I just posted some photos of marble faced planters I'd built to
the binaries group. Here's the accompanying text:
In another thread, I mentioned the possible use of marble or
granite as an inlay for a table or desk. That reminded me that
I'd built some planters of marble and perhaps they'll give you an
idea or two for your own home. The entry to our home was floored
with marble 12" tiles that had a grayish color with deep purple
and rust colored veins in it. I had saved several boxes of the
marble as a "just in case" for breaks or future projects, so when
we were planning a big wedding, I decided to make some planters
for artificial flower arrangements out of it, along with some
Carerra (sp?) tiles I bought. I think that the final count,
spread over around 8-9 rooms was something like 12 of the
rectangular (6" X 24" or 30") planters, plus the big dude for the
Ficus. The Melamine framework, or box, was actually adjusted in
size to minimize the need to cut the tiles. For instance, the
length would be 2-3 tiles or adjusted for any spacer or inlay.
Just lay your tile out on the workbench and then build the inside
box to fit.
The biggest planter was 30" on a side and housed a 15' Ficus tree
we'd grown in the great room. Since I had no ability to really
waterproof the box, I cut down a big ABS garbage can to the height
and forced it "square" into the top. It acted as a liner and
worked perfectly. As with all of the planters, the frame, or box,
was made of Melamine board, that was glued and screwed to make the
box. I also liked the looks of an inset, narrow base or reveal at
the bottom. The reveal was faced with black marble, while the
surface of the box was either the floor marble or the white
Carerra. The pieces were simply glued in place with no grout
line, using Liquid Nails. Masking tape held the tiles in place
until the glue set. Since my cut down garbage can liner left some
of the inside Melamine edge visible, I placed 12" black marble
tiles around the upper inside edge.
Trust me on this: a hurricane in the house would not have tipped
that Ficus tree over. <grin>
The cruciform planter seen below the table was intended to be a
centerpiece for on our dining room table, when not in use.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Nonny felt that it was too big- especially
loaded with artificial flowers- and had it moved to the location
below the table in the adjoining great room. It was pure luck,
but the large cruciform planter seemed to have been made for that
location and I got quite a few compliments from visitors on how
clever I was to build a planter for that location. <grin>
All the small planters were filled with florist foam, covered with
floral moss and then the flower stems inserted in the foam.
I'm sure that all of you have noticed the inexpensive diamond wet
saws sold at Lowe's and Home Depot. Back then, mine was the
Harbor Freight overhead tub saw. All of them are darned good and
a great addition to any shop. In the case of the older HF
overhead tub saw, the saw itself could be detached and with a
toothed blade made one of the handiest little panel saws you could
hope for. Cutting the marble or other tiles with a diamond bladed
wet saw is no different than using any contractor or cabinet saw
in your shop. You just need to remember that the material is
brittle and go slowly. Given a choice between the old overhead
tub saw and the Home Depot table saw for cutting tile, I really
have no preference for one over the other.
One thing I learned about the marble is that exposed cut edges can
be made to match two different ways. On the earliest planters, I
sanded the marble exposed, cut edges on the table sander, using an
OLD 120 grit belt, followed by my 3 X 21 belt sander with a 240
belt, then 800 grit wet/dry in the tub sink in the shop. That
gave it enough of a sheen to get by. Then, one day I was dreading
the nasty wet work when I had an inspiration: I did the 240 grit
to make it smooth, then PAINTED the exposed edge with clear
lacquer. It looked like I'd wet polished the marble for hours.
Some might view that as cheating, but I had no problem accepting
the fact I was lazy.
ELOQUIDIOT (n) A highly educated, sophisticated,
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