Friday, June 27, 2008


The new plant holder steps

New Planter steps.

The past week I have stayed busy working on the planter steps for my side porch.
Didn't take very long to cut out and put together the main frame work. But, it took time painting it and making the trim boards.

First and most important was making the height of each step even with the regular porch steps, Between the regular porch steps and these new planter holder steps is the railing. I also wanted to make the new plant holder steps easily removed when winter arrives. This way it will not only last longer, but won`t be one more thing to keep removing the snow from. It is made in such a way that the frame part under the top shelf slides into a framework on the side of the porch and the framework under the bottom step slides under the bottom step on the porch steps. Under each step on the porch side is a small ledge for that side of the steps to lay on while the riser supports the open side.

Painting wouldn`t have taken so long if it hadn`t been raining ( or thunderstorms) every day except for yesterday. One morning would be the first coat of primer on one side of the boards, later the same day- was painting primer on the other side. Next day was the coat of top paint on one side, that afternoon I was able to turn over the boards to paint the top coat onto the other side of the boards.

Then it was time to nail the steps and frame together. My daughter told me it looked real nice. I told her I still had more left to do before it would be finished. She thought it looked fine just the way it was. But I had more plans in my head that I intended to add before I would feel satisfied with the final looks.
I had some trim board scraps left from other work I had done in the past. So, I first cut the trim to fit along the top two open sides to keep the planters from falling off. Then it was another two days doing the primer paint and the top paint on all sides. When I had this finished I decided to see what it would look like with a little blue color added. I liked it, so the next day I spent painting on the blue paint spots. I tried gluing on the trim, but the paint kept it from holding strong enough. So, I ended up using screws to connect the top trim to the shelf steps. I was going to call it finished, but in order to sit my large frog planter on the bottom step I knew I would have to leave off the top trim. I didn`t like the empty look of the bottom step with the other steps being trimmed. So, I started looking around my shop to see what I could add to the bottom step. I came across some more trim that was flat with a slanted design on it. I cut it to fit the two open sides of the bottom step, painted it and then added the same blue paint on it to match the top trim on the other steps. Once I nailed it onto the sides of the bottom step, I decided this same trim would look good nailed onto the other steps under the top trim. So, back to more measuring, cutting, painting and nailing it on. Now I am satisfied with the way it looks. I spent this morning just Nailing on the last trim. It was raining all the time I was working. Glad no thunderstorm so I could use the band saw. I don`t use the electric machines in my shop in thunderstorms. In fact, I don`t use the computer, telephone or television either in thunderstorms.

Rain or no rain, I just couldn`t wait any longer to see how the new planter holder steps would look once it was in place. So, There I was, in the rain, putting the steps in place. I should have been satisfied and got inside out of the rain. But I wanted to see how it would look once the planters were set on the steps. The two tall planters with the handles were some from a daughter. She had seen them at a garage sale and thought I would like them. When she got home that day, she came over carrying them and asked me if I had any use for them. Of course I can always find a way to use something nice like those 2 planters. Originally I had put them by the wrought iron on the front porch.
Then the frog went on the bottom step. This frog is one an ex-daughter-in-law made for me in a ceramic class. This D-I-L stopped to see me a few months ago when she was up visiting from Texas. She noticed I was still using the frog planter in the house and asked me if that was the one she had made. What a nice smile she had when I told her yes. Nice knowing she still considers me "Mom".
The other pretty flower planter was a gift from one of my sons years ago. All these pretty planters that were always sitting in my home all winter, now outside for others to see.

Now, I am satisfied with the looks and my shop project is finished until I get another crazy idea in my head or something else I would like to have.

One thing to add- My daughter came over last eveing to tell me how much she loved the way the steps looked. Then she asked me how I ever found steps that matched the step heights of my other steps. I told her I just measured to make them fit. Then she said-Oh, you made them. Told her yes. She had thought I had boughten the plain main frame and just painted it and added the trim. Then she surprised me again when she said 'I was amazed you could find them to match the heights of other steps, now I`m even more amazed to find you made it all". Now, coming from your own child, that is a compliment well appreciated.

I just finished catching up.
I never seen anything like the planter step before and I think its a great idea.
You're amazing with tools and you use them so well.

I laughed about your daughter asking where you bought them.
People have stopped working with their hands and can't imagine someone making someything they wouldn;t try making themselves.
I am looking at my kitchen cupboards and thinking with some choice lumber and a router I could redue the, all for about 500 dollars instead of the 5,000 that a company queoted me.
4500 is labor and profit.
We I need the job and am not allergic to profit when i am the donor. lol
That is unbelievably beautiful !

I am also surprised to know that you made it !!
Thanks Walker. I am looking forward to hearing more about your cupboards once you start working on them. I enjoy seeing what others are working on. I was always going to make new doors for my bottom cupboards as they don`t totaly match the top ones. The old bottoms are made from good lumber, while the tops aren`t as old and made with particle board. Walt wanted to buy new bottoms when we got the tops, but I didn`t want to give up the good wooden ones for the newer particle board ones. I had hoped to just buy matching doors for the bottom ones to match the tops, but seems like there was always something else we needed much worse. Maybe one of these days I will try my luck in making new doors and re-staining them to match.
Thanks Jac. It is fun for me as I love making things. My hands are getting worse with the arthritis and I hope I can continue working in the shop for many more years. I sent a picture of the steps off to my only brother and when I hadn`t heard from him, I asked him if he received the picture. His answer was- yes and I have been showing them off to everyone. Now, thats a good brother who notices the hard work I put into everything I do.
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