[Intro to Fab] WEEK 02 : Making 5 Wooden plant pots

Making 5 (or more) plant pots 

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Even though I have never lived the house with garden in Korea, always my father loves to grow plants and decorate the balcony with a variety of flowers and plants. As I said before in my blog, my room is a little bit dreary. So I hope to decorate near my windows.

My consideration

  • 5 or more
  • adjust heights of pots
  • easy-growing plants – I bought air plants(Tillandsia)
  • hanging or stacking

Idea Sketches

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Even though the assignment for this week is to make 5 same objects, I want to adjust some heights to stack with magnetics.

Field Trip & Materials

The Home depot… I went to 3times to look at and buy materials that I wanted. (I have to go there one more time.) I really liked the place, I can feel and touch everything. And I also figured out some nice mechanic structures. I was really into the brass ball valve gas lever!!

Anyway, I bought some piece of wood with 1 in depth. I marked by each 3.5in to cut a square 3.5in on a side.

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Then, I tried to make a hole using a drill press with a hole saw. Shop staffs and 2nd-year students helped me setting up the hole saw(57mm in diameter). It was really scary because of loud noise at first, but I got used to doing it.

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After cutting the holes, I used different sandpapers (coarse grit-> fine grit)  inside of the holes by hand. Then I also used a sanding machine to make the each surface evenly.

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Before I bought magnetics, I read this article from K&Jmagnetics(What if I have a different thickness of wood?). It helped me a lot!

Testing magnetics & wood

However, I have a problem with making a hole put magnetics at each corner of the pieces. I have to drill only 3/4 in. I tested using standard drill bits. It made cracks and the messy edges.

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I think I have to buy step drill bits or counter sink bits, and will try again.

Thankfully, Ben let me know to a Forstner bit to make holes, and I bought one. I could make much better holes! See below! 🙂

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Then, I put 3 or 4 small magnets (8mm*3mm)  in the holes and pasted with a super glue.


At the same time, I glued 3 pieces of wood and let them for over 30min with cramps. Actually glueing is quite difficult for me to spread a moderate amount of glue.


I used the sanding machine again to make the surface evenly. But I over-sanded down some parts.



Final Result

I made total five pots. Two pots have magnets inside to adjust their height. The rest of pots are not.


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  1. Good work so far. But I don’t see why you even need the magnets. You could glue the stacked wood together and it would probably be a more stable/rigid planter.

    Also, if you started drilling your magnet holes with a smaller bit and working your way up to the proper large diameter bit, you will get better results. Also, a Forstner bit would leave a nice hole. I wouldn’t use a step down bit for this.

    • hhayley

      Thank you, Ben! I read your comment at The Home Depot in the morning, and could buy a small Forstner bit. I love it, it was great to make decent holes. I made 2 pots with magnets and 3 pots were glued. 🙂

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