Introduction

Tedswoodworking Plans

Ted's Woodworking Plans

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IMPORTANT NOTICE

Wood projects designed for outdoor use tend to be rugged and sturdy, utilizing simple joinery techniques and able to withstand extreme changes in temperature and humidity. Building outdoor projects can be a great way to develop and practice woodworking skills, while at the same time creating attractive pieces that you and your family will use for years to come.

In Woodworking for the Backyard, you'll find 18 outdoor projects that cover a diverse range of styles and levels of complexity. Some projects are quite basic, and well within the capability of all woodworkers; others are more refined, meant for sheltered spaces like porches and breezeways and requiring a higher level of woodworking skills for successful completion.

Each project includes a beautiful photograph of the finished piece, complete cutting and shopping lists, detailed plan drawings, clear color photographs of key points in the building process and straightforward step-by-step instructions. Before you dive right into making your first project, we encourage you to review the following two pages, where we've highlighted information that will provide a helpful introduction to choosing, joining and finishing wood for outdoor projects.

For your safety, caution and good judgment should be used when following instructions described in this book. Take into consideration your level of skill and the safety precautions related to the tools and materials shown. Neither the publisher, Shady Oak Press, nor any of its affiliates can assume responsibility for any damage to property or persons as a result of the misuse of the information provided. Consult your local building department for information on permits, codes, regulations and laws that may apply to your project.

Suitable woods for outdoor projects

Outdoor wood furniture can survive for many years in the elements, but the kind of wood you use will influence the longevity of your project. A number of wood species contain natural oils that make them more resistant to rotting, insect infestation and degradation from ultraviolet sunlight than other woods. Weather-resistant woods we use for projects featured in this book include Western red cedar, white oak and Honduras mahogany. Other excellent wood choices for outdoor projects include redwood, teak and cypress, but these varieties are harder to find in many areas of the United States and can be quite expensive.

Wood products like treated lumber and exterior-grade plywood are also good options for outdoor projects, but you'll probably want to reserve the^-c- woods for projects you plan to paint. Treated lumhrr - pressure-infused with chemicals that makr :: —.-ect- and moisture-resistant. Exterior-grade - 1 :.? made with waterproof glue, so it re»:- An::nating when it comes into contact with - -

Naturally weather-resistant woods include, from left to right, redwood, cedar, white oak and teak.

Other less weather-durable woods, like red oak and pine, can be used for outdoor projects as well, but these woods must be topcoated thoroughly with primer and paint or other UV protective sealers. It's a good idea to keep projects made from these woods in an area sheltered from moisture or direct ground contact and store them inside during seasons when they aren't in use.

STEP 1: Drill a counterbored pilot hole deep enough into the wood so the counterbored portion of the hole can accommodate both the screw head and a plug.

STEP 2: Drive the screw into the hole until it stops at the bottom of the counterbore. Glue and insert a wood plug cut from the same wood species or from a piece of dowel.

STEP 1: Drill a counterbored pilot hole deep enough into the wood so the counterbored portion of the hole can accommodate both the screw head and a plug.

STEP 2: Drive the screw into the hole until it stops at the bottom of the counterbore. Glue and insert a wood plug cut from the same wood species or from a piece of dowel.

STEP 3: Trim any protruding portion of the wood plug flush with the surrounding wood using a flush-trimming handsaw. Then sand the plug area smooth.

counterboring & plugging

One way to refine the look of outdoor furniture is to conceal screw heads with wood plugs. Wood plugs also keep galvanized screws sealed from moisture, which can otherwise cause them to react with woods like white oak and cedar over time, producing black stains. Counterboring and plugging are used on several projects in this book. To install wood plugs, drill pilot holes for the screws with a counterbore bit. The counterbore portion of the hole needs to be deep enough to fit both the countersunk screw head and the wood plug. Then bore wood plugs with a plug cutter in a drill press and cut them out with a band saw (See this technique on page 156). Glue and insert the plugs and sand smooth.

Exterior-grade latex primers and paints have come a long way in terms of durability, and they are easier to clean up than oil-based paints. Use primer with a stain blocker to seal woods like cedar that are prone to bleed oils through a painted finish.

Wood preservatives with UV additives (left) are often sold as deck finishes and offer a couple years' worth of protection. Spar varnish (right) provides an even tougher moisture seal.

Exterior-grade latex primers and paints have come a long way in terms of durability, and they are easier to clean up than oil-based paints. Use primer with a stain blocker to seal woods like cedar that are prone to bleed oils through a painted finish.

Wood preservatives with UV additives (left) are often sold as deck finishes and offer a couple years' worth of protection. Spar varnish (right) provides an even tougher moisture seal.

Choosing an outdoor wood finish

It's a good idea to topcoat even weather-resistant woods as a final project step, especially if you want to retain the wood's natural color. Without a UV protective finish, woods like cedar and mahogany will turn a harmless silvery gray color, which may not achieve the look you're after for your project. Apply several coats of a clear or tinted penetrating water-repellent preservative with ultraviolet inhibitors and a mildewcide, or use marine-grade spar varnish, a favorite of boat builders. Plan to recoat annually for projects that are kept outside all the time. The other route to take for exterior finishes is to use a premium-quality latex primer followed by multiple coats of exterior latex paint.

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