How to hollow out a log for a planter? First off, why should you have a log as a planter? I have a very particular way I want my garden to look.
For example, I like my planters to be all-natural, which brings upon many upsides. I like plastic as planters. So, now, the big question is how to hollow out a log for a planter?
First off, why should you trust me? I have been growing plants all my life, and I have picked up a lot of useful information that I would like to share with you. I also have very close friends who are farmers and homesteaders.
You can decide to hollow out a log for a planter, a drum, a birdhouse, or anything, really. The question is if you want to hollow it vertically or horizontally.
In this article, I will cover exactly how to hollow out a log vertically and horizontally.
Let’s jump right in.
- Carefully choose a log and measure the dimensions for your planter, always leaving an extra 6-12 inches longer than intended.
- To hollow out the log, use drills and chisels; start by drilling holes, then proceed to chisel out excess wood.
- Finish up by cleaning sawdust with a wet cloth; apply sealers on the interior surfaces of the hole if desired before putting in soil and plants.
There are a few materials that are required before starting. If you don’t have them, you should really have them, not only for this project but in general.
Gloves and glasses
Work gloves and safety glasses are needed. You will be using your hands a lot. Thus it is best to protect it from splinters and cuts. Bark can be very rough. Safety glasses are also necessary because you never want sawdust or debris in your eye.
This is obvious – a log when purchasing or cutting down some log, keep in mind that you want it 6-12 inches longer than you intend it to be.
You don’t want any of the tree stump.
Heavy objects are needed. You will need two heavy objects to steady the log as you hollow it out. I personally use bricks, but you can choose to use whatever you think will fit the task.
You will also need measuring tape. This will ensure that your cutting is even. You can use any measuring device, this doesn’t have to be measuring tape, but this is what I like to use.
A wet cloth and necessary cleaning equipment are also needed to wipe away all the sawdust. This will keep your job as clean as possible, and you should wipe the sawdust when cutting the opening continually.
A drill is a power tool that is needed. Preferably a 1-inch spade drill and a 1/2-inch drill bit. This is needed to drain any excess water in the log. This is required.
Hammer and chisel
You will need a hammer and chisel to take out the center’s remaining wood when finishing up.
Your plant (or succulents), soil, and charcoal(optional). I’m assuming you already have your plants. Perhaps you have seeds, and the charcoal is just nutritious.
Wood sealers and a paintbrush are necessary to keep the wood from decaying fast. This is completely optional and if you do decide to do this, do a thorough job.
There are a couple of methods involving an ax or chainsaw, so if you have one, I would definitely recommend it.
How to Hollow Out a Log For a Planter
Okay, now that you have all your necessary equipment, you may start building your log planter. We are first going to cover how to hollow out a log vertically and then horizontally, both using different methods. Below are going to be video in case you want more visuals.
Vertical Log Planter
This is the first log planter we are going to cover. This is for a skinny planter.
1. Measure your planter
Draw the outer rim on the log with a marker.
Using a measuring tape to trace the depth of the planter. Use a marker to mark the size of a planter on your log.
2. Start drilling
Before you do this, put on your protective gear. Place a drill with a 1-inch spade drill bit at about 1.5 inches inside the planter surface. Drill in intervals until you reach the depth needed.
3. Start chiseling
Remove the excess wood remaining between holes, and then define the depth of your planter. Place the long side of your chisel on the marked line, and on the other side, start using a hammer to strike the chisel.
4. Drill again
This is important, so follow closely. Use the 1.5 spade drill bit to drill holes in the planter’s bottom to allow water to escape. It would help if you kept each hole stays 4 inches apart to spare space between seeds. Now, clean up the sawdust with a wet cloth.
5. Finish up
Apply the wood seal around your log to prevent decay. Now, you can put this anywhere you want.
Horizontal Log Planter
1. Set your objects
As stated in the materials, you will need two heavy objects. So, you will want to set those two objects on opposite sides of the logs to prevent rolling. You can also set the objects under the log.
2. Start measuring and marking
Now, get your measuring tape out and measure the sides of the log. Draw a horizontal line at the planter’s depths using your marker.
3. Start Drilling
Safety first, put on your safety glasses. After that, put the 1-inch spade bit inside your drill. About 1.5 inches inside the planter drawn, place the drill’s tip on top of your log. Then, start drilling in intervals until the flat top side enters the wood.
Continue drilling to the marker lines on the side of your log. Make sure you place some holes at 1.5 inches apart throughout the entire interior of the drawn lines.
4. Start Chiseling
Put your long side of your chisel on the top of the line. Keep chiseling out the excess wood while minding the edges of the marker lines and the sides’ depth—chisel small amounts between the drilled holes.
5. Drill again and clean up
It would be best if you drilled drainage holes at the bottom of your log using your 1.5-inch drill bit. Make sure your drill holes are about 4 inches apart from each other. By now, you probably have a lot of sawdust just lying around.
6. Finish up
This is optional, but this is what I did. Brush the surface of the logs opening with your wood seal. Coat the surface thoroughly. You also want to coat the bottom by flipping the log over.
Finally, you can put your plants in there, and you have yourself a beautiful planter.
What is the easiest way to hollow out wood?
The easiest way to hollow out wood would be by using a drill with the suitable bit for your project. After drilling, you can finish and smooth down internal surfaces using gouges or chisels, depending on the size of the carved-out space.
Can you grow plants in a log?
Yes, it is possible to grow plants in a log. This practice is often referred to as “log gardening,” where the log’s natural decomposition provides an excellent growing medium for certain types of plants, such as ferns, mosses, and mushrooms.
How do you hollow out a log without power tools?
Hollowing out a log without power tools requires the use of hand-held tools such as sharp chisels and mallets. The process involves slowly carving away at the interior while being careful to maintain structural integrity.
How do you make a hole in wood without drilling?
You can make a hole in wood without drilling by using tools such as knives, chisels, or saws to remove the necessary material. Be sure to use these with caution and always take safety measures, like wearing gloves when working on your project.
I hope you learned how to hollow a log and you make yourself a hollow log ASAP.