There’s something fun about building an outdoor project. The scale of parts and design elements are often bigger and bolder. The tolerances are less fussy. And the materials I often use (cedar, cypress, and redwood) are lightweight and enjoyable to work with.
Outdoor projects require a different approach in construction. Sun, rain, snow, along with big swings in temperature and humidity, take a toll. You can see a few approaches to withstanding the elements in the planter featured in this episode. Grooves in the legs house the panels preventing water from getting to the end grain. The joints are reinforced with stainless steel fasteners rather than relying solely on glue. Finally, cap pieces on the trellis and planter help shed water from the joinery below. I like projects that open opportunities to play around with the final product. On this project, you can build just the planter box (or two) to define space out in your yard.
Even the trellis on its own would look good as functional wall art on your home or garage. Download the plan to see another option for the copper insert on the trellis — or come up with something unique. Changing the materials or finish transforms the look as well.
You don’t even need a patio in order to enjoy this project. Apartment dwellers can place this on a balcony or terrace to add greenery and privacy.
Watch the Episode: If the Woodsmith Shop isn’t on in your area, contact your local public television station. Or stream it here.
Download the Plan for this episode.
BONUS TIPS: Hardware serves a functional and decorative purpose on woodworking projects. This fun bending jig (above), opens the door to creating custom accents from common materials. Set up a bird watching station in view of your patio with this feeder. It even looks good without any birds on it.
Sanding marks the transition from construction to finishing. A good sanding job reveals the beauty of the wood and enhances the look of the project. Follow these steps for success.