Jiajia makes a 10-sided willow planter pt. 2

Where we left off: We drew a full scale model of the planter and calculated the angles at which the 10 pieces will fit together (math!). We also milled the wood so that we would have smooth planks to cut the pieces out of. 

Next! We take the planks and use a table saw to rip them (cut along the grain) to the width the planter pieces will be. 

My first time using a table saw. Look at how my pinky finger's trying to separate from the rest of my hand.

My first time using a table saw. Look at how my pinky finger's trying to separate from the rest of my hand.

Next up we rip the angles (which we calculated earlier) into the wooden planks, by tilting the saw head on the table saw to the desired angle. 

True story - the first time I heard the words "table" and "saw" together I thought it was a classy saw you could use at the table, rather than a table with a rotating saw in the middle of it. I can't believe I'm allowed in a wood shop either...

Now we have a bunch of planks cut to the right width and angle. 

Almost there!

Almost there!

Time for a test to see if the pieces will actually fit together. We take one plank and cut it into ten small pieces and roll it up! 

Success!

Success!

Since everything's look good, we go ahead and cut the pieces to length with the table saw. Then we cut a dado, or groove, into each of the ten planter sides. The planter base will rest in the dado.

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Time to make the base! We make a template of the planter base, taking into consideration the depth of the dado. Then we trace it onto a piece of plywood, which then gets cut out with a bandsaw. 

What a nice decagon (thanks geometry class!). 

What a nice decagon (thanks geometry class!). 

Now that we have all the pieces, we can finally begin putting it all together. First we tape the outer surface of the planter sides together, so that all the sides are attached to each other in a line. Then we dampen the inner surface with a sponge. Wood has a tendency to become a bit rougher after it gets wet for the first time, because the grain raises with moisture. So, we want to prevent it from getting rough later by dampening it now and then sanding it smooth. 

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After the inner surface has dried, it's time for the roll-up! We put wood glue between the long side of each planter side, insert the base into the dado of the first piece and start to roll the whole thing up! 

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Now we're ready to add a bevel to the top and bottom of the planter, for extra fanciness. We go back to the table saw, set it up to cut the planter at just the right angle, and then guide each side through, rolling the planter as you go. 

Left: Bevelling each planter side on the top & bottom   Right: The planter in all its beveled glory! 

Left: Bevelling each planter side on the top & bottom   Right: The planter in all its beveled glory! 

Time for sanding! We use an orbital sander to sand the outside of the planter and sandpaper on the inside.

This is me using an orbital sander. Everything looks fine right?           WRONG! This is my hand after using the orbital sander

This is me using an orbital sander. Everything looks fine right?           WRONG! This is my hand after using the orbital sander

FINAL STEP! Add a layer of hard wax oil finish.

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And there you have it folks! Proof that even a hamster-pawed, machine-phobic, clumsy novice like myself can, through the careful guidance of Junction Workshop's patient and lovely instructors, create a beautiful 10-sided flower planter. 

I'll never get tired of telling people, "I made that."

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