Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My ReadyMade Article

8-Track Plant Bench

Clean out your parent’s station wagon.
by Lucas Hutmacher

When you’re a music fan who likes to create things, it’s difficult to find ‘experimental’ mediums, meaning mediums that can be destroyed and broken apart. If you do things with records, you’re likely to risk a yard-full of hipster protesters. If you choose CDs, you may end up spending more money and losing any retro type look you may want. Lucky for us, the world has not only lost interest in 8-track tapes, but they have actually started to despise them. For no other reason than the price, I picked up about 2500 of these little beauties at an auction for $1. Now I had to figure out what to do with them. I present, how to make a plant bench out of 8-Track tapes.


· Gorilla Glue
One sheet plywood

· One 2x4, cut to the same length as plywood
Stacks of 8-Track Tapes

· Black spray-paint

· Wood screws


· Tape measure

· Saw of some sort for cuttin’ wood

· Screwdriver


  1. Carefully measure out the top dimensions of the bench. While feet and inches is important, I would recommend measuring to the nearest ‘8-Track width’, with a little underlap.
  2. Cut yo’ plywood to match yo’ dimensions.
  3. Cut yo’ 2x4 to match the length of the plywood. This will provide some support to the bench for heavy plants or people who think they should stand on it during ‘king of the mountain’.
  4. Spray paint the wood. It doesn’t need to be a perfect paint job. The paint is basically to keep people from asking you why there is plywood between the corners of the 8-Tracks.
  5. Measure (in ‘8-Track height’) the height of your bench. This will tell you the number of tapes to stick together to create the legs of the bench.
  6. The nicest and most little known thing about 8-Tracks is that they have grooves along the top and bottom. This allows for them to be stacked and prevents them from rolling around in the back seat of your camaro. That said, we will use these grooves to our advantage. Begin stacking and gluing the 8-Tracks together for the legs of your bench. Remember, tables and tablesque items generally require a minimum of three legs. If the bench is longer than four feet, I would recommend a minimum of six legs. Be sure to stack them all facing the same direction. I recommend stacking them up against a wall or something flat and vertical to ensure some straightness. Allow these to dry overnight, Gorilla Glue is like cement and will expand like a sponge, so avoid over-gluing.
  7. Screw the 2x4 into the bottom of the plywood. Make sure the screws are flush. There’s going to be tapes glued onto the top of the sucker in a bit.
  8. Place the plywood face-down and glue the legs onto the bottom. Let this dry overnight, and let it dry good.
  9. Flip the sucker over and begin gluing your 8-Tracks onto the top.

{ TIPs}

· When measuring stuff out, make sure you get a total number of tapes required. You’ve already looted your dad’s car, it’d be a shame to go after your uncle’s car as well.

· Pre-plan any patterns and see how it looks.

· Glue the tapes in a way that has the ‘tape’ side pointing inwards.

· You can always add new legs to the middle if you feel that it isn’t sturdy enough

· Experiment with gluing a short ‘backrest’ along the back or an overhanging lip around the front to clean it up.

· If you’re a slob, like my mother thinks I am, consider getting a piece of glass cut to cover the top, this makes cleanup easy.

Here’s a few pictures of the finished-ish product along with some of the stars of the show.

Also, among the plants on the bench:
- Six growing Papaya trees (grown from a gutted-papaya)
- Two jalepeno peppers
- Two serrano peppers
- Bamboo
- One plant 'rescued' from Marsh's Apple Mart
- One plant 'rescued' from Home Depot.


Mary said...

You make me proud!
Love you,

Rebecca said...

very cool!

swag said...

"Despise" them? I bet 90% of the American population wouldn't know one if it was placed in front of them.

AMANDA said...

Nice! Creative Recycling. Well played!