Doug’s Backyard Projects
By Doug Menning from Minneapolis, MN
Added on July 11, 2011
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Amateur or Pro: Pro
Project Name: Backyard Enhancements
Wood Species: Cedar
Finish Used: Will be exterior waterproofing deck and fence stain. Letting wood age for a year before staining.
We love the backyard in the summertime. So when I have time, I try to make improvements to our space. I salvaged a bunch of waste cedar from a custom home project I was subcontracting on and needed to do something with it. I did have to purchase additional cedar but about half of what is in the pictures would have ended up in a landfill. I made two benches that serve as steps to our hot tub all joined from below with pocket holes and deck screws. A large rabbet shoulder was cut into the posts on the table saw to accept the cross members that support the top pieces. Top pieces attached with 1 pocket hole and screw on each end to the cross members. These benches replaced the plastic stairs you can just see on the right of the photo.
We added a wonderful dog to the family last year which required the building of two gates to enclose the back yard. One is done, working on finishing the second. Efforts were made to hide screws from view when possible and wood plugs will be used to cover up other screws. The finished gate was fairly simple a 2’x3′ wood frame with partitions and filled in with stops to hold a lattice structure in place. Stops were shot on with a 1 1/4″ brads.
The unfinished gate will have to speak for itself, too much to detail in a few words here but I look forward to finishing it. I let my wife help pick the final form from my sample cardboard tops, fortunately she agreed with me on the best design option. I was inspired by pictures of ‘Hammer Bent Timber Framing” and scaled it down to fit my gate. I did cheat some; what appears to be through tenons ending in a decorative point is actually a fake point glued on with construction adhesive.
Design on all theses projects came out of my head with inspiration from pictures and things I’ve seen. The first gate was actually practice for a gate I did for my sister and her gate served as practice for my second gate.