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Posted: 5/2/2015 11:58:08 PM EDT
So on a local buy and sell list, someone posted this picture of a planter that they were looking for someone to build:



Then a side discussion ensued-one guy argued that building it with mortar would make it stronger.

I argued that it would actually be weaker in the long run to build it with mortar, because of the internal pressure (gravity) and freeze/thaw cycles of the moisture in the dirt, and lack of support.
I also said it would be stronger with criss crossing internal rods with 90 degree ends buried in the mortar, and noted that using random stones as shown would use a lot of mortar, while using shaped stones would be stronger, but still be subject to failure in a couple of years, at least in the form of cracks, to start.

I even put forth that the original design, with the welded wire shell, would last longer, except for the possibility of the wire rusting if only using paint. Plenty of room for expansion of moisture during freeze/thaw, and even room for the dirt to kinda "squeeze" through, instead of either one pushing against a solid wall.

I also pointed out that the sharp corners of the walls where the spiral drops down would be the weakest points without support, they'd be better off making the spiral smooth, even if they had to cut the stones at angles.

What does the hive engineering mind say?
Link Posted: 5/3/2015 3:55:43 AM EDT
I don't know but that's pretty cool looking. I can't tell if I like or dislike the cage holding it in, though
Link Posted: 5/3/2015 10:42:55 AM EDT
There is no need to go overboard, all that planter needs to do is stay together and contain a bag or two of potting soil. The look would be ruined by turning it into a retaining wall.

Of course, the spiral should have been fibonacci






Link Posted: 5/3/2015 10:47:02 AM EDT
I don't know...my MIL seems to have one that stands up through German changes in weather at least...with no mortar or metal framing...

Link Posted: 5/3/2015 10:54:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By rcav8r:
So on a local buy and sell list, someone posted this picture of a planter that they were looking for someone to build:

http://webpages.charter.net/rcav8r/images/spiral%20planter.jpg

Then a side discussion ensued-one guy argued that building it with mortar would make it stronger.

I argued that it would actually be weaker in the long run to build it with mortar, because of the internal pressure (gravity) and freeze/thaw cycles of the moisture in the dirt, and lack of support.
I also said it would be stronger with criss crossing internal rods with 90 degree ends buried in the mortar, and noted that using random stones as shown would use a lot of mortar, while using shaped stones would be stronger, but still be subject to failure in a couple of years, at least in the form of cracks, to start.

I even put forth that the original design, with the welded wire shell, would last longer, except for the possibility of the wire rusting if only using paint. Plenty of room for expansion of moisture during freeze/thaw, and even room for the dirt to kinda "squeeze" through, instead of either one pushing against a solid wall.

I also pointed out that the sharp corners of the walls where the spiral drops down would be the weakest points without support, they'd be better off making the spiral smooth, even if they had to cut the stones at angles.

What does the hive engineering mind say?
View Quote


Here is my take on it.

I would not put mortar on it because that would make it rigid and brittle. The wire and loose stone allows it to be flexible and also not water tight to allow for drainage.

What I would do though is some how paint the wire black so it isn't so noticeable. Other than that it is a really cool idea.

If you had some sort of ivy it would grow out of or through the gaps in the rocks and that would cool as well.
Link Posted: 5/3/2015 10:57:24 AM EDT
Nothing like overthinking a simple design to the nth degree to show off your razor sharp intellect.
Link Posted: 5/3/2015 10:57:43 AM EDT
I like that!
Link Posted: 5/3/2015 11:04:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/3/2015 11:06:08 AM EDT by zegermanznew]
Google; "gabion"

Decipher the advantages between "welded" and "twisted".



It won't make you an engineer, but it'll make you feel like one.



Take it one step further and google; "Gabion Planter". Theres some nice planters that will put the one in the OP to shame.
Link Posted: 5/3/2015 11:10:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/3/2015 11:10:48 AM EDT by zegermanznew]
Gabions have massive advantage over concrete etc (like the ability to flex). But of course, they each have their applications.

For a planter, either would likely work fine, not exactly massive forces at play.

But who the fuck wants a giant ugly cement block in their backyard? The planter in the OP would look like shit if it were cement, IMHO.
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