A Plant-Tub (Fig. 614). This short box with tapering sides owes its substantial appearance to the wide band around its top. It is of a good design for a box built for the top of a balustrade post. No dimensions have been shown for this box, because you will want to make it of the right size to fit the post it is to stand upon. Eight inches is deep enough. To get the right taper for the sides, make the bottom edge of each side piece 2 inches shorter than the top edge. Mark out one side, saw it out, and use it as a pattern for marking the ends of the other side pieces. Lap the sides over the end pieces. When the sides and ends have been nailed together, cut a bottom board to fit between. By fastening this bottom board about 1/2 inch above the bottom edges, there will be a good chance for water to drain from the box. Holes may be bored through the bottom, to facilitate drainage. Pieces of broken flower-
Fig. 621. - Corner Hook and Chain for Hanging-Box Shown in Fig. 616
Fig. 622. - How Chains Fasten to a Hook Screwed into Ceiling pot placed over the holes will keep the earth from washing out.
The Plant-Stand shown in Fig. 615 was made 29 inches high, or table height. If the one you build is to stand in front of a window, make it of about the same height as the window-sill. The detail drawing (Fig. 620) shows how the plant-stand is built with a grocery-box as a foundation. The pairs of strips A and B are nailed together to form the legs. Cut strips A 1 1/2 inches wide, strips B 2 inches wide. The tops of the legs are finished off with the blocks C, which are cut of the right size to project about 1/2 inch the sides of the legs; and the top edges of the box are finished with strips cut of the right length to fit between the corner blocks, and of the right width to project 1/2 inch over the box sides. If the box used for the stand is 12 inches wide or narrower, the lower shelf can be a single board, cut the exact width and length to fit in the corners formed by the leg strips. The shelf will brace the lower ends of the legs. Conceal the edge of the box-bottom boards with a narrow strip of wood cut to fit between the corner strips.
The Hanging-Box shown in Fig. 616 is another example of how a grocery box can be used advantageously in the construction of plant boxes. The hanging-box is made by nailing a band of wooden strips around the top edge of a box, even with the top, and another band around the bottom, then fitting strips between the bands, at the box corners. Make the bottom band project about 1/2 inch below the box bottom. This band conceals the edges of the box-bottom boards, and the corner strips cover the edges of the box-side boards. Cut the upper and lower band strips out of boards 5/8-inch thick, making the lower strips 2 1/2 inches wide, and the upper strips 3 inches wide. Cut the corner strips out of boards 3/8-inch thick, making one strip of each pair 3/8 inch narrower than the other, to allow for the lapping edges. Nail the corner strips together, then nail them to the box.
Suspend the Box by chains attached to screw-hooks screwed into the top edge of the box at the corners (Fig. 621), and hooked onto a screw-hook screwed into the porch-ceiling or wherever the box is to hang (Fig. 622). Buy hooks 3 inches in length, and No. 12 Iron jack-chain. The bright iron hooks and chain may be enameled with screen-wire enamel to prevent rusting.
Metal Liners. As a grocery box is loosely made, one used for a hanging-box will leak more or less after each watering. If the position in which the box is to hang
Fig. 624. - Cross-Section of Box Fitted with Metal Liner and Faucet for Drainage makes this objectionable, a galvanized-iron liner like that shown in Fig. 623 should be provided. You can get a liner made at almost any hardware store. The liner should be just a trifle smaller than the box so that it will drop in without forcing, and the upper edge should be bent over, as shown, to form a projecting rim all around that will rest upon the top edge of the box (Fig. 624).
When a box is provided with a metal liner, care must be taken not to pour too much water upon the soil at one time, else the
Surplus Water Will Become Stagnant in the bottom of the box, and probably result in loss of the plants. The nursery man will tell you that the proper way to do is to pour on just enough water so the top soil will be damp, not puddly.
A Satisfactory Drain, for taking care of the surplus water in the bottom of a metal-lined flower-box, can be provided as shown in Fig. 624. Get a 1/4-inch brass air-cock and get a threaded piece of brass tubing to fit it. Cut the tubing of the right length to run through the box bottom, and solder it in a hole cut through the liner. Be careful to get the hole in the box bottom directly under the hole in the liner.
Fig. 625. - Side View of Hanging-Basket Shown in Fig. 617
Before Planting Metal-Lined Boxes, cover the bottom to a depth of 1 inch or so with coarse gravel or small pieces of crushed stone. Surplus water percolating through the stones will be freed of earth particles, and when drawn off through the faucet will be clear. This will prevent stoppage. The Hanging-Basket shown in Fig. 617 was designed for a potted fern. Omit the chain hangers, and screw four base-knobs into the bottom for feet, and you will have an excellent low pedestal box. Lengthen two opposite sides, and you will have a box suitable for a porch-rail or window. If plants are to be placed in the hanging-basket, pedestal box, or window box, without a pot, a moss lining must be provided to keep earth from falling through the spaces between the side sticks. The moss can be procured from a florist if you cannot find it in the woods. By the side view of Fig. 625, and the top view of Fig. 626, you will see that the sides of the hanging-basket are built log-cabin fashion. Figure 627 shows a pattern for the bottom, which, as you will see, is hexagonal-shaped. Cut the piece out of a board 7/8 inch thick. Probably you know how to mark out an inscribed hexagon by describing a circle, then laying off the radius dimension six times upon the cir-
Fig. 626. - Top View of Hanging-Basket Shown in Fig. 617 cumference, and connecting the points with straight lines. Figure 627 shows the method. When you have marked out the piece, saw it out a trifle outside of the lines, and finish up the edges with a plane.
At each corner of the bottom piece, bore a hole through which to run the wire connecting rods (Figs. 627 and 630). Make the holes 3/16 inch or 1/4 inch in diameter, and locate them exactly where shown.
The side sticks, of which you will need thirty-five, should be of the dimensions given in Fig. 628. If you can get several strips of a square moulding, you will only have to saw them up into pieces of the right length, smooth up the ends and edges, and bore holes for the connecting rods. Though of slightly different proportions than those given, parting-strips, used for window-frames, will serve the purpose nicely. You can get them at any planing-mill. If you make a number of these boxes, it will pay you to buy these stock strips, or have strips ripped up and surfaced. With the strips carefully marked out upon a board, there is no trick to ripping out enough for one or two boxes. It is best to rip long strips, then cut these into short lengths.
The positions for the holes are indicated in Fig. 628. Upon the care with which these holes, and the holes near the corners of the bottom board, are bored, depends the nicety with which the box fits together. Make a marker out of a strip of cardboard, and use this for locating each pair of holes. In boring the holes, be careful to bore them straight.
Cut the six corner connecting rods out of No. 8 galvanized wire, of the length shown in Fig. 629. Bend one end of each rod into an eye. Slip a rod through each of the corner holes in the bottom board, then slip the side sticks over the wires, piling them log-cabin fashion. When six sticks have been stacked up on each of the six sides, bend over the upper end of each rod into an eye, thus binding all sticks close together. Attach chain hangers to four of the six rod ends. Number 12 iron jack-chain is the right kind to buy.