Small Woodworking Projects – Great and All

Okay, I like animals, and the title of this post is a play on the James Herriot novel.

I saw a robin outside the other day. I’m taking it to be either the first sign of spring or the first sign of the dog I’m caring for being momentarily absent from the yard near my shop. The dog, by the way – a shepherd-husky mix – couldn’t care less for spring. She’s been outside through the worst of this polar weather we’re all having.

Anyway I thought I’d take a break this weekend from working on my Adirondack chairs and build something simple from the “small woodworking projects” genre. The beauty of a small woodworking project is that you can finish the entire build between other tasks, usually in a day. It’s like the quick rush of coffee, as compared to the slow build of, I don’t know, chewing raw tea leaves or something.

The other tasks I was working around this weekend were caring for the dog, fetching supplies for the big game, preparing nachos for the big game and watching my team get systematically dismantled in the big game. I decided to build a birdhouse for Robin Redbreast, or whatever species might take an interest, based on some birdhouse plans I’ve seen in our database. By the time the Broncos had completely given up hope, I was already nailing parts together.

3 Fun Things about Small Woodworking Projects

1. Assuming you are in the middle of a larger build, you absolutely do not need to go to the lumber yard for materials. For my birdhouse, I used cedar offcuts from the Adirondack project.

2. Tons of freedom. We all enjoy challenging ourselves with progressively harder designs and projects. But small projects give you something else – the freedom to conceive the entire design from your existing knowledge base.

3. Easy to unload! Birdhouses and other small woodworking projects make great spur-of-the-moment gifts. They are a classic example of thoughtfulness and simplicity for people you love. Or animals.

Small woodworking projects abound in A.J. Hamler's latest release.

Small woodworking projects abound in A.J. Hamler’s latest release.

Does this whet your appetite for a batch of small projects? We have a terrific new release from A.J. Hamler that is packed with birdhouses and more. (Hence the title, “Birdhouses and More.”) Pre-order it today!

Dan Farnbach

p.s. – To complete the pun I started with, small woodworking projects are great and all, but I would have loved to see the Broncos at least keep it close yesterday.

Did you get any woodworking done during the big game?

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Dan Farnbach

About Dan Farnbach

Dan apprenticed and worked in two professional shops during the years after college. But sweeping shop floors only goes so far toward learning woodworking. These days Dan is online editor for Popular Woodworking, and is learning new skills every day. He divides his time between Boston and Maine.

10 thoughts on “Small Woodworking Projects – Great and All

  1. Bill

    Go ahead and include some pictures of your dog, Dan. I like all animals. And I’m a big bird fan. Especially in the Winter months. That’s when the birds need our help the most. I feed them at least two times a day and keep their water thawed out. Bird houses are good small projects to do. One can also build feeders and roosting houses. I put a new roosting house out about a month ago and the squirrels chewed the hole open a little larger and moved in. They need shelter too and they are fun to watch.

    1. Dan FarnbachDan Farnbach Post author

      I’ll do my best to shoehorn one into a future post! I think the dog-lovers are in the majority among woodworkers. It’s just that folks thought it was off-topic in this case. Thanks for your interest!

  2. deric

    A couple of things. First the robin is not the first sign of spring. Many stay the winter, they don’t seem to know they were supposed to head south. Second, I’ve yet to see a robin take interest in a birdhouse. They certainly wouldn’t care for the one in the picture you shared. Oh, one more thing. Since Megan has little grammar quirks to share with us I’ll throw one in here as well. It’s “couldn’t care less.” Also, I know my writing isn’t perfect either. This makes four points, wait now five. I really blew that opening statement! ;)

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