The Little Veggie Patch Co book – DIY Garden Projects is the Little Veggie Patch Co’s fourth book and is a little different from the others, because instead of focusing solely on gardening it covers a range of practical, DIY projects to make the most of your backyard. It’s in their typical fun, bright and entertaining style with a range of projects ranging from basic products to do with kids to more involved projects for the dedicated DIYer. We are sharing one of the great projects – how to upcycled a cable drum into an outdoor table.
How to make an upcycled Cable Drum Table Planter
Coming in third of the all-time most versatile recycled products is the cable drum. While its circular nature makes it less applicable to constructions than the pallet or fruit crate, one advantage over its counterparts is that it can be easily transported without machinery or a motor vehicle. And when you have finished rolling it to its resting place, simply tip it onto its side to convert it into a readymade table.
As with most things old and beautiful, they have gradually been replaced by something new and plastic. The wooden wheels, which will always be considered nothing less than works of art, have been phased out in favour of efficient and cost-effective plastics. But the durability of the wooden devices mean a lot are still in circulation today, being flogged off by wise guys who recognise things of value.
If you do your research you can come across cable drum cities – stacks of different-sized and coloured wheels – where, for a price, you can purchase the drum of your dreams. Perhaps before forking out cash on a cable drum for this activity, call around to some wiring wholesalers and see if you can intercept one before the wise guys come for collection.
THINGS YOU’LL NEED…
• cable drum
• circular saw
• rocks, scoria, offcuts, broken pots
• premium potting mix
• herbs and veggies of your choice
WHAT TO DO
- Hunt down and secure the services of a lovely, wooden cable drum. For the purpose of a table, it’ll need to be approximately 800–900 mm (2 ft 7½ in–2 ft 11½ in) in height when laid on its side. Anything smaller can be made into the kids’ table.
2. To avoid constantly hitting the base of the drum as you try to tuck in your chair, you need to trim this with a circular saw. Flip it over and make it a square large enough to SUPPORT the weight of the table. In this case, we cut it down to a 500 mm by 500 mm (1 ft 7½ in by 1 ft 7½ in) square base.
3. Some cable drums will have a hole in the centre, which makes planting simple. Our drum didn’t, so we used a circular saw to cut an opening in the top.
Any cable drum worth its salt will have more than a few splinters waiting to embed themselves in your delicate skin. Take a sander to it and with a little work the wood should look and feel REJUVENATED. A little sanding will also make the wood more receptive if you want to cover it in varnish, which will then help protect the table from the weather.
4. Fill the cable drum with a premium potting mix. Bear in mind that many plants don’t need much more than 300 mm (12 in) of soil to grow. So, feel free to chuck in some rocks, scoria, wooden offcuts or anything else that can fill the space and raise the planting level.
Plant the herbs and veggies of your choice. We find that something LOW MAINTENANCE and perennial is best. Give the plants a good watering in.
5. Pull up a seat and enjoy an afternoon chat with a good mate!
Don’t you LOVE it! The book is jam packed full of goodness like this, well worth a read
This is an edited extract from The Little Veggie Patch Co: DIY Garden Projects by Mat Pember and Dillon Seitchick-Reardon, published by Hardie Grant Books RRP$45, available now where all good books are sold.