Saturday, January 7, 2012

Just Call Me Scrappy!! (or how to turn a pile of bamboo flooring scraps into rolling plant stands)

Scrappy. That is how I have described myself to more than one person. I meant to allude to the fact I would be a good person to have your back in a fight (even though I have never ever been in a fight) but turns out it means something else entirely.

You see, when we finish with any project we always have a box/pile/bag of scraps. I have a hard time parting with those scraps because I think to myself "I just know I will be able to find a use for that in the future." This reasoning is why we have several boxes/piles/bags of wood, bamboo flooring, tile and/or slate in the workshop. Along with the scraps, there is also Hubs' hope that I don't turn into a hoarder with my "I will be able to use that in the future" talk."

After Thanksgiving, when I was in the basement looking for some wrapping paper, I had a brainstorm. I could turn scraps from our bamboo flooring install (look for a post on that sometime soon) into some plant stands since I was tired of seeing my non-winter-hardy plants looking pitiful and sad just haphazardly arranged in front of our west facing sliders.

First up, hit the internet to figure out what type of wheel would work best. I ended up getting my plate mount ball casters from Rockler. They were about $11 for a set of 4. I went with casters like this because 1) the wheels are rubber so no damage to the brand new floors 2) all 4 wheels will swivel, making it easy to move these around 3) I thought the color of the brass complimented the caramel color of the floor and 4) I couldn't find anything similar for cheaper in my area.

Once they arrived, I headed down to our workshop to play with our power tools. With winter upon us, the table saw and miter saw have been moved from the unheated garage to the warm basement. This is where the "magic" happens."

Step 1: Gather all your tools.  You will need
  • tape measure
  • marker or pencil to mark cut lines
  • straight edge
  • a saw (I used both a table saw and a miter saw)
  • safety glasses
  • screwdriver
  • drill with drill bit to make pilot holes for the screws
  • wood screws (18 per plant stand) - whatever length will go through 1.5 pieces of your flooring (I used 1")
  • Stain to match your flooring/wood
  • 4 plate mount casters
  • extra/scrap flooring 
  • clamps
  • orbital sander
Step 2:  Determine the size of your plant stand and make your cuts for the top
  • I made two of my plant stands square. 
  • To figure out the size, I placed 3 pieces together to get my length. 
  • I then used that to get the length of each piece, cutting them to size. (in my case it was approx 11 3/4"). 
  • Finally, I cut the tongue off 1 piece, the groove off another piece, keeping the center piece intact. 
  • I didn't get all of the tongue and groove off so sanded the edged to smooth them out.  If the opposite edge is clean and smooth, the sanding doesn't have to be perfect since it can point to the inside.

Step 3: Make the cuts for the bottom pieces.

  • You will need 2 cross pieces for the bottom of the plant stand.  These are the pieces that the casters will be screwed into.
  • The length will equal that of the 3 pieces together (again in my case, it was approximately 11 3/4").
  • The width of this piece will depend on the size of the caster plate since the wood should be at least 1/4" wider to cut down in the possibility of splitting.
Step 4: Clamp, drill and screw

  • Line up your pieces for one side, clamping the 3 pieces across and then clamping the whole thing to the table. (the photo above shows what I mean)
  • Mark screw holes for casters and drill pilot holes.  Secure casters with screws.
  • Drill pilot hole for single screw to secure center piece and secure with screw.
  • Repeat on the other side.

    If you don't don't clamp the three top pieces together, you risk having a gap.  How do I know?  I found out the hard way on my first go.  See the arrow, it is pointing to a visible gap between two of the pieces.  Notice how you can't see any gap between the other two pieces.

Step 5:
  • Stain the unfinished edges, if you like. I chose not too.
  • Let dry 24 hours.
You now have custom plant stand that coordinates with your flooring and used up scraps that might otherwise go into the landfill or molder in your basement.        

Cost for 3 plant stands
$ 0.00     Bamboo scraps
   0.00     1" wood screws (leftover from another project)

  33.00     3 sets of plate mounted ball casters
$33.00     TOTAL*

*While this may not be our most cost effective project due to the cost of the casters, I like that these coordinate with our flooring and they use up some of the leftover scraps.

The first stand I made took the longest, about 45 minutes, since I was still working out the process.  The last one I made took me less than 30 minutes from rummaging through the scrap box to putting a plant on it.

If you make some of your own "reclaimed" plant stands, I would love to see them and highlight them in a later post.
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  1. Fabulous little plant stands! I have a shed full of left over scraps from various projects - and every now and again I get a brainwave on how to use them!! Glad I'm not the only hoarder of scraps!! :)

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  2. what a great idea! I love the fact that you used rubber casters too!

  3. Good choice! Rubber wheels are great for your wooden floor since it won't leave marks or scratch in your floor.

  4. These look very high-class...and all from scraps. Wow!

  5. I think your article is very nice. I will recommend it to my friends.

    rubber & Chair casters & Targeted appliance casters


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