I have a set of standing shelves that are built from standard home store 2x10"s. I wanted to repurpose the shelf as a place for my houseplants. When I water the plants, there is a lot of drainage water that seeps through the pot's holes. I am trying to devise a way to drill a hole in the middle of each shelf and then bore/hollow out a very shallow decline in each of the shelves, so the water drains like a sink (almost like this: https://cdn.homedit.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/JM-Lifestyle-wood-wash-basin.jpg).

I don't have a lathe, so I was thinking I could do this with an angle grinder (or perhaps a dremel tool?). Does anyone have suggestions on how best to accomplish this? I only have hand tools and am nervous about making the sink uneven.

  • Most people just put a dish or catch container of some kind under each plants pot.
    – Alaska Man
    Jul 26 '20 at 17:11
  • "I was thinking I could do this with an angle grinder" yes you could certainly do this, given the uses angle grinders are being put to these days in woodworking this would be a fairly inconsequential amount of material removal (using a suitable wheel/cutter naturally, and good workholding so you don't risk each shelf being launched across the room while it's being worked on). "or perhaps a dremel tool?" if you have the patience of a saint I suppose so!
    – Graphus
    Jul 27 '20 at 13:02
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    Now elephant in the room time: these shelves are likely to begin to cup or otherwise warp, and perhaps crack also, if they get wet and dry out unevenly as this proposal virtually ensures. You might get lucky that they'll remain stable (stable enough for use) but you can't really predict in advance what'll happen..... I would just use those shallow round trays made specifically for catching runoff, maybe a plate or saucer under each pot :-)
    – Graphus
    Jul 27 '20 at 13:06
  • Yeah, don't machine indents. Design your shelves for acacia or cedar or appropriate inserts that drop into rebates and can be replaced when they rot out. If you are careful with finishing the shelves with a good outdoor waterproofing finish you will get a lot of use out of them.
    – jdv
    Jul 27 '20 at 13:58

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