Monthly Archives

August 2018

Designed to Last – Wooden Garden Furniture and Why You Should Look Closely Before You Buy

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Wooden Garden Furniture in today's outdoor furniture market is a worldwide industry with more selection and choice available than ever before. If you love wooden garden furniture and are in the market to buy now there are 3 considerations which will help you make the right choice for a lasting addition to your outdoor environment. Good design, how the wood was processed, and what methods of assembly and hardware are used by the manufacturer will all be important considerations to ensure your satisfaction with your furniture over time.

People usually think of design as a visual preference. It is that- but it is so much more. Great design makes the piece function better and last longer. Design elements will guide you toward the best value as you search for different types of wooden garden furniture. If you are considering teak garden furniture, for example, is the shape cut into the wood or have straight pieces been bent into shape? The cut piece will last longer than the bent piece. Look at the chair back. Some makers will shorten the backs to shave costs resulting in a less comfortable design. The same thing applies to the arm height. Are there noticeably fewer slats in the back? This can affect the entire strength of the piece. Taking notice of these details, be it teak, mahogany, pine, or oak garden furniture will help determine a quality piece.

What are the properties of the materials being used in the construction of the furniture? Do you know if the manufacturer used first quality timber? How was it processed? If it is teak, kiln-dried timber is hands down the preferred method for top quality furniture. It will keep the furniture from warping, keeping joints tight for years to come. If it is pine garden furniture, pressure treating is a must to prevent insect infestations which could compromise the longevity of the piece. Environmental concerns can be addressed by looking for wood that has been responsibly grown and harvested to ensure sustainability. If you are looking for alternative materials, there are many large manufacturers and small cottage artisan shops offering unique lines in reclaimed teak garden furniture and recycled materials. Bamboo Garden Furniture is fast becoming a natural choice for those looking for eco-friendly materials. Rustic Garden Furniture, made from twigs, willow, and other natural materials is also a great green choice and perfect for the bohemian spirit. All of these materials are providing some of the most innovative and chic designs in outdoor furniture today.

After you have decided on the material of choice, take a look at how it is put together. Partially assembled pieces are not unusual, especially if it is to be shipped from the factory to the destination, but pieces which need to be completely assembled leave room for ill-fitting and loose joints as well as compromised strength. Always look for marine grade stainless steel bolts, screws, and hinges. This is the industry standard for the best hardware assembly. High quality brass fittings may be acceptable as well but do ask and check the quality. Poor quality hardware will rust and corrode with time. A well made piece of wooden outdoor furniture deserves hardware that will last too. Taking note of the above considerations will go a long way toward helping you make informed decisions as you search for the perfect garden furniture.


Source by Karen Badalucco

Outdoor Garden Shed Plans and Preparation

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If you can hardly get the car into the garage because it's full of gardening equipment and all the cupboards and drawers in the house are full with stuff that you really do not want to throw out then an outdoor garden could be the solution you are looking for.

Too pricey you say, well not if you build your own!

Whole sets of outdoor garden shed plans are available from the internet with step by step instruction on how to complete your project.

First you need you decide the best site for the shed with regards to fitting in with its surroundings. You need also to consider whether you need electricity, drainage and where doors and windows will be for ease of access.

Roughly work out the dimensions of the floor area covered by the shed then from your garden shed plans choose a shed that would best suit your needs.

Before you buy anything check that your new construction will not violate any building codes, if applicable you may also need to consult with the tenants association. The information needed will be on your blueprints.

Prepare your shed foundation with care, this alone can add years to the lifetime of your shed and ensure smooth opening of doors and windows.

From your plans you can now order your timber and hardware, some suppliers will cut some or all of your wood to size which is a great timesaver.

When pricing do not forget to factor in any extras such as paint / varnish and brushes. You may want to add shelving or a workbench although this can be done at a later date.


Source by Anthony Woods

How to Have Perfect Wood Cutting

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The process of making useful things from raw material like an irregular wood log is really a very difficult task. It really requires very special skill and dedication. A woodworker takes an irregular wood log and cuts it into different pieces according to the requirement of the end product. For example, if he desires to make a chair, he will require cutting it in specific shapes. Similar for making some other item different shape of wood sheets would be required. So the carpenter or woodworker uses his cutting tools to get the desired shape of wooden sheets to convert them into useful items. These items are then used in decorating your drawing room or are used in the office.

