woodturning, project, utility

Paper plant pot maker

It's been a busy few weeks and I've had no time to post here, much less get involved in projects. However, a few weeks ago I did make a present for my Mum. I didn't post about it at the time since I wanted to wait until after I'd given it to her.

I'd never come across the idea of newspaper seedling pots before, but Mum had seen them and the wooden formers used to make them and asked if I could make one for her.

The idea is simple enough, a cylindrical former with a handle on top and a base to press into. You wrap newspaper around the cylinder with a few centremeters hanging over the bottom, then fold over the bottom and smoosh it against the base to hold it in place. Then slide the formed pot off the former and fill with soil, ready to plant a seed. The theory is that you can eventually just drop these in the ground and the paper will biodegrade in place.

I made this one from some beech that came from a tree in the garden of a family home we lived in about 15 years ago.

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(yup, I had to axe a piece off the side of this)

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It has some very nice spalting, and some really nice grain.

Originally I thought about making a small handle that would be the same max diameter as the cylinder, but I figured that in use you might want some force behind the pressing, and perhaps even leave it with a book on top to press the paper for longer, so I went with a beefier top that fits in the hand, and a flat on the top to balance a weight of if needed.

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Just to give it a little design lift I burned 3 lines into the top of the cylinder part, which I later echoed on the base to help it feel like a connected pair of items.

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I finished it with a foodsafe oil, I'm sure it would have been fine with other finishes, but just to be on the safe side I didn't want anything nasty rubbing into the pots etc.

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And here it is finished. I shall have to get hold of some pictures of the seedling pots my mum makes with it to add later...

If you like the idea of one of these but don't have a lathe handy... they sell them on Amazon: Paper Pot Maker