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A chip of an old log...Roll up, roll up!


By funguy


Good Evening All.

I am creating this block to document a small project.

The reason for the project, apart from lack of common sense, is that i have been more grumpy than usual of late, a tad more ratty and generally impatient! So i have decided to dedicate some time to a little project….that will surely test my resolve and hopefully re-balance my mood, with the lessons in patience it will teach!

I’m sure you are intrigued as to what i’m actually going on about, so i will keep you no longer…..

I am going to turn an old log, into a planter -

Old Log:-

With limited tools….

Limited Tools:-

Namely a hammer, blunt chisel, a strange smelling rather old, and damaged Ryobi Drill plus one drill bit…..and a sprinkling of nearly no woodworking ability, well ingrained finger hitting with hammer habits and 20/20 vision.

Moral support courtesy of HRH George 1st -


My aim is to turn that there wonderful oak log into a Mossy-esk style garden planter at no expense.
I owe my inspiration, for the log project to Mossy(where you can view an existing, fully functional log planter), and i am sure my blood and sweat are to follow.

To keep anyone who’s vaguely bothered, interested :)
I invite you to guess at how many laborious hours of hammering,drilling and chiseling it will take me to complete this project….

and the reason i put ‘roll up, roll up’ in the title is, there is also a prize!!!!

Yes you heard it right, a PRIZE… the winning guess will be that which is closest to the actual completion time,and the prize will be….. two pieces of un-rooted Brugmansia stem! Yes two, not one but TWO! :D

Free from me, if you want them!

p.s To help with any guesses, said log is 16 inches deep and 14 inches wide.

Wish me luck.



Okay so here goes….the saying goes something like ‘a bad workman blames his tool’ right, but as i never proclaimed to be a good one…my tools are a load of rubbish! Sharpening the chisel on a concrete slab doesn’t even seem to make a difference!

I’m 6hours 45minutes in and with effort, hanging my hammer up for the day….

The wood it seems, is very slightly moist, and the drill has been next to useless. Especially the 5 drill bits i have broken in the process :))

The hands are sore, i think i have repetitive hand smash syndrome…here are the symptoms….

And this is my little work spot…

Today’s progress has been to carve down to about 7 inches depth….much less than i wanted but it is proving difficult to maneuver the chisel and mallet…so i am considering leaving it at this depth. Its just a matter of drilling drainage holes up from the bottom, and due to the only surviving drill bit being 4 inches and my aim to do this at no expense. I may have to carve out another inch or so. Then i want to tidy up the inside so there is minimum roughness, that may be susceptible to rot(i’m not actually sure how rot prone it would be?).

So that about it folks, for today. Nearly 7 hours in and we’ll see how many more to go.


Today started of at about 9.30, it was raining on and off, so i nipped out between the showers but luckily after 1pm there was no more rain.
I was considering leaving the log at the depth i got to yesterday, which was about 7 inches but i put the lazy thoughts aside, which was helped by an email from Mossy and the interest on this blog + an nice irish morning coffee!

After another few hours i managed to get down to 9inches….

I am happy with this depth, i think the capacity is about 10-11 litres….i will check this by putting a plastic bag in the log planter and filling the bag with water, the amount of water it takes to fill the bag inside the planter will tell me its capacity…..

I wanted it to be as big as possible so that it can hold and maintain a good sized plant, giving room to grow.

I was quite relieved at this point and spent a while tidying up the sides and making the bottom as level as possible. Then i drilled the drainage holes, from the underside up…My drill, i think, has suffered from all this work, the poor thing It only has power for 5 mintues at a time and then needs a recharge….As Stevie said in one of his posts, it is not the ideal type of drill for doing this. Or drill bits for that matter. But i feel my chiseling technique has greatly improved! Every cloud…. :)

There was a bottle of Teak oil in my shed so i used that on the inside of the log planter, and here she is in all her glory!!!

I’m not sure i like it with the teak oil on it…it has made it look a un-natural. Maybe i shouldn’t have put it on the lip at the top but just on the inside :S.
Oh well, I hope when its dried it looks a bit better.Hopefully when a plants in it, it will better.

And a little treat to sign off with…..
A Brugmansia ‘Wuppergold’ has started flowering in the last week, better later than never. And what a beauty she is too!

So thats about it for now folks… i am going to carry on with the finishing touches, when i get home tommorrow. This wont take long but i’ll wait untill its finished to post the times. Today was 5 hours…faffing around not included(about 7 including the faffing):D


Last night i finished the last touches on the log planter. Gave it a quick, rough sand and then washed it down.

Then nipped to the gardencentre and picked up a plant to put in its new home :)
After a fair bit of HHmming and Ahhring….i went for a fern and a wee bit off ivy to hopefully give it a earthy, o’natural, forestry kind of feel. My other half says ‘Ohh its looks like ’Lord of the Rings’….right you are my love!

