Woodwork Projects - DIY

Begin your Woodworking Project Adventures

woodwork project adventures

Wood is one of the most beautiful raw materials on the planet.   Although we typically purchase new timber for the majority of our woodworking projects, we are certainly not limited to using new lumber as our base material.  

Tree branches, stumps, beach finds, old railway sleepers, old pallets, off-cuts, scraps and abandoned old furniture are all examples of wood base materials that can be used for a woodworking project.

The majority of woodworking tools are reasonably priced and widely available, which I believe has contributed to an increase in the number of people who have taken up and enjoy woodworking.

There’s no doubt that wood has become increasingly expensive in recent years due to supply issues associated with Covid, so not wasting your wood will save you money.   Keep as much of your scrap as possible. I believe every woodworker has a pile of leftover scrap wood from previous projects, and it’s fairly common to have a couple of bins to throw all the small wood pieces into.

The reason for this is that every now and then you’ll have an idea for a small project and be thankful you kept a good supply of leftover wood on hand.

Otherwise, as long as you have the materials, tools, and time, there are thousands of things to choose from when deciding what you want to make.   Some options for you to consider are a simple wall shelf, a garden table, bookshelf, cutting board, candle holders, cookbook stand or perhaps a decorative sign to hang up at the front of your home.

How to make Wooden Candle Holders

Wooden candle holders are a good example of something you could make from what could have been easily thrown out as scrap.

They look great on a dining table and if you or members of your family love candles, then this might be a good project to try out.

Candle holders are pretty easy to make and basically just involves cutting up the desired size candle block pieces, drilling or boring out the desired size holes for the candles, give them a nice sand, stain or coat according to taste.

How to build a wooden deck

Even if it appears daunting at first, if you have the necessary time, resources, and tools, as well as a firm understanding of fundamental building concepts, you can build a pretty amazing deck all by yourself.

A DIY wood deck project may be a fantastic choice for some, but it is not always the best option for everyone because there are a few things that are both difficult and risky.

This video shows how you can use Lowe’s Deck Designer Software to design a very nice deck; he uses the printout for gathering all the materials required and then builds the deck.

Build a simple wood deck with mostly 2×6’s with built in LED lights

Use a Deck Calculator to work out your materials list

You can figure out how much decking you’ll need by dividing the width of the deck by the width of your decking boards. The 3-5mm gap between each board will then need to be taken into consideration. 

However, use the decking calculator and have all the math done for you, it will make the process much simpler.

Make your own Wooden Phone Charging Stations

Almost everyone owns a smart phone and some require more charging than others depending on the model and year.

The last thing anyone wants is to be on the way out the door in the morning, only to find that your phone’s battery is just about dead.

A wooden phone charging station is a stylish way to organise your devices and cords. By strategically placing phone charging stations throughout the house and shed, you’ll be reminded to take your phone out of your pocket and plug it in.

There will be no need to be distracted from your work due to low battery anxiety, and if you do receive a call, you can always leave it in the station and use it on speaker.

It also means that no matter where you are on your property, if you need to get in the car and leave, you’ll have a fully charged phone to put in your pocket on the way out.

The benefit of making your own wooden phone charging stations is that you can customise them to fit the size and dynamics of your family. You will no longer need to cover tables, benches, and other surfaces with phones, tablets, and cords, etc. You can design charging stations for the most frequently used areas of the house to accommodate everyone’s needs.

When designing a phone charging station, make sure it is sturdy and can withstand the occasional accidental bump, and include a space for a surge protector and possibly a power board to plug in your devices, as well as holes for cables to easily run through.

How to make the kids a fun Wooden Billy Cart

wooden billy carts

The Billy cart is an Australian adaptation of the English goat cart, which dates back to the nineteenth century and they are known as “Billy carts” because they were originally harnessed to and drawn by Billy-Goats.

A Billy cart is similar to the American soap box derby racers in that both vehicles are used for travelling downhill powered solely by gravity.

The Australian Red Bull Billy Cart race, takes place at Lansdowne St, in the City of Melbourne, Victoria on December 3rd.   Everyone enjoys the day out, including the competitors, but occasionally there are spectacular crashes because of the dangers of racing downhill on a winding, narrow road with numerous jumps and obstacles in the way.

Whether you’re preparing for a big race or just want to have some fun at home, Billy Carts are a great project that you can make out of pretty much anything. Back when you could go fossicking at your local dump, a lot of young enthusiasts would bring home a lot of junk in the hopes of transforming it into a fun racing machine.  There was more than likely the odd fence paling that prematurely became detached from the fence and accidentally found itself being cut up and nailed together to create the odd Billy Cart.

Putting together a Billy Cart is a fun family activity, with Dad in charge and pretending to know what he’s doing. The further along your Billy Cart build progresses, the more excited the kids become about you taking them to the nearest hilly park and putting that thing through it’s paces, but of course, thorough testing is required before use.

Warning: Don’t let your kids use your neighbourhood streets with their Billy Carts; even with supervision, it’s far too dangerous because far too many people speed along neighbourhood streets these days. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you were to start supervising your kids using Billy carts on the street, you may open the door for them to try it themselves one day when you’re not looking, which could lead to disaster.

How to make a Stunning Wooden Pergola

A pergola extends your accessible living spaces into your backyard, and you will quickly notice that you are spending more time outside once you have one. Pergolas didn’t become popular overnight; we love any chance to improve our backyards, and if you have a flat spot in your backyard that looks a little too basic, a pergola is the perfect thing to add, and a pergola can fit almost any size space with a little creativity. Although I understand that everyone’s tastes differ, I believe that building a Pergola out of rustic hefty wooden timbers is the ideal aesthetic.

wooden pergola

A Pergola is typically built with an open lattice top, but it can be customised to provide as much shade as you need. You can choose a retractable sunshade or a fully covered roof, but I prefer catching a ray of sunlight through a partially shaded roof. A well-designed Pergola, in my opinion, provides just the right amount of shade to make even a hot afternoon comfortable.

DIY Wooden Pergola from Mitre 10 New Zealand

Mitre 10 NZ has a great DIY Pergola Guide in PDF format; be sure to download this free plan.

How to make a Wooden Clock

wooden clock

Wooden Clocks are fairly simple to manufacture, especially now that various clock kits (complete with numerals, movement motors, and clock hands) are available for purchase. You’ll also need a base piece of wood, batteries, and a keyhole hanger in addition to the clock kit.   The only limit is your imagination; you might go from a very basic and raw design to a stunningly decorative and complex one.

Black walnut is a great choice for making clocks due to its deep brown colour and ease of workability.  In Australia, the Queensland walnut, also known as black walnut is a large rainforest tree with a stem diameter of up to 1.8 metres and grows to a height up to a maximum of 35 metres. The Queensland walnut tree has creamy white flowers on dark green foliage and blooms from October to January.

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