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DIY Cedar Ladder Planter

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DIY Cedar Ladder Planter

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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 120 Projects

Show off your green thumb and craftsmanship at the same time with this tiered garden planter. The space-saving tiered design keeps vegetables, flowers, herbs or almost anything green at arm's length. The warm glow of cedar, which is naturally weather-resistant, adds a touch of class to your home.

Below are the TOOLS + MATERIALS you'll need:

DIY Cedar Ladder Planter_02 

Build a DIY Cedar Ladder Planter

  1. DIY Cedar Ladder Planter_03

    Use the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Cordless Lithium-Ion 5-1/2 in. Circular Saw to cut the following pieces from the 1 x 6 cedar stock:

    • (12) pieces, 24″ long for the planter box fronts, backs and bottoms
    • (8) pieces, 7″ long for the ends of the boxes

    Cut the following pieces from the 2 x 4 cedar stock:

    • (2) pieces, 60" long for the legs
    • (1) piece, 25-1/2" long for the leg brace


  2. DIY Cedar Ladder Planter_04

     Use the 20V MAX* Circular Saw to cut a 30-degree angle on one end of both 2 x 4 leg pieces.

    Mark the angle by measuring down from one corner of the leg 1-3/4" and make a mark. Draw a line from the mark to the opposite corner. Cut along the line.

  3. DIY Cedar Ladder Planter_05

    Use the 20V MAX* Circular Saw to cut a sharper (acute) angle on the top ends of the legs.

    Mark the angle by measuring down 4-1/2" from the top corner on the back of the leg and make a mark. Make another mark 3/4" from the opposite corner (measured across the top; this makes the top edge blunt, instead of pointed). Draw a line between the marks, then cut along the line.

    The finished angled should be about 5-1/2" long and will be aligned with the side edge of the top planter box.

    TIP: Use the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Cordless Lithium Jigsaw to cut decorative curves or cutouts in the legs, if desired.

  4. DIY Cedar Ladder Planter_06

    Position two 1 x 6 box end pieces over the ends of a 1 x 6 box front and back piece to form a rectangular frame.

    Use the BLACK+DECKER SMARTECH™ 20V MAX* Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver and a 3/32" drill bit to drill four evenly spaced pilot holes through the end pieces and into each end of the box front and back.

    Fasten the pieces with 1-1/4" screws. Insert one of the 1 x 6 box bottom pieces into the frame, flush with the bottom. Screw through the front and back pieces and into the bottom with five 1-1/4" screws, evenly spaced, 3/8" from the bottom edge on both sides of the box.

    Build three more boxes using the same techniques.

    TIP: Depending on what type of screw you're using, pilot holes should be just slightly smaller than the screw. The idea is to allow the hole to be big enough for the screw to pass through without splitting the wood, but at the same time, small enough so that the threads grip firmly.

  5. DIY Cedar Ladder Planter_07

    Drill eight drainage holes through the bottom of each box using a 1/2" bit, four on each side, evenly spaced.

    Use the BLACK+DECKER 5 in. Random Orbit Sander equipped with 100-grit sandpaper, to round and blunt all the corners and edges on the boxes and legs.

  6. DIY Cedar Ladder Planter_08

    Position the top planter box so its back edge is flush with the angled cut at the top of one of the legs and the leg and box are flush at the top.

    Screw the box onto the leg from the inside of the box with four 1-1/4" screws, spaced in an "X" pattern to maximize holding strength.

    Install the other three boxes using the top box for reference, spaced evenly about 11" apart. The bottom box should be about 4" above the bottom of the leg.

    Flip the assembly over and install the other leg onto the boxes.

  7. DIY Cedar Ladder Planter_09

    Stand up the planter so the leg ends are flush against the ground and supporting wall or fence.

    Fit the 2 x 4 leg brace between the legs at the bottom so the brace is flat on the ground.

    Drill two 3/32" pilot holes, evenly spaced, through the legs, and fasten the brace with two 3" screws on each end.

    TIP: Outdoor stain and other conventional protective coatings are not recommended for greenery or vegetables, but if desired, food-safe mineral oil can be applied. The planter can be screwed to any structure through the top box, or it can be fastened to the ground through the bottom brace, or both.

  8. DIY Cedar Ladder Planter_10

     Add plants and enjoy your new cedar ladder planter.

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