Community members politely informed me that I forgot at least two important tools for any basic woodworking kit in my recent post. Those tools are imagination and snacks.
Here in northern New England we are currently experiencing a few weeks of rugged weather during which I’m finding that imagination and snacks are in fact the two most important tools for my shop. Today, for example, the challenges to normal work and travel are intermittent power outages and a hard rain on top of a couple feet of snow and ice. But that’s not stopping me from imagining a balmy summer, including Adirondack chairs to sit on. Start building outdoor furniture now if you want to enjoy it in June – that’s what I say.
5 Steps for Building Outdoor Furniture in January
1. Imagine a sunny sky.
2. Eat a summery snack. Haven’t you had enough Christmas cookies by now?
3. Decide what wood to use. Christopher Schwarz directed me to a handy list of rot-resistant species, and I have it narrowed down to a shortlist to seek out – cypress, white oak and Douglas fir. My final choice will be price-dependent and will, of course, take workability into account.
4. Find some good outdoor furniture plans that appeal to you. If it’s Adirondack chairs you want, we have one of the best free plans around. Click here.
5. Start sketching out the work as it will actually occur in your shop, solving any tool problems in advance. The cheapest and best tools are the ones you can either avoid buying altogether or source well ahead of time. That way you’re not stuck going straight to the store and paying full price for the gadget you need just to get through a single step or challenge.
Learning how to build outdoor furniture is one of my New Year’s resolutions. Each of our editors has written a short list of 2014 goals and we’ll be publishing the ideas on ShopWoodworking.com soon, so stay tuned!
Have you already built the Adirondack chairs mentioned above? Please share your experiences, challenges and solutions below so everyone can benefit from what you learned.