If you've decided to add an arbor to your garden, you've made a great decision. Arbors lend structure to an overall landscape design, and they're also a great way to create a focal point in your garden, drawing the observer's eye where you want it to go. If you've decided to build your own arbor, the next step is probably going to be picking out a set of plans. However, if you don't have a lot of experience with building plans, this step can be difficult. How do you know that you're choosing the best design for your yard? In this article, we'll explore five keys to choosing the right plan and building an arbor that's perfectly suited to your needs.
1. Think in terms of scale.
Building an arbor of the appropriate size is very important. When choosing plans, consider the overall scale of your garden or the specific area where the arbor will be located. Just as you wouldn't want a very small arbor dwarfed by an enormous deck, you also wouldn't want a mammoth 10 or 12 foot tall garden arbor in line with a 3 foot tall picket fence.
2. Consider the architecture of your home.
Styles and designs of garden arbors are as varied as the architecture of our homes. You'll want to pick something that works with the style of your home, not against it. For example, if you live in a Tuscan style home, you wouldn't want a craftsman-style arbor in your yard. Instead, you'd want to look for something with a Mediterranean feel to it.
3. What will the arbor's purpose be?
Some garden arbors are simply there for looks, while others serve a utilitarian purpose. When looking at plans, be sure to consider what your arbor's purpose will be. Do you want something with a bench seat underneath to create a cozy garden nook for reading or relaxing? Or does your arbor need to be built with a gate underneath, so it can fit in line with a fence and mark the entry point to a yard or garden? Whatever its purpose will be, make sure you take this into account as you look at building plans.
4. Choose the right type of wood.
Because garden arbors are exposed to the elements, choosing the right type of wood is critical. You don't want to put many hours of labor and love into building a beautiful arbor, only for it to start falling apart a few years later. Generally speaking, redwoods are the preferred building material for outdoor structures like arbors. Red cedar, for example, is naturally resistant to weather decay and insect infestations. Steer clear of pine; while it may be less expensive, it won't hold up in the long run. Treated wood can work well, though it's not the best choice if your arbor will be located in close proximity to garden plants. The chemicals in the wood can poison and kill some plants.
5. Don't bite off more than you can chew.
Last but not least, don't try to tackle a project that's too difficult for you. If you don't have much woodworking experience or aren't extremely confident in your building skills, then don't choose a complex set of plans. As a general rule of thumb, shy away from plans that require difficult joinery methods such as mortise and tenon joints. If all else fails, consider buying a ready to assemble kit. Arbor kits come in hundreds of designs, shapes, and sizes, and can easily be ordered online or though specialty catalogs.
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There are many different types of projects for woodworking around. This is due to the fact that woodwork has been around for a long time and you can make just about anything using the right plans. Below I have included some tips:
You could always make your own plans. But to begin with, until you have mastered woodwork it is best to use plans from an experienced wood smith or carpenter. These people have years of experience and know what they are talking about. You may even pick up a few tricks of the trade.
Know What Materials You Are Working With
Most plans will tell you the tools and materials that you will need. How much of the materials and its cost will depend heavily on the type of project being under taken. Woods are split into two different categories, hardwoods and softwoods. Softwood and hardwood are distinguished botanically, not by their end use or appearance. Always check wood does not have any cracks or splits. Staining and discolouration could mean wood has been exposed to water which could result in rotting.
The Right Tools For The Job
Its a good idea to purchase the best equipment that you can afford. If you buy a decent saw or chisel chances are that it will be handed down through your family and serve you well for many years. When under taking projects for woodworking all your tools need a good bit of maintenance and to be stored somewhere dry.
Not All Projects For Woodworking Have To Be Difficult!
It is possible to make high quality woodwork with simple techniques that will help you make that new garden shed in no time, with little hassle. When you have friends and family around they will be amazed when they learn that you made this. You may even get asked to make some furniture for them. Once you get good enough that is! You might make some money in the process.
Plans And Designs
A good woodworking plan should not leave you scratching your head. It should be laid out so your main priority is getting on with the job. Measurements should be given and not lead to further questions. Instructions should be given in an easy step by step formula. They should also be set out logically so as they flow. If you find yourself not knowing what to do you can look at either the diagrams or the description. Working accurately from the plans is always important. Remember to always measure twice and cut once. This way you should avoid any costly mistakes.
Probably the most important part, before undertaking any projects for woodworking these basic safety tips should be adhered to.
-Always wear your safety equipment. Hearing protection should be used when using noisy tools and safety glasses are to be worn at all times. you only get one pair of eyes!
- Make sure saws are disconnected from power before any blade changes. Many finger has been lost because it has not been. It only takes a few seconds and could save you a trip to A and E.
- Blades should be kept sharp. If a blade becomes blunt not only will you have to work harder to complete your task but a tool is likely to kickback. You will also get a better finish.
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Are you interested in learning how to do woodworking or do you want to improve your woodworking skills in the most efficient manner? Taking on a DIY project can be pretty stressful if you do not approach the project with the right skills and expertise. The following tips will help you to build woodworking pieces that your heart desires. As long as you stick to these guidelines, you will be able to make wooden pieces that you will be proud of.
If you want to know how to do woodworking well, you need to find high quality woodworking project plans. There are a lot of websites and forums that provide free plans. However, many of them lack accurate and sufficient details like dimensions, tools required, materials list and easy to follow diagrams. Do not rush into starting a project before you have access to quality blueprints as it will determine your success.
Invest on the Right Tools
For you to do well in any DIY task, the first step is for you to check on the tools required for the project you want to work on. If you are a beginner, pick on simple woodworking projects that do not require specialized tools. If you are prepared to spend some money on tools, make sure you purchase tools that last. Checking on the tool list at the start will avoid any unwanted surprises of being unable to complete a project, resulting in disappointment and frustration.
Stick to Reliable Sources
Only use woodworking resources prepared by professional and experienced woodworkers. Experienced woodworkers understand what it takes to become successful and therefore provide plans with accurate and sufficient details. Besides, they usually include different project plans suitable for a range of skill levels. This is critical in helping you advance and reach your full potential in learning how to do woodworking within the shortest time.
Choose Your Projects Wisely
For DIY tasks, it is advisable to pick your projects wisely. Each project can take some time and effort to complete and you do not want to see your effort go to waste. So make sure you check the project for its dimensions to ensure that it fits into your room or site and also check for its materials and design so that it goes well with your house interior or garden, for example.
Match the Projects to Your Skill Level
Finally, try to stick to projects that are at par with your skills. Taking on a project that is too complicated for you will only lead you to disappointment. It will do you well to push your limits every once in a while, but you need to make sure that you familiarize yourself with the basics of how to do woodworking first. Over time, with more experience and together with a good set of woodworking plans, you will find yourself taking on woodworking projects of higher complexity at ease.
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Have you finished any DIY woodworking projects before? If you've done it you're aware of the fact that a good construction requires some really good planning. If this is your first try it's important to make sure that you've got a plan before you start.
It doesn't have to be difficult to come up with a plan for the project you're considering to start with and the project will much more likely become as you want it to be if you take yourself time to plan everything carefully before you start using your tools.
One easy way to find a good plan for your woodworking project is to look online. The net is full of interesting woodworking plans for DIY projects and you will be amazed by how easy it is to find one that seems to be suitable for you. You will in most cases be able to choose between hundreds, or even thousands of woodworking plans and most of them are really good and easy to follow.
When you've decided what plan you would like to use it's time to take a closer look at it. You might need to search a little on the net in order to learn more about woodworking before you're ready to start. It's important that you have some knowledge on the topic before you start building something yourself, it's more difficult than you might think and it's easy to get hurt unless you're careful.
If you've read plenty about DIY woodworking projects on the net but would like to get some answers to things that you think is difficult to understand it's wise to register for a member account on a forum regarding woodworking. You will soon discover that there are several forums to choose between and other members will be able to help you get an answer to every question you might have.
The most important thing when you're into woodworking is the safety. You always need to be aware of the fact that you can get hurt if you're not careful. This is important to keep in mind even if you've completed many woodworking projects before. It's actually easier for experienced constructors to get hurt since they are usually more careless than beginners.
As you can see you need to do three things to start with. Find a good woodworking plan, learn as much as you can about woodworking and be as careful as you can when you start working with the project.
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To transform a tree log into something that is to be desired, you will need tools. Any beginner woodworking enthusiast must learn to use these tools in order to create a piece of furniture, gadget or a cabinet that they want to build. Becoming a beginner woodworking enthusiast, you must fill your workshop with various woodworking tools in order to finish the woodworking project you will start.
So, here is a list of the basic tools for a beginner woodworker:
1. Work Bench
This is the first and foremost tool needed by any would be woodworker. Its size must be good enough for various beginner woodworking projects and leaves space for working around. The work bench should also be fitted with vises. This is crucial in holding your project to make a precise cut or measurement. Your work bench is the hub for all your woodworking projects.
This is very vital in all your woodworking projects. This tool is used in driving nails, pins, staples, etc. into the surface of the wood that you are working on. Size and weight of the hammer is most crucial. A too heavy hammer might dent, crack, destroy a delicate wood or bend a nail or pin. A small and lightweight hammer might not have the power to drive a nail into a hard surface wood. Having different sizes and weights of hammer allow greater flexibility in various kinds of woodworking project. Also, consider the ends of the hammer. There are clawed ends and rounded ends. Even though the rounded ends are rarely needed, it will come in handy at rare occasions. Rubber mallets is also needed in delicate woodworking projects, as this does not crack and dent wood surfaces.
