing process (it is moisture activated) and clamp together. Use a block of wood to help you hold the corners together.
- Tap it around to align your mitres.
- Drill holes in top and bottom. The key is to not drill the full length of the nail. Just do 80% of the depth. I’m using a galvanized bullet head 50 x 2.8mm. Drill two more holes, top and bottom, to the other side of the mitred joint making sure you offset them a little. Here’s another pointer – when you’re drilling, don’t try to force it in. Pull the drill bit out occasionally to clear the drill bit.
- Repeat the process to every corner.
- Use a nail punch to punch the nails just below the surface. This helps hold the joint.
- The next stage is filling up the holes. Get some sawdust and mix a little PVA glue with it to make a paste. Get your paste and put it into the holes. Try to take off as much excess as you can. You can also use it to fill any cracks you might have. Let it dry and give the outside a good sand taking off any sharp edges as you go.
- Get some chicken wire – I bought mine at Bunnings – and lay it over the box. Cut around the outside leaving 20 mil around the box.
- Use the staple gun or handheld stapler to attach the wire to the inside of the box about 10 mm up. Cut around the edges, folding all sharp edges in.
- Paint the inside of the box with a bitumen-based paint to seal the inside from moisture. Apply a decking oil to the outside to finish.
- Line the bottom with sphagnum moss to provide a base for the plants and a water retainer. Fill with a potting mix soil and choose your plants. The girls chose some snapdragons and pansies and I chose some herbs.
There you go, job done.
So, what do you think? Do you think you’ll make a few? If you have any questions for Dave, please note them in the comments. He’s busy making me a desk because I’m in the process of setting up a Jamberry business, but he always has time to chat.