For Schlumbergera truncata

My second real woodworking project. A plant stand custom built for my Schlumbergera truncata which just exploded after it was replanted last summer. Up till now it has lived on the dining table but started to become much too unwieldy to stay there. The legs are in ash wood and the stretchers and top in birch wood. Finished using wax. It’s not the most durable wood finish but don’t trust my shellac coating skills nor like the color oiled birch takes.

I intentionally tried to find a simple design with as few difficult steps as possible. The stability of the construction was a bit of a gamble but I figured the legs and (single) strechers would be thick enough to carry the load. Most of the pressure will be down and outwards where the stretchers are quite thick. That said there’s more flex than envisioned in the horizontal direction.

I’m happy with the end result even though quite a few mistakes were made during construction. But that’s how you learn I suppose. The imperfections are not seen from afar. There’s some tear out in one of the legs and the precision of the cuts joining the stretchers could have been better. Didn’t make any mistakes with the top piece which is laminated from two boards and then sawn and rasped round. Glue ups still makes me nervous but it went pretty fine.

Construction Details

I think the general idea can be understood by looking at the pictures below. There are four legs, each with a mortise hole. The legs are supposed to be at a 5° to 6° angle from the vertical plane so all cuts joining with the legs must be at this angle (including the mortise hole). The mortise and tenons are drawbored, i.e. the hole in the tenon is offset by 1.5mm so that when the dowel is hammered in, the two pieces fit together really tight. I was a bit nervous about this step so didn’t put any glue in the joint to be able to adjust if necessary. It went fine…

Parts Before Assembly

Photos of individually finished parts before assembly.

Used Tools

Tools used throughout the project. There are many ways to Rome, this is one.

Published: 2020-01-14
Revised: 2020-01-18