In this article, we will create a window box that acts as a wooden surround that will enclose a standard-sized plastic trough. The aim is to have a wooden box that surrounds the plastic that can be adapted to your own personal preference.
In a previous article, I have discussed how to create a wooden container using tongue and groove cladding, but in this case, the tongue and groove cladding used will have a more detailed profile to give it more style. You have several choices as to what cladding you can use, but no matter what you go for in this project, make sure the cladding is thicker than the one supplied for applying to facings.
WHY WOULD YOU MAKE A SURROUND FOR YOUR WINDOWBOX
You may ask why would you want to use a plastic trough inside a wooden box. The reason is two-fold; one is that the interior of the box will not be in direct contact with the planting mixture and therefore less likely to rot away. The other reason is that if you want to change the display, all you need to do is remove the trough and place another pre-prepared in its place. You can easily change your design depending on the seasons.
The best size to use for window boxes is a plastic trough of 60cm long, as this is a convenient size for a small window box so that it is not too long to fix up and is not too heavy to support, The box that is described here has sturdy supports at the end panels and this is the ideal location for supporting the window box when you attach it to a wall bracket.
As ever with any wooden window boxes, you must use a preservative to protect the wood and it must be painted or varnished to get many years of service from it. In this way, the wood is protected from the elements as much as possible. You have so many potential designs that can be used and it is easy to make the colour scheme and style to your own preference. You can really push the boat out.
MAKING YOUR WOODEN WINDOW BOX
The cladding you buy must be thick, heavy and of good quality. The design discussed here will be for a trough that is 60cm long and 15cm wide and 15cm deep. For this, it is best to use 7.5cm wide cladding that is as long as you need it to be.
First, you need to make the end panels by measuring and marking the pieces of cladding that will be used for this task.
For a snug fit make the width of the end panels 17cm wide. Saw the end panels to length and sand the cut edges for a smoother finish. Each end panel will consist of two pieces of cladding, whereas said earlier each cladding need to be 7.5cm wide. You need 4 cuts of 17cm long to make the 2 end panels.
USE A TENON SAW TO DO ALL YOUR CUTTING WITH
Using a tenon saw, cut off the thinnest part of the tongue on the piece of cladding to form the top of each end panel.
For the two cladding pieces, squeeze some wood glue in the grove of the top piece and push the two pieces together. Do this for both ends.
Cut a piece of batten (a piece of wood that is 2.5cm wide and 5.0cm deep should be sufficient) to size so it fits the top and sides of the end panels.
Use panel pins and attach to the bottom edge of the end panel to a batten attached and cut to the same width. You can use glue to make a firmer bond.
Nail and glue battens at each side of the end panel. Make sure you leave a gap at the top that is the same thickness as the batten at the bottom. Wipe off any excess glue using a damp cloth. Both end panels will now be complete.
Cut the long pieces of cladding to length and assemble them in pairs and glue them together to make a side panel. They should measure 63.5cm long and be strongly glued together. All end panels and side panels should now be constructed.
IT IS TIME TO USE GLUE TO ATTACH THE PANELS TO EACH OTHER
You will now need to add adhesive and attached the side panels to the end panels, nailing through into the batten. Use around 3 nails per batten. Make sure the end panels are facing the same direction so that the batten is at the bottom at each end. The result is that you will have a bottomless wooden box that will fit snuggly around the plastic trough.
You do not have to make a solid wooden floor to keep the trough in. Supporting the trough is by the use of roofing battens that will make two base rails that fit between the battens at the base of the box.
The rails must fit snuggly to help them resist bending when the plastic trough is placed on it that is full of plants and compost.
You will need to cut the pieces of the roofing batten to fit at the sides of the box. Make sure it fits inside the box, sawing notches at each end so that the roofing battens fits and rests on the battens at each end.
Push the support roof battens down into the end battens and screw them into place. You can do this or leave them loose so you can easily remove them when cleaning the box. The roof battens should be placed at 25mm from the front of the box and 25mm from the back of the box, so it is firmly held.
Drop the plastic trough inside the window box, so that it rests on the two rails. Make sure the trough has holes drilled at the base to allow any excess moisture to drain out. You have now created a simple but elegant wooden container for your window box.
In this article, we have discussed how to create a stunning but simple wooden box to grace under any window. It is not difficult to do, all you need is some battens, wooden cladding, nails, roofing battens, glue and some basic tools, You should be able to knock one up in a couple of hours for inexperienced DIYers but under an hour for those who are good with their hands. They will add extra dimension and class to your window boxes as you will be able to decorate them to your own preference and style.
If you have any comments or questions on this, please do not hesitate to leave them in the comment box below.
Happy window box making.