And here is a quick pic….

The completion time was about 11 hours. I feel a bit guilty asking for estimates, as it really shouldn’t have taken as long as it did, a £4 drill bit would probably of halved the time it took! So most of you where pretty accurate with the original estimates.

To the person with the closest time, please email me with your details, if you want the cutting and i’ll get it off to you ASAP.

If anyone else is interested in a Brugmansia cutting or plant, feel free to get in touch with me.

More blog posts by funguy

Previous post: Hanging Hosta's of Hampshire



I was gonna say 3-4 hrs but I think you will get into it and a couple of tea breaks and lunch later so I'm going for a good chunk of the day...5hrs...

24 Oct, 2011


Good Luck you will need it. lol. Many hours of work, would not like to even think about it. I think I am potty but there are worse than me about then. lol. Enjoy yourself, don't forget to put the pictures up when you have finished.

ps Mind the fingers they will be needed for another day. lol.

24 Oct, 2011


I think 6 hours but you didn't say how big you are making the hole in the planter!
I'm hoping the time will not include extra trips to B and Q when the tools break!
Will be interested to see the planter as I have similar logs.

Ps - great idea, thanks!

24 Oct, 2011


If it takes as long as its taking for my old man to do our Eucalyptus stump 6 months.
Seriously about 3hrs with tea breaks.

24 Oct, 2011


I`m going with determination so I`ll say 2hrs 35mins, only counting time actually working on it....

24 Oct, 2011


Ok I would say about 12hrs lol :) Great idea btw

24 Oct, 2011


Wooops! I meant 2! lol

24 Oct, 2011


4.5 hours is my guess, with T breaks and hunting around for more tools lol!

24 Oct, 2011


Wow, it is a beautiful log and I can imagine it finished and planted out, it will be beautiful, you will not regret it.
I think that with the tools you have it will be 4 hours 56 minutes, depending upon how many glasses of wine you have.
I would love some Brugmansia, this spring, I tried to buy one, but it was impossible in this area.

24 Oct, 2011


WEll I said breaks!!!!!

24 Oct, 2011


3 hours 12 mins and 45 seconds. I'll let you have 2 t breaks and a kitkat in that (4 fingered to share with his HRH)

24 Oct, 2011


It's easier if the tree was dying when it was cut down! I speak from experience! Partner went out with our Spanish newiughbour in his mini-tractor to cut up a tree that had fallen in a storm. It turned out to be an oak with a rotted core. We finished up with three chunky pieces - like yours, Funguy - as well as a load of firewood, and the rotted middles we easily removed. I've had a fern, Hostas, Busy Lizzies and Tradescantia growing in them over the past three years. Now I've emptied out two of them and intend to have Heucheras in them next year. Good luck with yours - they do look good when planted up. :o)

25 Oct, 2011


Hi my son reckons 5 hours 20 minutes, he is at college takes ages he said to chisel joints etc.. cant wait to see it finished..

25 Oct, 2011


I reckon 3 hours 25 mins. Interested to see how this works out.

25 Oct, 2011


well no news yet so I guess you are still hard at work...

25 Oct, 2011


MMmm thinking the same Cazcat perhaps we all ought to up our guestimations lol:)

25 Oct, 2011


well Nana d that is just what i was thinking when I checked back in, though maybe funguy has had a nap and you cant count that can you so will keep watching.

25 Oct, 2011


funguy, your little dog is beautiful..

25 Oct, 2011


Your spot on Caz and i think your right Nana_d!

Sorry Sticki i forgot to say,but before i started i thought i want to make it deep... Around 12 inches, nearly to the bottom. But now i don't think my fingers will survive the operation. And they will end up needing one themselves.

I've updated the blog, with todays progress :0)

25 Oct, 2011


Mmm well I think sticki is the closest so far funguy..

25 Oct, 2011


you have done a great job funguy, its harder than it looks then! not sure i want to dig mine out now ~ forgot about drainage holes!!

25 Oct, 2011


think i will look for a log that is partly rotten so inside is soft and easier to take out, would not cope otherwise.

25 Oct, 2011


yes, good plan cazcat.

25 Oct, 2011


A fine days work funguy, can you now come and finish

25 Oct, 2011


Gordon Bennett Funguy, if you lived near here I`d lend you the tools, its flipping annoying when the drill bits break. It is coming on well though, sorry about the sore hands but you`ll be so proud when its planted up and you can say its all your own work, as to stopping it rotting, surely wood preservative would help stop that...