Thus the most important thing in workshop of the woodworker is always a saw or wood cutting equipment. This cutter could be of different sizes to handle different types of targets. On the other hand there are some kinds of automatic motorized wood cutting equipment which are also mostly mounted on a table stand. This is very important tool for a wood worker. There are different things which play important role in such automatic machines. For example, there is an electric motor. This motor moves the cutter and enables it to perform its function of cutting. The surface of the table is also very important from cutting point of view.

One of the most important components of a wood cutting machine is its blade. This is actually the blade which cuts the irregular wooden plates or logs into some useful pieces. However, quality of this cutting device is very much important for having perfect cuttings. Fine cutting helps to join the edges in perfect way. And it is only fine cutting which creates admirable items. Therefore, importance of fine cutting instrument can never be ignored.


Source by Nazima Golamaully

The Benefits of Drill Machines

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Drill machines are probably the first mechanical device developed with the principle of rotating a tool to make holes. It is also the most common and essential machine in many industries. These type of machines come in different kinds, types and sizes from hand to computer controlled. These machines consist of a column, a base, spindle, table and drill head. The drill head has three handles that when turned on, move the spindle and vertically chuck, parallel to the column axis. Table in the machine is vertically adjusted and is moved by a pinion or rack. The older model relies on the operator to re-clamp and lift the table in place.

Drill press sizes are measured in terms of swing. Throat distance is the distance starting from the spindle center to the pillar closest edge. Drill machines have many benefits and advantages that are essential for people who use it.

One of the benefits of tools is that it requires less effort than older models. The chuck and spindle movement is due to the lever working on a pinion or rack that provides the operator with a reliable mechanical benefit. The table allows a clamp to lock and put the work in place that makes the operation secure. Spindle angle is fixed to the table that allows the holes to be drilled repetitively and accurately.

The speed of drills is changed manually by moving the belt across a pulley stepped arrangement. Increasing the speed range adds another stepped pulley. The modern machines can use a speed variable motor in combination with the pulley stepped system. Older tools have a based traction that continuously transmits variables for a range of speed chuck. Drill machines are commonly used for Misc workshop tasks such as honing, polishing or sanding by honing wheels, mounting sanding drums and many rotating accessories.

Drill machines allow a vast degree of accuracy for drilling, exactly placed holes and for repetitive drilling operations. It needs less manual effort to run than older handheld drills. It runs using a motor to turn the belt that agitates the drill bit at the largest rate of speed. When lowered into a piece of wood or metal, the drill bit scrapes away the material and the size depends on the drill bit sizes. Spindle secures the chuck that holds the drill bit in position while it spins at the largest speed rate. The chuck is tightened to a drill, but with the use of a screwdriver like tool that closes and opens the cylinder containing the chuck.

Drill machines can make permanent holes. It helps most people who are into industries that need drilling machines for their products and other materials. With these benefits of tools, many can lessen their efforts in making holes. With the use of drilling machines, correct and precise holes are created permanently for easier and faster works than manually controlled tools.


Source by Hermione Cruz

Woodworking Furniture Plans – Start Building Your Own Furniture Now!

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With the increasing costs to buy furniture an alternative to save money is for you to make it yourself this can be reliably easy to do. You can find some very good furniture plans on the internet to help and guide you with your building. The first thing to do is decide which pieces of furniture you want to build, some may be very complicated so choosing an easy piece to begin with is an idea. Even an amateur can produce a great looking piece of furniture with the right materials and good plans.

Some people have always dreamed of hand crafting a piece of furniture for their home, there is something very satisfying knowing that you have built it. Furniture plans are a great way to give you the information you require, they will advise on the best materials all of the fixtures and screws needed and even the tools you will require. You can simply download the plans and enlarge any diagrams or drawings to ensure that you fully understand them.

You will need to find plans for your skill level, you should begin with an easy piece of furniture and when you have completed that then you can move onto something more complicated. There are many different furniture plans to choose from and some are very complicated; you need to ensure that you find clear and simple to understand plans. If your skill level is quite good and you like a challenge then you can choose more difficult furniture plans that will take more time. These can give you a project to do over some months, and quite often the detail and quality is far greater.

