Igor Kromin |   Consultant. Coder. Blogger. Tinkerer. Gamer.

NOTE: This article is 3 years or older so its information may no longer be relevant. Read on at your own discretion! Comments for this article have automatically been locked, refer to the FAQ for more details.
So I've been thinking, "how can I totally geek up my chillies" and it hit me, why not create a planter box model in OpenSCAD, make it parametric so that I can play around with different sizes of the wood palings and then actually go an make it? Well not really, but I did do all that. The real reason was to have an easy-to-move planter box, but given its weight with the soil and plants, it is now going to be more or less a permanent fixture on my balcony.

So here it is, the OpenSCAD model, the rendering and the actual photo of the completed box:
Combined.png

IMG_1623.jpg




I'm actually quite impressed with this myself, the custom boot install pales in comparison to this.

I put the OpenSCAD model on Thingiverse for everyone to use, so get it if you want.

So without further ado, this is how I went about building the thing.

First, the materials, this photo doesn't actually show all of the palings I needed, but it's close enough. I ended up using 1.8m x 100mm x 12mm wet treated palings for the most part, then I used 42x42mm DAR pine for the bracing and legs. I also used some 42x19mm pine pieces to hold the plastic in place, this is not in the model but it's a necessary part. I also used black builders plastic to line and water-proof the inside of the planter box and a grey water disposal pipe for drainage.
IMG_1566.jpg


I started with the feet and then screwed them to the palings.
IMG_1569.jpg

IMG_1570.jpg


A bit of time later, here are two completed sides I've prepared earlier...
IMG_1571.jpg


Next were the side walls.
IMG_1572.jpg

IMG_1574.jpg


Once the side walls were in place, the bracing went in next.
IMG_1575.jpg

IMG_1578.jpg


With the bracing in place I could cut the floor section to size and cut out the bits for the legs.
IMG_1600.jpg


The floor palings and the wall palings were attached differently. On the floor I only used a single screw per paling, on the walls I used two, this is because the walls are vertical and the floor is already resting on the bracing.
IMG_1601.jpg

IMG_1602.jpg


At this point the actual box was completed, but it needed extra touches, like a hole for the drain pipe.
IMG_1605.jpg

IMG_1606.jpg


Then I needed to secure the plastic lining to the box interior.
IMG_1608.jpg

IMG_1610.jpg

IMG_1611.jpg


Once the plastic was secure, I pushed through the drain pipe. This required a hole to be cut through the plastic, so I used a fair amount of silicone to seal it and let it dry for a day.
IMG_1613.jpg


To make sure that the drain pipe didn't get clogged with soil, I used a bit of mesh material to cover it.
IMG_1614.jpg


Then came the fun, yet messy part of taking all my chilli plants and replanting them into the box. I needed an extra three 25L bags of soil to make this happen and a 50L bag of pine chips.
IMG_1621.jpg

IMG_1622.jpg

IMG_1623.jpg


The pine chips are not strictly necessary but since this is on a balcony on a high-rise building and in a wind swept area, I did not want the soil blown all over the place. I used small rocks previously when the plants were in pots, but the weight of rocks would have been way too much for the planter box, so pine chips it was. As a bonus they also help retain moisture, so I don't need to water them as much.

This was a fun project, took a couple of weekends to complete, I'm already thinking of how the next box will be (for my Hops plant). The next box will be smaller and will only have 4 legs, I will probably change how I do drainage to use a PVC pipe instead, due to the weight of the soil.

Now my chillies have all the room for their roots that they need!

-i

Skip down to comments...
Hope you found this post useful...

...so please read on! I love writing articles that provide beneficial information, tips and examples to my readers. All information on my blog is provided free of charge and I encourage you to share it as you wish. There is a small favour I ask in return however - engage in comments below, provide feedback, and if you see mistakes let me know.

If you want to show additional support and help me pay for web hosting and domain name registration, donations, no matter how small, are always welcome!

Use of any information contained in this blog post/article is subject to this disclaimer.
 
comments powered by Disqus
Other posts you may like...