Planter Box Build

My girlfriend asked me to make her a patio planter box a couple of weeks ago…it’s not really the ideal since plywood isn’t the best material for a planter box, but I wanted to use Maslow so I could keep testing things while I’m working on the software. I think it’s important to keep doing actual cuts to make sure that everything is still working.

As it stands now:

As modeled:

I decided to use a technique that I came up with a while ago where you can use the CNC to create a single template which contains all the information needed to make the thing. I came up with the technique a couple years ago to make a picnic table. It’s a quick way of doing things when you don’t want to deal with fixtureing lumber onto the bed of the CNC. Here’s the picnic table that I made before:

It’s also a fun way to do a project with someone who isn’t interested in learning all the skills to use the CNC directly…you sort of get to use the template to “color inside the lines” ish and end up with precise parts without having to worry about measuring anything.

Here’s some raw footage of cutting out the template (warning, it’s loud! I didn’t edit it to reduce the volume)

Here’s the template in action:

And making pockets:

The templates gave us the box sides pretty easily, but I also wanted to do some text engraving so I did throw one board on the machine and do some lettering.

Here’s some (also loud!) footage of that cutting:

I used Carbide Create to generate the Gcode for the lettering and it has a tendency to not actually fill everything in. It’s not the end of the world, the little bits pop out easily…it was neat to see how amazingly thin some of the parts left behind were.

And with a little bit of clean up…

It’s not 100% done, but all the CNC parts are done so that’s the exciting part :grinning:


I think you have are in the lead for the best project made so far with the M4.

I recall reading somewhere a discussion about whether using NC machines was morally wrong if you wanted to call yourself a woodworker. One response was “one word - jigs!”. Owning a working CNC machine meant you could create single use templates and jigs to do difficult things with your regular woodworking tools, and you could do them economically (in terms of time) with the CNC where it might not be practical to create those jigs by hand.

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Bar, the videos are hidden on YouTube, is that intentional?

Keeps it Private for only people in the Forums to enjoy. I’m sure once everything is smoothed out with the M4 he will make it public for more people to want to buy.
I imagine until the Bugs are worked out, this is the best option.

Yeah, we have like 10k followers on youtube and I didn’t want to spam them all with a video that immediately plays a really loud router sound when you click on it :joy: