Woodworking Gives Feelings of Accomplishment

Loft bed with desk over a full size bed below

Loft and Full Size Bed

Woodworking requires some skill in making items or parts from wood.  But you don’t have to be a professional.  Many men and women enjoy woodworking as a hobby to create high-quality projects forinside the house or in the yard.  No technical school training is necessary.  You simply learn by using tools and equipment and practicing your techniques.

You may read publications, look for ideas online or attend a workshop to become better acquainted with the art of woodworking.  But it’s the love for the craft that helps you understand the materials and utensils to make fine furniture, bookshelves, mantelpieces or pleasant projects to add comfort and cheer to the home.

Practice makes perfect. Start out practicing on plastic jugs or scraps of

Loft Bed with desk underneath and stairs with drawers up to the top.

Loft Bed with Desk and Stairs

wood before moving on to tight grain wood, softwoods or plywood.  You’ll learn to use various hand tools to help master your growing skills. Soon you’ll be making projects that become fun while providing something special or even essential to the home for you and your family.  You might become so specialized you’ll begin to appreciate portable power tools, cordless drills, circular saws, and jigsaws to build or repair your favorite cabinets or furniture pieces.  You might even become a pro and make projects for your friends and acquaintances.

If you’re starting woodworking as a hobby, you don’t need high-cost specialized or advanced tools.  With basic woodworking tools, you can build yourself shelves, book cases, tables, small cabinets, or quick additions you may need for the bedroom or spare room.  Handy items you may already have include a tape measure, ruler or yardstick, a hand-held saw, sandpaper for smoothing surfaces, pen or pencil to mark specific measurements or

Loft bed with desk and stairs with drawers and sleeps three.

Perfect for Sleep Overs

designs, a screwdriver, screws, bolts, hammer, and nails.

Want to make a loft bed?  Get a piece of plywood, 2 x 6 and 4 x 4 wood pieces, lag bolts and screws.  To build a box about the size of a twin mattress, use 2 x 6s for the sides and cover with a piece of plywood to form the base.  Use drywall screws to connect the plywood two feet apart.  Choose a height for the loft and cut 4 x 4 pieces for posts under the box, attaching with lag bolts. Use one-inch thick wood slats for a ladder, placing them about a foot apart and sloping at 60 degrees.  Attach the ladder to the bed with screws.

Fun to Make & Fun to Watch… Birdhouses

The winter blues are soon behind you and before you know it, spring will be in the air. It’s time to get ready to enjoy the outdoors. What

Little boy with his binoculars looking at birds, while a bird perches on the hair of his little head.

Who is Watching Who?

better time to build a birdhouse or two or more and bird feeders with your woodworking talents that keep you active and happy in your own backyard.

Have some wood, a drill, nails and birdseed ready to attract your fine-feathered friends to their new hangout. Make your birdhouse from wood, with some bark attached to it if you find some for a disguise, and avoid using metals that can become too hot for birds at certain times under the sun.

The size of the birdhouse is your choosing, but should be at least four-by-four inches for the birds to fit inside. Give the house a depth of eight inches or more. The front can be about six to eight inches with an entrance way at least 1  1/4  inches in diameter.

Decorative white birdhouse with a bright blue roof has a robin on a roost at the door.

Decorative Blue & White Birdhouse

Avoid rain getting into the birdhouse by building a pitched roof so water rolls off the roof, which should be about three inches past the front wall. Hinge the roof so you can open it and put birdseed inside. Drill a hole in the front wall for the door before attaching walls to the birdhouse. The 1 ¼-inch hole can be wider, depending on what kind of birds you want in the new residence.

A birdhouse should be at least 10 inches above ground and away from

An illustration of a page from a set of Bird Feeder Plans

Bird Feeder Plans

natural predators. Keep the birdhouse partially blocked from the sun to avoid the heat on hot days.

Place bird feeders high enough to avoid curious cats. Bird feeders make good family entertainment if placed in a location visible to everyone.

Use a saw, screws and a screwdriver or a hammer and nails to make a bird feeder. Your local home improvement store has the best wood for your project. The feeder includes a back piece the height of the feeder and two equally sized sections for the base of the tray and the top cover. Make the tray with one strip of wood the width of the feeder and two that are the width of the tray base to form the sides of the tray. Attach the top and base of the feeder to the back piece to form a U shape. Connect one strip of wood to the front of the base and another strip to each side in a square or rectangular design. You can hang the bird feeder to a tree or post with a hook and chain.

Once hung, you are then ready to begin bird watching in your own backyard!

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