Give a Gift FREE Book

Table of Contents

Tips & Techniques4

  • Page 5: Figure 1
    Two corrections: 1. The width of the two cleats should be 2", not 1 1/2" as printed. 2. The length of the shorter one should be 10", not 10 1/2" as printed. Otherwise there's a conflict with the placement of the pivot pin.

Patio Table6

This table will become the focal point of any patio or deck. Its round top and sturdy base are the perfect combination of grace and strength. And with our step-by-step instructions, its construction won't throw you any curves.

Online Extras

  • Polyurethane Glue
    When it comes to building any outdoor project, you want to use an adhesive that stands up to the weather. Here in Iowa, that can mean lots of rain in the spring, humid heat in the summer, and dry, frozen winters. I've tried a number of different glues on outdoor projects in the past (plastic resin, resorcinal, and epoxy). But this time, I decided to use one that's relatively new: polyurethane glue.

Wrap-Around Benches14

Designed to complement the table, these benches have their own challenge -- working with odd angles. But don't worry. There are lots of tips and simple jigs to make building them straightforward.

Shop Notes20

Mortise & Tenon Solutions22

Here are our favorite shop-tested solutions for making mortise and tenon joints -- plus a few shortcuts that will let you cut them faster, easier, and a little more accurately.

An upcut spiral end mill bit is specifically designed to cut mortises. (It's actually a router bit, but can be used in a drill press that's set at its highest speed.)

Unlike Forstner bits, a spiral end mill bit pulls chips out of the mortise, which eliminates heat buildup and clogging. But the longer cutting edge (and the higher speeds) also makes for a cleaner cut, so the sides of the mortise end up smooth.

Spiral end mill bits are readily available at local woodworking stores or through the mail-order sources listed below.

Tray Table26

There's nothing tricky about this small side table, but there's more here than first meets the eye. With a handle opening on each end, the top conveniently lifts of the base to become a serving tray.

Wall Storage System30

Want to maximize every inch of your shop or garage? Here's a unique, low-profile system that is easy to rearrange (or add on to later). And you can have it built in almost no time.

Outdoor Finishes34

Here's a quick look at two popular outdoor finishes: exterior polyurethanes and penetrating oils. Learn how to decide which finish is right for your next outdoor project.

Outdoor Materials - Sources35

Final Details36