Wooden furniture is still very popular among many households and deciding which wood to choose can be a challenge. You will need to ensure that you use tough quality wood that looks good to build your furniture with. Once you have chosen your wood then you will need to decide which finish you will give your furniture. Some wood if left natural looks very nice but must be varnished to avoid damage to the furniture. You may decide to paint the furniture which can look equally as good in the right environment. What end finish you decide on will be absolutely your taste and budget, some will look better than others.

Once your confidence grows and you have built some simple pieces of furniture you will be inclined to want to build more and more. There are several more complicated furniture plans available, and some have very personal touches. You may want to build something as a present and people always appreciate handmade gifts. They show that you have put thought and time into the gift and it will be cherished for many years to come. Your hand built furniture in your own home will be pride of place and you will find that people comment on it every time they enter your home.


Source by Jacob Woodgate

Forget What Your Neighbors Say – Furnish Your Home For Free With Second Hand Timber Pallets

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If you've ever been to the hardware store to buy some bits of timber for making a coffee table or something along those lines, you'll no doubt have discovered just how expensive wood can be. In fact, many DIY enthusiasts have long since given up making their own items of furniture simply because readymade furniture usually costs less.

The big difference of course is that most readymade furniture is of a substandard quality. Yes, it might look good, and it might have those professional finishing touches, but that's where it ends. The minute it comes into contact with any water, even from you mopping the floor, it begins to swell, and from there on it's a downward spiral.

In the past, when I've recommended second hand timber pallets to friends who are DIY enthusiasts, they always tend to be skeptical. Admittedly, used pallets are usually made from cheaper types of timber, such as pine for example, but with a little bit of effort and creativity, they can be turned into really nice furniture.

Furthermore, you do not need a fully equipped workshop either. I would personally recommend that you have an electric planer; a belt sander; an orbital sander, and of course, a drill. You'll also need a few hand tools such as screwdrivers, saw, and etc. Once you have secured a few used pallets, your first job is to break them up into individual pieces of wood. and then simply store the various pieces in an appropriate place.

I never set myself any deadlines. Instead, I wait until I see an item of furniture which I really like, and one which I know could have made from the wood I've salvaged from the pallets. For example, I recently saw a really nice bedside pedestal. I immediately went home and started working out my measurements in order to know whether I had enough timber to make two; one for either side of our bed. The following weekend I went to work, and even if I have to say so myself, our pedestals look terrific.

Our dining room table is also made from second hand timber pallets, as is our coffee table, and also out TV cabinet. They might be made from pine, but you would never say so if you saw them, and I can assure you, they're not going to fall to bits any time soon. In fact, everyone who has seen the furniture I've made from used pallets has commented on how good it looks.

So, how do you go about getting your hands on old pallets? Many companies just want to get rid of them, and if that's the case, they'll let you have them free of charge. Others will sometimes charge you a small fee, but again, it's a lot less than you'd pay at your local hardware. One thing to keep in mind however, is the fact that there are a growing number of timber merchants who are willing to purchase used pallets.

Of course if you have access to second hand pallets on an ongoing basis, then you could also earn a little revenue on the line, but from personal experience, you can make a lot more if you use them for making household furniture. In a nutshell, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the wood used for making pallets, so why not take advantage of an ideal opportunity?

Not only can you save a reasonable amount of money, but you can also have the pleasure of knowing that much of the furniture in your home has been made / crafted by you.


Source by Neva Lobe

Bird House Kits Make Great Bird Houses

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One great way to attract birds to your garden is by providing them with a comfortable nest in which they would definitely continue returning. Believe it or not, there are bird houses that are already made and there are bird house kits which could easily be assembled on your own. However, if you are adept to working on crafts, you could easily create one simply from any materials that are available around your house.

If you are in any way planning to use a bird house kit, the primary thing to consider is just how you are to use a bird house kit. Do you think the bird house is to be used as a fixture in your own yard? Or do you prefer the bird house to be portable? Do you have a good idea on the specific bird types that you plan to attract? If so, you should there before have an advanced plan as to what types of bird seeds or feeds to use.

There are also many types of bird house kits that cater to any types of birds. There are those bird house kits that are created for single type birds. There are also others that are for a lot of birds. There are bird house kits that could be hung while there are also others which could be mounted on a post or a fence.

