Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture: 20 Step-by-Step Projects Anyone Can Build

Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture: 20 Step-by-Step Projects Anyone Can Build

by Katie Jackson, Ellen Blackmar


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604695830
Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/04/2016
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 662,721
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Katie Jacksonis a designer and builder of simple furniture using renewable and reclaimed materials. After graduating from Bennington College, she trained as a cabinetmaker at New England School or Architectural Woodworking. She attended a Woodworking Teacher’s Educational Program at Girls At Work, Inc., specializing in empowering at-risk girls with wood shop skills. Jackson headed the woodworking program at Camp Onaway for Girls for four summers, then teamed up with Lilah Crews-Pless to launch a design-build collaboration out of TechShop San Francisco and TechShop Menlow Park. She now builds at New England Society of Innovation and Technology (NESIT) Hackerspace. Learn more at katiejacksonwoodworks.com.

Read an Excerpt

With a few basic tools and a weekend, you can build a beautiful piece of furniture out of wood for your outdoor space. In my experience, woodworking is mostly about problem solving. How can I make this more structurally stable? How should I correct this mistake? Everyone solves problems differently, and over the course of my woodworking career building furniture alongside other builders and teaching young woodworkers, I’ve enjoyed seeing a multitude of ways to cut a board or calculate a measurement.

In my woodworking classes, I provide an example of a project I’ve built, such as the flower box on page—a student favorite—and ask the students to figure out their own process to build it. The projects I provide have no specific measurements and no written instructions, but once they study the pieces, the students can easily see how they are constructed and re-create the projects to their own desired measurements and personal flourishes. My students often use interesting and innovative ways to get to the same end point. I learn a lot from them, and I often notice a trend: once given a basic understanding of how to use woodworking tools and machines, many of the younger students are thrilled to be given the chance to solve problems through their own creativity, while many of the older students, especially adults, request help every step of the way and keep asking what to do next.

Nonetheless, the intrepid younger students and the cautious older students, when given the same instruction on tool use and the same amount of time, all seem to produce the same caliber of high-quality woodworking. Perhaps this is because as we get older, we become more critical of ourselves. We may expect ourselves to be skilled in subjects we’ve never studied. We may be worried someone will see our work and criticize it, or that our work is not as good as someone else’s. That kind of worry can prevent us from ever starting or continuing to learn a new skill.

I encourage you to just begin. Getting away from glowing screens and doing something with your hands is a satisfying use of spare time. Even if your project ends up looking different from what you expected, you’ll have exercised your brain and body to create something all your own. We are all our own worst critic, but remember, your friends and family won’t see the dent in the board from dropping it on the floor; they’ll see a beautiful new piece of furniture that you made with your own hands. Take pride in your work, continue to be willing to learn new skills, and share your newfound skills with others. You’re continuing an ancient human tradition.

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Hand-Built Outdoor Furniture: 20 Step-by-Step Projects Anyone Can Build 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
archer109 More than 1 year ago
Got this as a gift from my grandfather -- I'd mentioned to him that I wanted to try woodworking but was really hesitant to get started. This book was pefect for someone like me -- it really demystifies the whole process and guides you every step of the way. I built a shaker pegboard (which looks pretty darn good if I do say so myself) and a trellis (which took a bit longer but still isn't bad!) and there's definitely a sense of progression. The directions are super-clear and accurate, and the visuals are beautiful. Can't wait to get started on my next project!
Traveling_queen1 More than 1 year ago
I was pretty excited when I found this book. My husband and I love making furniture out of wood and most of the stuff in here I wanted to try. The first thing we decided to do in the book was the Chaise Longue, we got all the material and begin our building. By step two we had ran into a problem. It says to get ONE 1 in x 6 in. x 2 FT board. In step two it tells you to take that ONE board and cut into EIGHT leg pieces at 11 3/4 in. and by step Nine you are supposed to magically get another 23 3/4 in out of that 1 in x 6 in x 2 ft board. Just wondering if anyone else can explain this to me or if there really was a mistake in the book. I am hesitant to now try out any of the other projects and tempted to take the book back just due to the first thing is already wrong. I am all game with books like this. Make sure you double check four or five times the directions are correct however. Now I have to go back to the store and get more wood before I can even start the project.