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The Complete Guide to Outdoor Wood Projects

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The Complete Guide to Outdoor Wood Projects

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Woodworking Books
Book Name: The Complete Guide to Outdoor Wood Projects

Author: Black & Decker

Publisher: Creative Publishing International

ISBN: 1-58923-202-X

Cover: Paperback

# of Pages: 254

Illustrations: Color photos and diagrams

Experience Required: Varying degrees of difficulty

Book Review:

Most of the fifty projects in this book aren't fancy but they have a quiet elegance that is evident in the fact that they are well crafted and beautiful to look at. Some of the projects in The Complete Guide to Outdoor Projects are only for the experienced wood craftsman because they involve techniques that aren't explained in this book. When you see the pictures of these finished projects you can just imagine them in your outdoor space.

The significance of The Complete Guide to Outdoor Wood Projects is that it includes projects you can do and will be proud to have in your outdoor space. Why buy an Adirondack chair when you can make your own if you are experienced and ambitious enough. There is also a brief history of the origins of the Adirondack style included along with the instructions.

Following a brief introduction the content in this book is divided into Materials & Tools, Ornaments & Decorations, Benches & Seats, Tables, Children's Play Projects, Bird & Pet Projects, Garden Accessories, Storage & Utility. At the back of the book there are conversion charts (Drill Bit Guide, Abrasive Paper Grits, Saw Blades, Adhesives: their characteristics and uses and Lumber Dimensions). There is also a useful Glossary to explain the tools, supplies and techniques you will encounter in the book.

The Materials & Tools Section is a must read because it contains a glossary of symbols representing the tools you may be using for a project you decide to make. These symbols are shown in the margin of the first page of each project under the heading Project Power Tools. A general list of tools you will need is also included for your knowledge and to prepare you to successfully complete your project. To become more familiar with the material you will be using there are sections on Sheet goods, Dimension lumber, Other wood products, Fasteners and adhesives and Other materials. Color photos of various types and sizes of lumber, sheet goods, and hardware are provided for your knowledge. Although you will most likely have help from a sales clerk when you are purchasing such materials it helps to have an idea of what you are looking for before you buy anything.

I like that safety is paramount in this book. It is important to read the section called Organizing Your Worksite and the Safety Tips. Tip sections are also included with the instructions when necessary to ensure that your final product is well built and safe to use. They include hints about how to use your final product and how it can be more beneficial to you (i.e. adding wheels to your plant boxes so the plants are easier to move around and bring indoors when the warm season is over).

Color photos in the next section on Woodworking are of techniques such as cutting using circular and jig saws, creating detailed shapes, squaring a frame, piloting and drilling, gluing, prepping wood for finishing touches and finishing & Staining (going into great detail on applying sealers and stains). This is a very important sections because here you can see and learn very clearly the techniques you need to prepare the materials for and assemble your final product (represented in a diagram).

Along with the diagram showing assembly of the pieces for the project there are handy charts for the measurements you will need when purchasing construction materials, the cutting list as well as a list of the additional materials you will need. These charts are followed by the project directions and accompanied by photos of the cutting and assembly process.


  • Plant Boxes
  • Prairie Windmill
  • Luminary
  • Tiled Garden Bench
  • Adirondack Chair
  • Porch Swing
  • Picnic Table for Two
  • Observation Station
  • Rolling Garden
  • Children's Balance Beam & Portable Putting Green
  • Timberframe Sandbox
  • Birdhouse
  • Gardener's Tote
  • Compost Bin
  • Grill Garage
  • Boot Butler

Overall Rating:


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