Yes, it's yet another garden planter ...
This is a one-off, made from an old cast-iron gas stove I picked up a couple of weeks ago. It had been standing out in someone's garden for the past three years but was in great condition, with no cracks or other damage - even the glass in the front was unmarked. The previous owner had originally bought it to convert to a woodburning stove, but soon lost interest in the project and now just wanted rid of it, so I snapped it up for a tenner.
We already have an open fire in the house and so I don't have any use for a woodburner, but it's a beautifully-made stove and I thought it would make a great feature in the garden if it was turned into a shrub planter.
It stands around 560 mm (22") high including the legs, with a width of 360 mm (14") and front-to-back depth of 300 mm (12"). Although it's quite compact, the carcass is all cast iron and it's very heavy, weighing in at around 50 kg. The internal volume is just over 40 litres, big enough for the roots of quite a large shrub.
The gas burner, flue adaptor, sight glass and hearth for the artificial coals were all removed, and the iron surfaces cleaned with a wire brush.
|innards stripped out...|
The only really tricky job was to cut out the centre of the hotplate at the top, the item shown on the right in the above photo. I couldn't just leave this top plate off altogether because, aesthetics aside, there's a peripheral channel profile cast into the underside, which is used to locate the top edges of the walls and retain the whole assembly.
To cut this plate, I used a 1 mm cutting disc on my small (4") angle grinder. The plate's 15 mm thick but it didn't take long to cut through, although the discs wore down very quickly and I went through three of them. At the corners, I needed to finally break through with a hacksaw blade because of the disc run-out radius.
|hotplate after cutting and dressing...|
I also needed to make blanking plates for the flue exit at the upper rear and the sight glass in the door. These were cut from heavy duty self-adhesive floor tiles, two of them stuck to each other back-to-back. We had these left over from when we re-laid the kitchen floor a few years ago.
And finally, I needed an internal baseplate to support the weight of the soil inside the planter, and with holes for drainage. Again, I used floor tiles, this time five of them stuck together to form a laminate of around 10 mm thick. This was supported underneath by a flat steel bar.
The stove was painted inside and out using Hammerite, in contrasting shades of blue. And here it is ...
Due to the weight of the thing, we've already positioned this planter exactly where we want it to remain, and we'll add the soil / compost mix and then plant it up in-situ because it'll be too heavy to easily move around afterwards.