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Carpenters of just about
every skill level love to build outdoor projects. A picnic table has a different set of expectations than a dining table, which makes us more comfortable building it ourselves.
sturdy, satisfying results…these are just a few of the qualities we love about outdoor furniture.
complete plans for creating your own:
- Adirondack chairs
- patio tables
- garden benches
- cooking and entertaining accessories
- a handsome four-post pergola
- and more!
Build your carpentry skills while beautifying your outdoor space and making it more usable with this comprehensive guide.
From the Publisher
The Complete Guide to Outdoor Carpentry, Updated 3rd Edition
Outdoor carpentry is just plain fun. Working away in the elements and fresh air with plenty of space and elbow room. And perhaps best of all, you almost never encounter a fraction like 13/64 or a cutting angle like “31.2°”. The projects tend to be bigger and so do the tolerances. So if you’re still pretty new at the carpentry craft, there is no better place to get some experience (and create some cool things for your yard) than working outdoor.
In this new edition of BLACK+DECKER The Complete Guide to Outdoor Carpentry you’ll find more than two dozen complete projects, from basic benches to large four-post pergolas. Most are made of wood and do not require a lot of fancy tools. We’ve been careful to include projects that represent a wide range of skill levels, but even the hardest among these are doable for the average weekend craftsman.
A wealth of popular building projects that are fun and easy to build:
You’ll never fully enjoy your backyard without comfortable seating. Chairs, benches, and swings are mainstays of outdoor living. In this chapter you’ll find a dozen seating projects that range from fanciful to simple, classic to retro, and nautical to Eastern-inspired. If you are a relative newcomer to carpentry, consider starting with one of the simpler projects, such as the Knockdown Garden Bench or the Slatted Garden Bench. If your skills are a bit more advanced, think about tackling the Porch Swing and Porch Swing Stand or perhaps the Luxury Sun Lounger that’s crafted from mahogany and features stainless steel brightwork.
Dining & Entertaining Projects
Perhaps the most popular backyard activities are cooking and eating. In fact, throwing backyard barbecues and preparing summertime meals for the family are the primary reasons we acquire most of our yard furnishings. Picnic tables and patio tables are the heart of your outdoor entertaining accommodations, and you’ll find several interpretations here. The Cedar Patio table offers sturdiness, a spacious top, and rich wood tones. The trestle-type table with a pair of matching benches is flexible, comfortable, and low-maintenance, thanks to the composite decking used. The outdoor tea table and chairs sets an Eastern tone that is at once contemporary and classic. For ambitious outdoor cooks, investigate the rolling Patio Prep Cart with built-in refrigerator compartment, or the Pitmaster’s Locker—a vertical cabinet with a locking door for fuel and grilling accessory storage.
Yard & Garden Projects
Outdoor carpentry projects are not limited to patio tables and garden benches. The projects in this chapter share a common theme: their main purpose is to improve the appearance of your yard. Yards and gardens do not take care of themselves. So several projects in this chapter are designed to make yard and garden maintenance easier: a clever potting bench with work surfaces at two levels (because potted plants are not one-size-fits-all), a cold frame and more. There are designs and instructions for several planters and containers: a triple-threat trellis planter for potting, climbing, and hanging; a planter based on a design from the Gardens at Versailles. And for pure decorative fun, we’ve included a wishing well/pump house with recirculating water, and a Japanese-inspired luminary.
SPECIAL SECTION: Garden Bridges
Whether incorporated as a decorative feature, a functional asset, or a combination, a garden bridge is an alluring landscape addition. Depending on the design, a small footbridge can be an easy project; but no matter how much work you put into it, a garden bridge usually has big visual impact.
The pages that follow describe several ways to use and place garden bridges—including how to create the appearance of an obstacle that needs bridging. The style of the bridge you choose should relate to the style of your home, the landscape aesthetic you’ve chosen, and your own personal tastes. In designing the bridge, size it appropriately for the space you have and to keep it in proportion to other garden structures. But no matter what style or design you choose, this much is true—the garden bridge is one of the most unique and appealing structures you can add to your yard.