Intro to Fab- At Least They’ll Go Down Swingin’

I killed 2 house plants last week. To be fair, that’s 2 out of about 20, but still. Look how sad this lavender one is:

If I’m going to kill them, I’d like it to be in a more joyful setting, at least.

Coincidently, I recently became inspired by Droog’s (Dutch conceptual design collective) “Swing with Plants” by Marcel Wanders. It’s an indoor swing that has little troughs for seeds, so that when the vines grow up the ropes, it looks like it has always been hanging from a tree:

I thought I’d flip the concept creating a swing, not for a human, but for the plants themselves. Surely if plants like listening to music and the soothing sound of the human voice, maybe they might like to swing?

Here is a rough sketch of how I thought it might work. I have a bunch of those small, cheap IKEA pots, so I measured them to make sure they’d fit snugly down in the holes.

I measured, and measured again before plotting out my cuts.

First, I used the drill press with a 3/4″ bit to hollow out the holes that my 1/2″ rope would fit through.

I also used the press to begin opening up the circles where the plant pots would go.

Working with the jig saw, I approached hollowing out the circle slowly, “sneaking up on the line” as I was taught. I’m glad I was able to get a feel for the jig saw, because I found it required a certain sensitivity. It continuously loosened and popped out of its holder, which demanded a lot of patience from me. In addition, it would get caught, pulling the board up with it. Once I got into flow with it, I was having a grand ol’ time, but I was relieved to finish and get break from  negotiating with it.

I came away with 3, very irregular circles. It was an unexpected speed bump, but lent me the opportunity to spend some time on McMaster Carr looking for brass flanges. A metal ring might be a good way of covering up my poor cutting skills, while adding a fancy detail that could elevate my plant swing. Due to their insanely fast shipping, I look forward to adding them as a final step next week.

I began to insert my rope and tie off each end:

At Metalliferous (wayyyyy more helpful than Canal Plastics, btw), I cruised the shelves looking for inspiration. I picked up a couple things for posterity, and ended up using these brass metal rings to create loops from which to hang my swing. Getting them on was a challenge. Luckily, this vice squeeeeezed the rope tightly together, making it easy to slip the ring over the loop.

A bit of measuring and I’m pretty certain I have a steady swing!

My flanges came late yesterday in the mail! They were bright yellow and hideous, so I gave them 2 coats of white paint and used gorilla glue. I feel shame for not having used ThisToThis sooner! I also wish they went into the hole, covering up the jagged cut.

Here is the finished piece- I will be doing the final documentation in my apartment when there’s good daylight and I can insert the planters.

One thought on “Intro to Fab- At Least They’ll Go Down Swingin’

  1. Ben Light says:

    Good work. Do the pots fit in the holes?
    Do you plan to add a finish to the wood? Make it water proof?
    If you you drilled bigger starting holes, the jig saw would have been a lot less work.
    If you can, you should tie it off to the ceiling system in the lounge or J space. You should get some video of the plants swinging.
    I’m curious what the brass flanges look like and how they will change the look of the project.

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