The fact of the matter is that giving yourself appropriate time and effort in planning way ahead will eventually make your bird house making experience a lot satisfying. However, if you are planning to buy a kit that is ready to be assembled, the wood to be used will then be already cut and measured.

Also included in the kits are the hardware. The holes for the bird house are also pre-cut. Another good thing is that the holes for mounting it are also pre-prepared. These kits are also made generally from wood cedar as this type is resistant to weather.

Take note that the bird house kits spaces are either primed or rough, ready to have a coat paint finish. The good thing about this is that painting it is extremely fun. There are colors you could choose wherein you could go for simple or those that easily attract birds – like a paint job that is a lot fancier.

Believe it or not, these kits could also be made as easily by kids. Therefore, building one could be a very interesting project which kids could easily finish in one session. This also works for cub scout groups or for your grand children. You could even make them and give them out as presents during Christmas!

What you need are basically the following things: (take note that this is usually available in lumber yards or in your local home improvement shops) boards that measure 1x 6, boards that measure 1 X 8, one box of five penny nails, exterior paint (either brown, white, green) that is preferred made of latex for the purpose of making it easy to wash using water, a disposable cheap paintbrush for every bird house kit, a wire single heavy strand, hammers for kids (the less than three dollars kind) for those children who may have forgotten their.

All in all, making a bird house is easy as long as you put your mind to it. The important thing of course is for you to enjoy what you are doing and the rest is simply a walk in the park. Nothing really beats seeing your finished project hanging on a tree somewhere with lovely birds nesting innocently on your creation. It brings unquestionable pride for you especially for anyone – especially kids – who may have a part on the making whether you used a pre-made bird house kit or made one from scratch.


Source by Lee Dobbins

Decking – A Brief Guide on How to Install Composite Timber Decking

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Composite timber decking is green and sustainable in nature and is suitable for both residential and commercial use. It is designed to withstand heavy loads, easier and faster to build, safer surface to walk on, waterproof surface, a natural wood effect and appearance and more durable compared to the other decking systems and materials.

Building and installing a deck is not as easy as it looks however it can be done with proper planning and execution. First you need to establish what type and style of decking you want. You can find tips and ideas from the internet, magazines, books or even family, friends and neighbors. After deciding on the design it is important to choose the material you want for your deck. In general you can choose between various types of lumber or synthetic.

It is important to run a checklist on the tools required for building a deck. Starting with hand tools you will need-

• Tape measure

• Chalk line

• Layout square

• Straight edge

• Carpenters level

• Framing hammer

• Utility knife

• Framing square

• Nail set

• Chisels

• Ranches

• Socket range

• Handsaw

• Craw bar

• Saw horses.

Next is to check on your powered tools which are-

• Circular saw

• Miter saw

• Reciprocating saw

• Hammer drill

• Cordless drill

• Corded drill

• Wood and masonry bits

• Extension cords

• Jigsaw

The long lists of tool may look daunting and expensive however you can always rent these tools if you do not want to purchase them.

The first step in constructing a deck is to install the ledger. It sets the height of the deck and transfers the weight of the deck to the foundation of the house. To attach the lumber board to the house you need to draw holes through the wood into the masonry using masonry bits, than use masonry anchors to attach the ledger. Once the ledger is in place you can use it to locate footings which will outline your deck.

Framing is the supporting structure of the deck which consists of the post, beams and joist. The first thing is to construct the beam that will support the floor joist which is then attached to the ledger. If you are choosing a two level deck a temporary stringer or stir frame is cut and attached to the larger upper deck to ensure the proper height for the lower deck. Once the height of the lower deck is set, the installation of post, beams and joist are carried out following a similar order as the upper deck.

Find boards that are as straight as possible for your deck. You should buy 10% to 15% more decking than estimated to allow for crooked boards and cutting waste. Deck boards must have spacing between them to allow water and debris to pass between them.

A good general rule in constructing outdoor stairs for decking is that it should be at least 3 ft. wide for ease of traffic flow and safe use. The next thing is to construct railroads around the deck. Building regulations specify that the height of the railing should be a minimum of 30 inches.


Source by Jack Howe

Scrapbooking for Cash: Can You Make Money Scrapbooking?

