How to make a split cedar planter box

It started out to be just one of our routine walks one day, along the beach close to home,
when we came upon an interesting piece of driftwood. The piece was

already splitting, so we could tell it was cedar. This particular piece of
wood had some interesting knots and curves in the grain, and I could seeprojects-april-010
the wheels turning in Bruce’s head. Hey!, he said…that would make
an awesome planter box! It never fails to amaze me, the things he
can see in a chunk of wood?!  So of course, we had to haul it home
and find a place to put it.

Splitting Cedar with Froe
Splitting Cedar with Froe

Over a period of a few days,  I was amazed at the art piece that transpired. Bruce used a special tool called a froe to split the long lengths, tapping the end and gently pulling
the sharp edge towards the end of the log. Each piece he split was approximately the same size, but not perfect.

It’s interesting to watch cedar as it splits, as it follows
its own path, sometimes erratically.

He then laid each piece down in order, to keep
the shape of the knots and curves so that they would fit together later.

The pieces were all left to dry for a day or so, then were sanded or ground down on the rough edges. The back, sides and bottom of the box were made from old boards we found on the beach that had been bleached and preserved by the sun and surf. After constructing the frame of the box, the sanded and ground strips were placed on their sides to form a basket-like front. The knots in the cedar created a very
interesting bulge in the design!

I lined the inside of the box with light weight landscape cloth by stapling it in, then filled it up with potting soil ready to plant my bulbs! The most expensive part was the soil?

In full bloom!
In full bloom!

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