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Patio Plant Stand

Patios and sundecks have become something of a new living area for many people in recent years. Patios and decks are great places to entertain, to enjoy family and friends and to just relax and unwind and enjoy the great outdoors.

The popularity of these new living quarters has spurred a whole new industry of out door furniture and accessories, including lounge chairs, formal dinning tables and chairs, stools, benches cooking and entertainment pieces, BBQs and so on.  To help add to this growing trend, we decided to make our own Patio Plant Stand. It's easy to make (you can often make them with leftover lumber) they can be painted, stained or covered with material, what ever suits your needs.

For out plant stand we kept is very simple, it's basically a 24" high, by 24" long and 12" wide with one tier in the middle to help offset one of the plants and give the stand some "life". We started off by ...

Making Whirligigs

Making woodworking objects that move on their own is a bit foreign to many of us woodworkers. This makes these kinds of projects a bit more challenging ... in a fun sort of way. Trying to figure out how something works, and when you are building it, wondering if it really will work like it's supposed to. 

There is a bit of a fascination with these little whimsical little ornaments, and if you happen to have an old antique one, you cold be looking at a very expensive artifact, or at least that what the good folks on the Antiques Roadshow have shown. The older, the more weathered and with almost no paint left these garden and shed ornaments are highly coveted.

Making whirligigs is fun and a bit demanding but there are a few things to keep in mind as you go along. The first thing to remember, even before you start, is with whirligigs, BIGGER is better. Remember, these things are often going to be at some distance ... in the garden, on the garage, shed or greenhouse, maybe on a far corner of the yard. All this means if you make it too small, it will be harder to see or won't even get noticed so when you think you have the correct size .... double it, make it really big so it can easily be seen and enjoyed.

Another important consideration is the wood ...

Popular Woodworking Jigs

Jigs and woodworking are synonymous. There are many reasons for woodworkers to make jigs. Sometimes they are made for a single cut or single use, sometimes they are used to make multiple numbers of something and other times they are made to help improve safety. Whatever the reason, jig making is a part of woodworking. They can simple or complex but are often made from bits and pieces of wood found around the workshop that would otherwise end up as firewood.
I always seem to be making one sort of jig or another, the biggest problem I have is after I store them for a few months (or years) I forget what I had them for. What's worse, I have been known (on a few occasions) to make a new jig, when I already had one but forgot I had it.

I have a few jigs that I use all-the-time, like the ones featured here.

 

The first, is the center finder. I always seem to be cutting wood in half. I purchase a lot of rough cut lumber that is quite wide and often needs to be cut in half to run through the jointer and planer. I also find that I am often ripping thicker boards in half and all of this means finding an accurate center.

Building a Trebuchet

trebuchetModel making, or more specifically, building small versions - to scale - is an important part of woodworking. All of the renowned woodworkers that I have studied, did some forms of building scale models of their ideas and designs ... or at least had one of their workers do it for them.
There is something fascinating about scale models of real objects whether it is scale model airplanes, cars or logging and trucking equipment like Serge Roberge does in his Replicas in Wood scale model heavy equipment pieces.
I have always been intrigued by ancient machinery and tools and so decided to embark on making a Trebuchet. Some of you will call this a catapult, but that is actually a different machine, you can check this out on the Internet. I wanted to make as realistic looking as possible, at least to what I had seen in replica pictures and drawings.

I decided to use Garry Oak, and dye it to look more like a weather European woods that might have been used hundreds of years ago.

Since I wasn't really concerned if it worked or not because it was only to be a display or conversation piece, I could build this according to what I thought looked accurate. I started off by cutting some 3/4" x 3/4" square sticks that would form most of the machine, with the small exception of some thin planks that would be use on base where the rocks would have been loaded into the sling.

** UPDATE ... for everyone who wanted to see the Trebuchet working, here is the video of shooting the Trebuchet ...

Remember ... this was built just as a decorative piece, but it actually works ....... and ......

Setting Up Your Workshop

Workshops often grow organically ... by that I mean, you start off woodworking with a few tools and a workbench. Later on you get a few more tools, maybe some machinery and they a placed within the shop where there is room. Next thing you know it is years later and you have acquired many more tools and machines and they don't always seem to be in the best or most convenient spots.
Has this ever happened to you?  I has to me which is why I always stop and take stock of how my shop is set up at least once every year. I am also influenced by other shops that I visit and by seeing their ideas and set-ups and sometimes I can use their ideas too in my shop to make it better for me.

There are many reasons that we need to re-evaluate our workshop space from time to time, and it's not just for convenience. Even more important is our own safety. A workshop that is properly laid out can be safer to work in just because it is easier to clean for example, or perhaps there is less chance of tripping over things like cords, dust collection hoses or running into edges of machinery.

The more we can do to make our workshops more conducive to work in, the more we will want to work in the and be safe, and all that means is there is more opportunity for us to do better, more enjoyable work.

 

Selecting and Installing Simple HInges

There are so many woodworking projects that use hinges, I am always astounded at how many different kinds, sizes and types there are. Easily the most used and perhaps the most useful is the common Butt Hinge.
It can be used inside the frame, outside the frame, between the frame and door and it comes in many, many variations.
If you wondering what a Butt Hinge looks like, just look a pretty much any door, unless it has some sort of a decorative hinge, it probably has Butt Hinges installed, and even if it is decorative, it might still be some variation of the a butt hinge.

Installing hinges is like many other things in woodworking, once you are shown a few tips and tricks, they become easy to install and are properly aligned, straight and help to augment your woodworking rather than taking away from it. In this video we highlight some of those tricks and tips to make hinge selection less frustrating and easier to to do.
Copyright - Colin Knecht
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