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If you have images of sitting in a gorgeous scrapbooking room, surrounded by all the latest tools and supplies, creating gorgeous layouts for which you are paid scads of money… well, let me be blunt and say that image will probably stay only in your dreams. The reality is that yes, you can make money scrapbooking, but it’s not as easy as just creating the pages YOU want, on your schedule.

There are many paths to making money scrapbooking. As with any business, it’s easier to make a little bit of extra walking-around money, and much more difficult to make enough to send your kids to Harvard, or even the local community college. But don’t let that dissuade you; if you are passionate about scrapbooking and are willing to start looking at it as a business instead of a hobby, you can start earning a paycheck.

Here are the main ways you can make money through your scrapbooking:

1. Selling something. You can sell page kits, completed layouts or albums, or scrapbooking supplies. Whether you attend holiday craft shows, open your own scrapbook store, become a consultant, or sell your wares through eBay, etsy, or your own website, you’re basically in the retail business. People come to you for completed pages, albums, or scrapbook supplies.

2. Teaching someone. You know that old saying, “Those who can’t do, teach?” Well, not in scrapbooking! If you’re a talented scrapbooker with a knack for instructing others, you can find a home teaching independently, as an instructor at your local scrapbook store or big-box craft store, or online.

3. Host events. If you’re a great organizer, maybe you can find your niche in the scrapbooking market by hosting scrapbook-related events, such as meet-and-greets, networking events, trade shows, or crop nights. By serving as the administrator, others pay you to take care of the details.

4. Scrapbooking on demand. Some people just love to scrapbook, whether it’s with their own photos or someone else’s. If that describes you, you might make a perfect for-hire scrapbooker. Individuals or businesses can hire you to create scrapbooks on their behalf, with their photos and stories. And scrapbooking supplies manufacturers often have design teams where you create sample projects and layouts for them, with their new products.

5. Publishing your pages. “Getting published” is what most people think of when they first think about getting paid to scrapbook. Unfortunately, with the closing of many scrapbooking publications, the opportunities to see your scrapbook layouts on the cover of a magazine are few and far between. And even if you do get published, you may be compensated in product instead of cold, hard cash. All the same, some talented designers do make several hundred dollars a month by becoming regulars in magazines.


Source by Lain Ehmann

Tips for Sanding Diamond Willow Wood

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Diamond willow is any wood from a Willow Tree that has been deformed into diamond-shaped sections that alternate in color. The deformation is likely a result of a fungus attacking the tree; the tree bark starts to grow away from the affected area, causing cankers to form in the wood. These cankers tend to take on a beautiful diamond pattern that alternates in dark and light wood-colors.

It is a remarkable and unusual type of wood that is fervently sought out by woodworkers and furniture designers all across the country. When working with diamond willow, it is important to learn some proper techniques in order to protect yourself and the material. So continue reading for tips on how to sand diamond willow.

Required Tools

To get started on a diamond willow sanding project, you will first need to make sure you have the proper tools on hand. Gather up items like chisels, scrapers, knives (not the foldable kind), rasps, block panes, and the right grade sandpaper. When accumulating these tools, you need to keep in mind that this is a hand-carving and sanding project that can result in serious injuries if not implemented safely. Basically, watch out for the hand that is holding the diamond willow at all times!

Once you have all the necessary items, it is important to discuss the type of sandpaper you should use. For this type of sanding, it is recommended to go with tri-folded sheets of standard aluminum oxide production paper. Be sure to purchase a variety of grits, including 100, 120, 220, and 320. Although most of the sanding you’ll be doing will require the 100 grit, you may need to purchase all of these to achieve a certain finish.

To get started with the sanding process, follow these tips for advice:

  • Use a gouge chisel or non-folding rounded blade to remove the bark from the diamonds.
  • Be sure to not cut too deeply into the diamonds, exceeding its distinctive coloration.
  • Traces in the deepest recesses of the diamonds add unique beauty to the final finish.
  • Sand out all areas to your preferred degree of levelness using a scraper, rasp, or other effective tool.
  • Smooth out all areas again to your desired smoothness using sandpaper.
  • Finish with a proper coating but do not use polyurethane.

Aside from artistry and skill, getting the best results from sanding any wood product starts with using quality materials. Be sure you are choosing in-house manufactured abrasives for all your sanding needs in order to cement great results that last.


Source by Sarahbeth Kluzinski

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