Make an A-Frame PlanterComments (0)
Make an A-frame Planter
Ideal for container gardening in a small space, this ladder and platf orm design can fold up and store easily when not in use
By Tim Snyder
Not everyone has room for a backyard garden. This A-frame
planter offers ample space for container gardening in a small (18" ×
55") footprint. The frame supports three shelves that have hardware cloth
decks for easy drainage. When growing season ends, the A-frame folds up so that
the entire unit can store compactly. I made my first version of this project
from pressure-treated 5/4 and 1× pine that I bought from a home center. The
planter I’m building on these pages is made from clear pine, finished with a
solid-color outdoor stain. Cedar and cypress are two other woods to consider
for a project like this, because of their natural resistance to insects and
A folding frame with 3 planting platforms
The planter’s structure resembles a step ladder. Identical leg pairs contain 3 rungs, which are through-mortised for strength and appearance. 3 planting platforms are supported on the rungs, fixed in place by bolts that extend into T-nuts.
Major Construction Steps
1. Rout dadoes in 8 leg pieces (photo below). Then glue leg halves together.
2. Cut legs to length.
3. Cut tenons on rungs, then glue rungs to legs. Hinge leg assemblies together.
4. Assemble shelves, then coat them with exterior finish. Install hardware cloth.
5. Add sides to shelves.
6. Drill holes in frame and shelf sides, then install T-nuts in shelf sides.
7. Protect entire project with exterior finish.
Make shelves designed for drainage
Shelf lengths are shown in the drawing on p. 25. For overall shelf width, subtract 3⁄16" from the distance between legs. Each shelf has a pair of rails connected by a combination of narrow and wide crosspieces. Complete all rail-and-crosspiece assemblies first, and coat them with an outdoor finish. Then install hardware cloth and shelf sides. Once your shelves are complete, you can put them in place on the ladder frame, and drill for bolts and T-nuts.
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