The Dale Maley Family Web Site


Flower Stand for Baptist Church

The Baptist Church in Fairbury has about 3 existing stands.  They are often moved around the church for various purposes.  I was requested to build another  one using red oak. I measured one existing stand, and created the design in Sketchup.

Cost Estimate

I was requested to make a cost estimate to build this stand.  The cost estimate is shown below.  I basically charged $75 to cover the red oak costs, then added $25 for my labor. I consider most of my labor as a Donated Item.

I knew Menards used to have 1.5x3.5" red oak to use for the base, but I could not find it I estimated building up the base from 3/4" thick red oak.  The Menard's cost per cubic inch is about the same, regardless of the dimension.  After I got approval for the $100 quote, I went to Menards and found they did have the 1.5x3.5" red oak, so I got one piece to build the bottom base piece with.............since this will look better, and be less work than gluing and sanding many 3/4" thick boards.

Flush trim routing the center column

I thought about making the 2 wider boards about 1/8" wider on each side than the blueprint, then flush trim routing them..............flush to the other 2 boards.  I would do this, but the finished dimension is 5.5" and that is exactly the width of my Menard's oak boards.  I will glue up, then belt sand smooth........versus flush router and belt sander.

Kreg plug cutter experiment

I had to figure out how to connect all the pieces at final assembly.

-screw bottom 8x8 to column

-screw bottom 12x12 to 8x8 with countersunk screws

-screw top 8x8 to very top piece 

-dowel and glue top 8x8 to column

This stand will naturally be picked up by the top piece, which means it needs to stay well connected to the 8x8 piece below it........and the column.  Doweling the 8x8 to the column will probably work ok...........but I wanted to experiment with Kreg pocket screws.........which means I need a plug cutter to hide the screw holes in the column.  I bought one for $70 at Menards to experiment with.

Experimental results

The Kreg plug cutter cut the plugs pretty well. There are 2 steps to making the plugs.

1. Drill the plugs using the fixture

2. Set table saw blade at 15 degrees, saw the board 3/16" back from the edge to release the plugs (put blue masking tape on the plugs to retain them, so they don't fly away.

I belt sanded the glued in plugs flush.  To simulate this project, I belt sanded at 90 degrees to the grain, because the 8x8 piece will be in the way to belt sand with the grain.  I applied Golden Oak stain. 

The holes were almost invisible, but it is hard to get out the 90 degree scratches from the belt sander.  To get a perfect match, one must carefully select where you drill, to try to match the grain pattern/color perfectly.

Column Assembly

On a previous mini Grandfather clock project, I built a column like this, but the mating pieces would not sit parallel to the ground.  So on this project, I used the black plastic 90 degree angle to make sure it was perpendicular to the ground. I assembled 1 piece at a time, giving 30 minutes for the glue to set between pieces.  The last step was to put on the 2nd wide piece.

As can be seen in the photo above, when I glued on the last piece, it stuck out a little from the narrower 2 pieces.  This was fine, because I could use the hand-held flush trim bit on the router to make the column perfectly flush.  I used the flush trim router bit, then belt sanded all 4 sides of the column.

Once the column was done, I put the router back in the table, and gave all pieces an 1/8" round-over on all corners.  Here is the dry assembly of the unit.

Did not use Kreg plug cutter

When it came time to decide whether or not to use the Kreg plug cutter, I chose not to use it for these reasons..........

1. The assembled column will not fit in the Kreg drilling fixture...............the fixture clamp is in the way

2. I don't know any easy way to sand down the red oak plugs, with the 8x8 inch base so close to it.   I got bad belt sanding marks that would be tough to remove, when
        I did the sample piece.

I went with four 3/8" dia dowels instead........2-3/4" long. I made a flat on the dowel to let glue escape using the stationary belt sander.........and I filed some notches in the dowels to give more glue area for retention..

I used blue masking tape to help mark where to position each piece, and where to drill the holes.   If you use pencil, then you have to erase and sand away the pencil marks.........with the tape, you just rip it off and you are done.

Golden Oak Stain

I wiped the whole piece with a damp rag to remove sawdust..........then let dry.  I am using Golden Oak stain on this project.......

Final Finishing

I did 2 rounds of 220 grit sanding and polyurethane to finish this project. I used Antique Flat poly on this project.

Closing Thoughts on this Project

I got a chance to experiment with the Kreg plug cutter attachment.  It works ok, but is not really suited to a right angle joint, because you can not get a belt sander close enough to sand it flush with the wood grain.  I may use it on other projects that does not have a right angle.

From the mini grandfather clock previous project, I learned it is important to do 2 things to build a column with parallel ends....

1. Use a jig to cut the pieces to the exact same length

2. Use the black plastic angle to make sure the first piece is exactly at 90 degrees to the base at final assembly

Using four of the 3/8" dia dowels worked fine to retain the top to the column. I made the dowels about 3 inches long, plus filed some cross notches in the dowels to get more glue area for better long-term retention.