3 out of 5Moderate
Steps for Building a Cedar Deck Box Planter
- Cut the 4×4 cedar legs to rough length on the miter saw.
- At the table saw, cut the 4×4 legs down to 2 ¼” x 2 ¼”.
- Create a jig that will allow a taper about 8-9″ from the bottom, taking off about ½” at the widest point. Run the leg through the table saw to cut the taper on one side, then turn the leg a quarter turn and run a second pass to cut the taper on two sides.
- Run the outside of the leg through a router with a 1″roundover bit installed (a router table is recommended for this step).
- Cut the 5/4 stock to rough length on the miter saw, then rip them down on the table saw. The bottom rails will be 5″ wide, while the top rail will be 2 ¾” wide.
- Use a stacked dado blade on the table saw to cut a 3/8″ dado on the rails and a 3/8″ rabbet on each end of the 1×4 pieces that will serve as the panels.
- Use a pocket hole jig to cut pocket holes in the rails.
- Use a spacer on the workbench to recess the rails about ¾” from the edge of the leg, then use pocket screws to attach the top rail to one leg.
- Space the bottom rail by using a panel piece and allowing an additional 1/8″ for expansion, then secure the bottom rail to the leg with pocket screws.
- Slide the panel pieces between the top and bottom rails, then use a spacer to attach the rails to the second leg. Repeat this process around all four sides.
- For the top of the planter, use 5/4″ stock and cut 45º miters in each corner. Secure with wood glue and pocket screws.
- With the top piece upside down, bring the planter base in, center it, and then secure it to the top using pocket screws.
- Build a bottom spacer piece using extra 5/4 stock and attach it to the bottom of the planter at a height that will allow the milk crates to sit flush with the top piece.
- Add the milk crates to the top, fill with top soil, and plant as desired. The cedar doesn’t require any additional finish—it can be left out to weather.