This is a must tool for a beginner woodworking project. It is used in cutting wood pieces to suit the required measurement of the woodworking project. There are several choices for this tool, depending on your budget. Hand saws comes in different kinds and shapes. Coping saw and crosscut saw are some of the types of hand saw. If you plan on doing more woodworking projects, invest in power saw. This tool cuts precisely to your measurement requirements. Just like hand saw, power saw come in different types. Power miters, circular saw, radial arm saw and table saw are some of the many types. Safety is of most important in using a power saw. A slight error might cause a severe accident. Read the safety precaution that comes with the power saw before operating it.
4. Screw Drivers
Screw driver comes in different shapes and sizes. The three most common types of screw driver used in woodworking projects are standard (flat) type, Phillips and Robertson (Canadian) types. Having different sizes and types of screw driver is necessary in your woodworking workshop. Investing in cordless power screw drivers is a good idea if you plan on working with many projects. Power screw driver makes you finish your project a lot faster.
Some woodworking projects require bolts instead of screws for stronger hold. It would require a wrench to tighten it. So, invest in a set of wrench. Adding Allen wrench to your set is a good idea. It is also a good idea to add to your set of wrench an adapter to your power drill or power screw driver, as this would make your work faster.
This tool is used in drilling holes in any wood surface. Nowadays, you will most likely see a power drill instead of a hand drill being used in various woodworking project. Power drill comes in many sizes (wattage). For a woodworking project, a low wattage power drill is good enough. Low wattage power drill doubles as a screw driver and wrench with the right adapter.
To smoothen out rough wood surfaces, you need a sander. Like some other tools, sander comes in different types. A handheld sander is useful for smoothing out a rough wood surface that is hard to reach by big sanders like Belt Sanders. Belt sanders can help make short work of those big projects while hand-held sanders can help with the smaller ones. Sanding block is useful in finishing touches for delicate and fine woodworking projects.
8. Measuring Tape
To use this tool effectively, you must have a basic understanding of the English Measurement System and Metric Measurement System. Reading your measurement in inches or part of it makes your measurement reading more tolerable to error, while reading it in centimeters is less tolerable to error.
Aside from the above list of basic woodworking tools, you will also need some or all of the list below:
glue and other adhesives - to keep delicate piece of wood together.
shop vac - to clean your workshop after a day's work.
pencil and erase - to mark precisely where you want to cut or drill.
level - most useful in making your project as flat as possible or as square as possible.
staple gun - for attaching and keeping pieces together.
First Aid Kit - the most important element in your workshop.
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Woodworking is a never ending learning experience, many would argue it is impossible to ever truly master. The trick is to understand the basics about the types of wood available before you truly dive head first into a woodworking project. There are a vast number of wood types available, ranging from very inexpensive to very expensive. They all have their different properties and capabilities, and are all suited to different projects. Featured here are some of the more popular types of wood.
The softwoods are not actually "soft" per se. They typically feature a red or yellowish appearance, with fairly standard (if a little bit uninteresting) grain patterns. Softwoods are typically cheaper than hardwoods because cutting and shaping typically requires less production time. Softwoods are also seen as sustainable, as softwood trees like the cedar and fir grow relatively quickly. Some common softwoods are:
Fir has a fairly standard appearing grain pattern that isn't all that interesting. Fir is very inexpensive and is suitable for furniture making.
Cedar is typically used for outdoor projects, as it is very durable when exposed to the elements an is resistant to cracking and rotting. Cedar is fairly inexpensive and can be used for a wide variety of projects, with furniture being a favorite.
Pine is the carvers wood. It is soft and durable, and readily available nearly everywhere. It is also very sustainable. If you are interested in sustainability, pine is something you should seriously consider.
Redwood is a great wood to use for outdoor furniture. It is very durable and doesn't hold moisture very well. It is unlikely to rot, even in the most extreme environments.
Hardwood is prized among woodworkers due to the wide variety of looks and colors that the hardwoods offer. Hardwoods typically have much more interesting grain patterns compared to softwood, and can be left in their raw state and still look incredible. Because hardwoods are not seen as sustainable, they are more expensive. There is a constant demand but supplies of some hardwood trees are dwindling. Some exotic hardwoods price themselves out of nearly every woodworkers budget. Some common hardwoods are:
Birch is the poor mans hardwood. It is available in most areas, and is relatively sustainable at its current rate of usage. It is also fairly inexpensive considering that it is a hardwood.
Cherry ages well, and has a very long lifespan. Cherry is a somewhat non-sustainable hardwood, as the demand is high, with a lw supply. Cherry is fairly expensive, so you might want to steer clear of it until you have more experience with woodworking.
Mahogany is the ultimate furniture wood. It has beautiful grain patterns and a rich red-brown color. Mahogany is not sustainable, as forests are being forested faster than new supplies can be grown. Outlook for future sustainability looks grim. Because of dwindling supply, price is quite high.
Hard maple is difficult to work with, as it actually is a very hard wood. Maple, like birch, is fairly inexpensive due to a significant supply of Maple trees.
Oak is popular for use among furniture builders. It is suitable for outdoor projects as it does not hold moisture well, and will remain mostly dry. Oak is popular for its unique and attractive grain patterns.