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If you can build a box, you can build this planter. It’s much sturdier than most commercial versions, so it should last for many years. It’s also the perfect opportunity for you to try your hand at shingling.

The opening accommodates a 30″ drop-in plastic window-box planter. They’re available at any garden store in several lengths. You could easily alter the design to fit a different-size box, or to accommodate individual pots. A square version of this planter would also look great.

All the materials you need lie waiting at a full-service lumberyard. You don’t have to be choosy about the CDX exterior-grade plywood, but it pays to look through the cedar stock for straight, knot-free boards. If you invest in a bundle of top-grade red cedar shingles (about $45), you’ll easily have enough to cover two planters. Lower grade bundles cost half as much, but have lots of knotty pieces that you won’t use. Our total cost, including the plastic planter and top-grade shingles, was about $95.

We cleaned up the 2×6 stock and 5/4 decking with a jointer and planer and cut all the pieces to size on a tablesaw. We used a bandsaw to cut the wide bevels on the top pieces, and a biscuit cutter and biscuits to reinforce the top’s miter joints. However, you can make a simpler version of this planter without having a shop full of tools. Except for the wide bevels, all of the cuts can be made with a circular saw and a 10″ miter saw. Just make the top out of thinner stock and leave it flat (substitute 7/8″ thick cedar siding, the stuff with one rough and one smooth side, for the top and the legs). You don’t have to use biscuits in the miters. Keep the pieces aligned by pin-nailing the corners and let the weatherproof glue hold the joint. A drill, hammer and clamps complete the gotta-have tool list.

How to Build It

1. Cut plywood box pieces to size.

2….

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