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Ep9 - Plant Display Stand

Dale make a new home for his beloved Bonzais.  This decorative stand can be scaled up or down depending our needs.  Its not a complex build, but does involve many accurate cuts on bot the table saw, but also the bandsaw.

  • Carbatec Benchtop Jointer & Thicknesser to flatten the boards
  • SawStop SST-JSS15-PRO Jobsite Saw for cutting the boards to length
  • Carbatec BS-B200H Benchtop Bandsaw, to rip the timber into thin strips
  • A few Wolfcraft quick action clamps
  • The Kreg KR-KDRV-FLIP Countersink Drill bit & Driver
  • Nobex NBX-OCTO400 Square
  • His trusty Carbatec WB-6030 Workbench
  • and of course, the Carbatec 1HP dust collector to keep the workshop clean.

CLICK HERE to see the products & tools used in this episode

Other consumables that were used were:
  • The exact materials required will depend on your chosen design final dimensions. Perhaps yours will be a smaller bench mount or window sill mounted plant stand? Perhaps yours will be lower but longer? To make one similar to Dale’s, you’ll need :

  • Quality hardwood of your choice approx. 50mm x 20mm x 11 lineal metres for the frame. Dale used Narra, but Silky Oak, Blackwood, Tasmanian Oak or just about any other hardwood available will work.
  • Basic hard or softwood for the slats at 40mm x 8mm x 250mm (you will require up to 50 of these, depending on your final design.) These can be ripped down from larger stock. Dale has used some Western Red Cedar scraps.
  • Flat head screws approx. 38mm in length and very small tacking nails by hand, or a nail gun with short brads could be used to attached the slats. Alternatively, these could be glued down.
  • A few sheets of fine sandpaper
  • Whittles Hard Wax Oil to enhance grain and protect the timber and provides a great, long lasting, non-toxic finish.

    The Process

    While the process itself is not too complex, there are a number of repeat steps involved and everything needs to be square! Preparation and planning is the key to making this a successful project.

    1. The first step is to prepare all of your material for the frame. Using a jointer, clean a face on each piece of your hardwood stock.
    2. Once done, flip the planed edge up against the fence and clean a square edge on all pieces. Once you have these two reference faces, you can move onto the thicknesser.
    3. Using your thicknesser, slowly reduce the thickness of your stock, with the planed face down against the table for reference, until you reach your desired thickness. Remember to pass each piece through at the one height, before you lower your cutters a little more, then pass each piece through again. Doing it this way is both efficient and maintains consistency in the resulting thickness of your boards. We recommend a final thickness of 19-20mm for the frame.
    4. Once done, turn these boards on their edge, will the planed edge facing down on the table. Place them side by side against each other and feed them through the thicknesser in bundles you can handle. Again, remove little each pass, ensuring all boards have been passed through before lowering. Continue until you achieve the desired width for your frame pieces. This should leave you with uniform stock, dressed all round, that you can now cut to the individual lengths required. We recommend between 40 and 50mm as a width for the frame.
    5. These pieces can now be cut to length for the individual frame components. Dale does this on his SawStop Jobsite Pro, using a Mitre Gauge to feed the timber through at an accurate 90 degrees. You will be creating two of every component, as each side of the frame is a mirror image of the opposite.
    6. You can now begin to assemble the frame! For this job, you’ll need a decent square, a rule or tape measure, a clamp or two and a drill. Dale is using a useful little Kreg Drill bit and driver in one unit which makes for quick work of the job. This is where your plan will be required.
    7. Sort your cut lengths into the relevant matched pair and what part of the frame they represent. Using your plan, rule and square for reference, mark where the pieces join and intersect. Start with the pieces that represent the feet of the stand, along with the main (longest) upright.
    8. Use a clamp to hold these two pieces in position, then use your Kreg drill bit to drill a single hole connecting the two.
    9. Flip it over and drive a single screw home through this hole.
    10. Remove your clamp and using your square, ensure the pieces are accurately at right angles to each other. As you only have a single screw installed, you can adjust this slightly if required. Once you are confident in the position, go ahead and drill a second hole, offset from the first, then drive a second screw in to lock this piece in place.
    11. Proceed to add your shelves and other uprights, one by one, using your rule, clamp, square, drill and driver bit. Ensure everything is square as you go. Remember, you are making two of these “frames” mirrored, so doing the same step for each side as you go, can ensure everything is aligned correctly!
    12. Ultimately, you need to end up with two complete and identical frames, ready to have slats installed. Stand them up side by side and ensure all looks right.
    13. The slats can be ripped down from larger stock if required, as sourcing material of this dimension can be more difficult, though cedar blind manufacturers are an option. If like Dale however, you are using offcuts from other projects, ripping might be you best solution. This can be done on a table saw, or as Dale in this instance, on a bandsaw.
    14. Set your fence to the desired width, or a smidge thicker if you want to allow for thicknessing or sanding the resulting cuts. We recommend a minimum thickness of 5mm for the slats. Rip enough material to provide perhaps 50 slats measuring 250 x 40 x 6mm. Using a stop on your mitre gauge, cut these pieces down to a consistent 250mm length, or to the desired width of the plant stand, as per your plan.
    15. With the slats prepared, you can now assemble the plant stand. We recommend making a “spacer” out of some offcut material. This piece of timber can be used to place between your slats as you install them, for consistent results. Start by standing your two frames up on your bench, 250mm apart (or as per your desired width). Clamping these upright will help you get started.
    16. Place your first slat against the main upright and hammer two pin nails into through the slat into the frame beneath, on each side. The entire structure will become more rigid as you add more slats. Place your spacer down and align the next slat against it, then hammer that one into place. Repeat, many, many times! Work your way up from the bottom, shelf by shelf, although a shelf toward the top can be done prior to aid in stabilising the frame. Note however this can make access a little tight when working under it.
    17. At the end of this cathartic and meditative process, you will have a complete plant stand! All that is required is a sand all over and the application of a finish to protect the timber from the water and sun.
    18. Load up with your Bonsai, Cacti and Succulents or Indoor Plants! Congratulations on the bespoke piece you just made – enjoy!

    CLICK HERE to watch this episode on 7plus Streaming Service