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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Planter Bench From Metal Bed Frame

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Remember my plans to make a planter bench out of an old metal bed frame?
Well, here it is:
IMG_0842
It’s part of my new front garden bed. That’s my ice cream sundae totem just to the left.
Basically, what I did was to cut the footboard in half; but it was a little too deep for what I wanted, so I cut off another 6” or so. I was going to prime it and paint it, but decided I wanted a rusty kind of look. Problem was, I had used corner braces to connect it and they were shiny silver. I sprayed the braces and all the nuts and bolts with black paint and then just kind of lightly went over the rest of the bench, kinda feathering it out from the painted hardware. Turned out ok.
IMG_0848Look at that, a spider has already built a web on it. HA!
  I cut the rails to fit the width of the headboard, Gary welded it back together for me and I used the original brackets to attach it across the front. I cut a piece of the other rail to fit across the back and he welded that to a brace that was already there. I did; however have to cut the side pieces down to match up with that back brace. It was too tall on the sides anyway. This looks much better. 
IMG_0842Front
IMG_0847  Back
I stuck a solar light in there, but I keep forgetting to go out front at night to see if it’s even working.
I cut pieces of deck board to fit between the rails and left spaces to slip some oblong planters in. There was just the right space for the planters and I didn’t have to rip any boards down to make it work. How cool is that?! Again I originally was going to paint these boards, but decided to let them weather naturally. Of course for this year, they are going to be golden instead of gray, but it’ll do.
IMG_0852See how the boards fit nicely into the bed rails?
Finally, I drilled holes into the top of the backboard to put in some plant hangers that I cut and bent out of a 1/4” rod. I have Dahlias planted behind the bench, but they are only about 6” tall at this point. I can hardly wait for the plants to fill in some, but it’s looking pretty decent already.
IMG_0850 The planter hangers I just left to rust.
IMG_0851
I am very pleased at how it turned out.
Stay tuned for the complete reveal of the whole garden bed in an upcoming post.
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ice Cream Sundae Totem

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This is the totem I made for my new garden bed. I used a small green flower vase inverted to serve as the “holder” to slip over the post (ice cream cup stem). I found these great posts at Menards, which are 60” long and are plastic coated metal hollow rods. I only used 30” for this project, so I have the other 1/2 to use for another totem. I cut them off with a chop saw, but a hacksaw would work as well.

IMG_0845

Here’s how the totem stacked up:

On top of the vase, I adhered a yellow dinner plate and yellow salad plate right side up (bowl of ice  cream cup), followed by a sort of pumpkin shaped white canister upside down, that I had used to keep my utensils in on the kitchen counter (scoop of ice cream). Next came a fluted carnival glass plate we received as a wedding gift 35 years ago. I very seldom used it, except to put candy in once or twice. This also was upside down (caramel topping). A clear cut glass bowl, also upside down came next (whipped cream) and it was topped off with a metal cupola, I guess you would call it, from a lantern candle holder that I made into a solar patio lantern. I spray painted the cupola red to simulate a cherry. I finished off my sundae with a tablespoon, which I cut off 1/3 of the bowl, with a chop saw, and glued to the bottom of the whipped topping.

These are the steps I followed:

First, I marked where the pieces needed to go by tracing them with a marker. I then “sanded” these markings off, with a little over each way;

with a dremel, fitted with a diamond tip bit. This made short work of the task of roughening the areas for the glue to adhere to.

Secondly, I cleaned the area to be glued well with alcohol and a rag.

Starting with the plates, I next applied clear silicon adhesive sealant, liberally to one surface and glued them together. I glued all the top pieces, above the vase, the same day. To attach the spoon, I hammered the bowl of the spoon a little flatter, to be close to the same arc as the whipped topping bowl. I then glued it on with the silicon adhesive and propped it against a tall object until it was set. Worked out ok, so far, but we’ll see how it handles the elements. I then waited a day and turned the piece upside down , placing it on a roll of painter’s tape, so the “cherry” was in the hole; therefore, resting mostly level. I then glued the vase, upside down to the bottom of the dinner plate and waited another day before tipping it over and putting it on the post which I had pounded into the ground.  I used Loctite clear silicon adhesive sealant, but I’m sure there are other brands as well. 

So, here is my ice cream sundae in the new garden bed. It is next to the planter bench I made out of an old metal bed frame. More to come on that another time.IMG_0841

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Vegetable Garden Started

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This is my vegetable garden plan for this summer of 2011. Today, I planted the tomato and pepper plants, as well as the zucchini, cucumber and bean seeds. Hopefully, all danger of frost is done for this year. It is after Memorial day, so things should be safe, but it has been a screwy spring. We are at least a month behind with putting in crops and the trees and flowers are behind as well. Tomorrow, maybe I can find time to plant the rest of the plants I started indoors. Usually, I only get mornings to work on my  projects, 'cause I have to help with fieldwork in the afternoon. On a positive note, though, my tomato plants are very dark green, being in the greenhouse for such a long time this spring. As long as they don't suffer too much from transplant shock, I've got a good start on them. 

Here's To A Great Growing Season!
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