Table top Zen garden - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-05-2008, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Table top Zen garden

If you are familiar with Zen gardens (Japanese rock gardens ) here is one I made yesterday.
The garden is suspended on top and the drawer below holds the rocks and tools when not in use. I wanted to stay black and white so I used walnut (with some sapwood), hard maple, white sand and black rocks. The windchime was an afterthought, one I do not like today though. I may add more rocks if I find neat ones.
I need some practice in my "gardening" techniques, but you get the picture how they work.
Now as a dude of course I am already thinking how fun a toy bulldozer would be in there .
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Last edited by Daren; 08-05-2008 at 12:57 PM. Reason: forgot the maple legs in description
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-05-2008, 12:53 PM
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I like it as usual. How about some more details?

BTW. Were you King Midas in your previous life? You seem to have a golden touch when it comes to wood.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-05-2008, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Richard View Post
How about some more details?
Well, I don't know what to say. I had seen them before (desktop Zen gardens) and thought they looked cool. I was watching a program on TV over the weekend about Japan (architecture mostly) and it reminded me how cool their gardens where. In the show they visited a 500 year old Zen garden in Kyoto.
So I went to the shop Monday morning and grabbed a handful of wood, threw it on the bench and wasn't coming out until I made one.
No plan really, in fact I will give a glimpse into my design process when I woodwork, set by step.
First I had to decide what size. I had a blank sheet of paper I was going to sketch things out on (never got around to the sketch) and decided "Yep, that's about right, 9"x11"" So I was going to build a 9x11 box throw some sand I had (actually blasting media) in it and some rocks (well a busted blackboard that pieces where in the rock driveway).
I thought that was going to be boring and I had wanted to try my hand at "box making". So the drawer idea popped into my head. OK, I have to make two 9"x11" open top boxes, one for the sand one for the tools/rocks.
While I was making them I was stewing on some sort of base. I knew I wanted that curved pagoda (for the lack of a better term) style leg. But how to make the drawer work without slides ? Simple, make 3 legs that the drawer is cradled in that holds the top up.
The boxes are 1 1/2" tall. I just cut the inner part of the bases out their width (+1/16") and 3 1/8" tall for a 1/8" gap between. The radius on the outside of the legs I drew on tracing around an empty coffee can I had handy.
After the glue had dried on the boxes, and it dried fast it was 100 in the shop . I simply flipped the leg assemblies upside down and glued/clamped the top in upside down also. I flipped it back over and drilled small holes from the inside to put chopstick (see a theme here) dowels in, you can see the end of the bamboo chopstick dowels in one of the pictures.
The bottom drawer just slides on the base, pretty smooth too.
The rake is made with some leftover carryout chopsticks and bamboo skewers. The windchime is made of some more chopstick and the brass insert from a pen making kit. Like I said I am not sure about the windchime, but it was still early in the day and I had time to kill I had already completed what I set out to do.

Detailed enough ?
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-05-2008, 02:24 PM
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What restaurant did the chopsticks come from?
What brand coffee can and what size?
What brand of glue?
Details, man.... DETAILS!!!!

Great looking Zen Garden... I use to have a small one myself... This may inspire me to build myself another one...

I cut that board three times and it's STILL too short!!!...
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-06-2008, 12:14 AM
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What kind of veggey can you go in that Darel? Down south tending a garden that ain't got nothing growning in it will get you a trip to the funny farm. LOL

I do like it though.

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post #6 of 7 Old 08-06-2008, 10:22 AM
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i would love to have one of those in my house but i think my cat wouldnt understand
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-03-2008, 03:52 PM
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I could see the 6 year old twins getting into the sand now. There wouldn't be any left in the box. And the little tools. They would MIA.
I like it though. I was thinking about making a checker board similar except a lot thinner so it would sit on the table nicely.
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