As much as I like my other tools, I’ve been incredibly happy with how easy it is to make interesting stuff for little to no raw material cost with my lathe. The raw material for these tiny “pots” was free, costing a trip to the backyard where I had these trimmings* stored. This is the result of an idea I had to plant Jade and Elephant bush in this very natural pot, vase, or whatever you would call it. A chopped up piece of wood in the back yard was cleaned up with my lathe, then drilled on my milling machine.
Although I don’t think the results would be quite as good, one could make something similar by sanding the sides, then putting your branch into a drill press. You’d probably have to sand the outside more, but on the other hand it was a lot of work getting the lathe in my garage and operational (replacing the belt for instance). Not a lot to this “hack,” but I thought the results were pretty cool, and actually seem to have a very high spouse approval factor.
We will see how these plants hold up in their tiny environment. For now, they made the cut to be displayed in the living room, but I wonder if the branch will eventually break down. If so, the vases are obviously quite biodegradable, and maybe the whole thing could be planted somewhere.
On the other hand, one could coat it with urethane if pot longevity is a concern. These “pots” would probably make a great gift. If you want to poke around some more, why not check out all of my lathe-bases posts?
*”Trimmings,” as in small trees that I cut down a year or so ago.