– Ben Martens

Plant Bench

Elijah is getting interested in how things grow and we’ve talked about having a garden, so this year we decided to go for it. I thought it would be fun to start plants from seeds inside. We have a great bay window in the front room which would be a perfect spot, but we just had a cardboard box sitting there with one plant on it. It was time for an upgrade.

I bought some mahogany mostly because I had never worked with it before (aside from a cutting board project) and it seemed like a good excuse to try it out. I learned that mahogany creates incredibly fine dust! EVERYWHERE. But overall it wasn’t nice to work with.

My original plan involved using floating tenons for the first time. You cut a mortise into each board and then make a tenon by itself and glue it into each side. It’s kind of like an elongated dowel. But alas, I could never get my test pieces to go very well and I eventually tabled the idea for later use. Since I had already cut the pieces to length for that joinery method, the only real solution was pocket holes. I felt totally ridiculous using pocket holes on a nice hardwood, but oh well, it worked and it was easy.

Once I made that change, everything went together quickly. I used a teak oil finish which was new for me. It wiped on easily and I put a few coats on in hopes of protecting it just a little from spilled water and the sun. I still think that in a few years we’re going have obvious fade marks where the plants sit.

The end result looks nice and aside from my joinery skills fail, I’m happy with how it turned out. It’s plenty big enough to hold lots of plants and it’s short enough that ELijah can easily see it and help out with the watering.