25 Oct, 2011


It's looking good but your hands have taken quite a battering:( Good luck tomorrow:)

25 Oct, 2011


OMG Are we all way off? Are you still wroking on it FUnguy? lol

26 Oct, 2011


I'm gonna slightly increase my estimate, and follow the civil service funding model, take my 5hrs, take into account your 7hrs, double that =14hrs and then add on my original estimate so 19hrs ; )
Looking at it FG I think I would have gone with a mains drill and a big diameter wood drill and drill large holes around and across, so it looked like Swiss cheese and then chiseled off the innards. But I guess its a learning curve, good luck and look after your fingers

26 Oct, 2011


Im just wondering if its one of those maths problems ~ that i could never do ~ if it takes one man 6 hours to make a hole, how many hours would it take 2 men?? etc

26 Oct, 2011


Gah! I should have stayed with the 12 hrs! lol
lol Sticki

26 Oct, 2011



26 Oct, 2011


cant stand the suspense, will check back later..

26 Oct, 2011


Hello! Still alive and kicking, thanks so much for your posts, your interest, encouragement and ideas,it has been a real motivation for me, so thankyou again....Ok...i'm just putting my feet up for the day. And about to update the blog right now, with today's progress :)

26 Oct, 2011


I gave up on guestimating FG but I think it looks really good and you should be reet proud of yourself:) TheBrugmansia ‘Wuppergold’ looks magnificent!

26 Oct, 2011


that plant is fabulous!! i think your wooden tub will look like a treasure chest holding the golden flowers!! glad you got such a treasure to put in it ~ like a gold medal for a completed job??
that irish coffee must have worked wonders ~ i see there are two discarded mugs ~ obviously a double!! i shall try that myself!!!

26 Oct, 2011


the planter look great, am going to give one a go, will do it in my dads workshp cum garage, hope i dont mess his tools up. The Brugmansia is fabulous, aah I was so far out with my guesstimate, never mind. You have done a really great job, be proud,

27 Oct, 2011


will check in later guess you are not in from work yet, the suspense is just too much, will we see it planted up I wonder.....

28 Oct, 2011


i hope so!!!!

28 Oct, 2011


Haha sticki, i free its anyone's guess...hiccup! Yes its a beauty, isn't it. I hope to get her flowering much earlier next year, the fragrance is fabulous too.

Cazcar, i hope you do make one, and show us on here. I am going to do another one next week when i have time. I found it really enjoyable working with wood, and the smell of the oak was really lovely. Smelt a lot like malt whiskey!

Thanks Nana_d, the hand are better now and feel like they've had a good work out!

Pixi, you where pretty much bang on with the 12 hours...why did you change???!!! You can still have one if you want, thanks for popping in too.

Linsclass, i don't think there are many regular GOYers that live close to me, wish there where though... very kind of you to offer your tools and i would have taken you up on your kind offer,would have been much more careful with your though! I saw your post in the other blog about the drill bits and got a couple of today, so next one should be much quicker. Thanks for your interest and comments.:0)

Hope yours is coming on, Stroller and looking forward to seeing it.

Nariz....please post some pics, the heuchera foliage and colour's really go well with the log planters, don't they.... cherry wood must look great aswell. I'll have a look through your pics and see if they are in them, if not hope you can post some.

And thanks Oliveoil... i did enjoy it and fingers are all intact, phew! :))))

28 Oct, 2011


oh, it looks beautiful, well done funguy!! the wood smells like whisky? ~ thats a pretty good incentive, think i might have a go.
i have friends in berkshire ~ they are a very talented family ~ seem to turn their hands to anything!!!

28 Oct, 2011


Thank Sticki...yes whiskey, perhaps because whiskey is put in the oak barrels,so probably its the whiskey smelling a bit like oak - not my oak log smelling like whiskey - if yer get where i'm coming from, lol.

28 Oct, 2011


yes, i understand ~ only way to check it out is to find out for myself ~ unless i just open that nice bottle of malt Oban my son gave me!!!

28 Oct, 2011


loving the earthy, o’natural, forestry kind of feel!! lol

I really feel like I am on the st for LOTR ; ) good job

28 Oct, 2011


I'm afraid you will just have to do it the name of research and to the benefit of us all.

28 Oct, 2011


did you mean drink the whisky or make the planter?

28 Oct, 2011


OMG was I?!!!!!! lol so how long DID it take? :)

28 Oct, 2011


Funguy it looks really fabulous I just love the fern and ivy it suits it so well, was well worth the effort in my opinion, a job very well done, I am definately going to hunt for a log.

29 Oct, 2011


It looks great and will look even better as time goes by, I have a smaller log here that once was used as a xmas tree stand, I might play with that and do one myself although the ladybirds like it as it is, one has to consider them I s`pose, can`t really evict them.
I think you did well, my hubby would no-way keep at something as long as you have for the garden, his attitude would have been what do you want one of them for, or its easier to buy one, I have to start something first and then get stuck, lol, mind you he would also have used the heavy duty drill as well, makes life a lot easier when working to use them both, plus I`m always the general dogsbody, its a case of what one is interested in basically...

29 Oct, 2011

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