Evelyn's Plant Stand

Dateline: 26 July 2014

click picture for a larger view

My mother-in-law, Evelyn Myers, passed away on July 6. Three weeks later, her house is now cleaned out and listed with a real estate agent. Her material possessions have been distributed to family members, taken to the thrift shop, or thrown away. 

Marlene has taken several pieces of furniture but we have no room in our small house for any of it. So the furniture is being put into storage. The old, round-top oak dining table (that we ate so many meals around), various bureaus, rocking chairs, and such as that, are all packed onto the back porch of our down-the-road house, where my oldest son now lives.

Evelyn's half-round plant stand (pictured above) has been packed into a shed on our property, along with the old Clipper bean sorter I bought a few years ago (I stored it in Evelyn's garage), and various other items. 

I don't have a barn or a garage but I have three sheds on my property and they are full. When a neighbor wants to borrow my chicken plucker, it's a chore to unpack it from the shed. We are storage-space-challenged around here.

Evelyn's plant stand is kind of special. It's special because, years ago, when she could still get around easily, she always had it outdoors in the growing months and full of potted plants. So it has some sentimental value to Marlene. But it's special to me because I made it.

It so happens that Evelyn had another plant stand just like it. An antique dealer offered her quite a sum for the piece. Evelyn didn't want to lose her plant stand, but the money offered was such that she felt she should sell it. Marlene suggested that I could make one just like it. And that's what I did. 

I measured carefully and made a full-size pattern of the legs before the antique dealer took the stand. Then I made two of the plant stands in my workshop. It was a challenging little project. The semicircular shelves were made by splining together mitered sections of pine. I cut the half-circles slightly oversize with a jigsaw. To get them exactly round and to the right size, I made a long compass jig with a router on the end of a board. It was a great little project and I was very pleased with the outcome. 

I would guess I made the plant stands around 25 years ago. Evelyn's stand is dusty from being in a corner of her garage, but it is still in fine condition. 

I made the second plant stand to sell. I was always looking for things to make and sell years ago (to some degree, I guess I'm still doing that). The stand sold easily at a garage sale. I don't recall what I sold it for but I suspect it wasn't enough to pay me much for my time and effort.

A couple years ago I was at the annual 50-mile-long Route 90 Garage Sale here in New York and came upon the second plant stand being sold in the rural town of King Ferry. It was still in great shape. Marlene questioned how I could be so sure it was the one I made.

Well, a craftsman knows his own work, especially with an item like that.

My Clipper bean sorter


SharonR said...

Good, deliberate workmanship.

SheilaG said...


I want one. Start measuring,