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Aug 24, 2017

6 Simple Tools Every DIYer Needs

created at: 11/16/2014

Have you ever had to cook dinner at a friend's kitchen only to find out they don't even own a cutting board? Not only have I had that happen for me, I've noticed this kind of thing happening in my friend's workshops. It's easy to get caught up in making things and overlook some essential tools that can really help you get things done right.    I thought I'd share a few tools I use almost every time I work on a new project. Some of these are almost laughable, but I guarantee some of you are going to read through these 6 tools and think to yourself, "Oh yeah, I need one of those."    

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Aug 12, 2016

Make This: Bench That Converts Into A Picnic Table

What started as a backyard space-saving idea became a beautiful and versatile piece of furniture that's sure to inspire other convertible furniture ideas. Instructables.com user jordi D started with a couple of similar design ideas he'd seen online and then adapted them to fit his own specific aesthetic.   

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Jul 27, 2016

How to Make a Set of Indestructible Concrete-Top Benches For Your Backyard (I Did!)

Finished BenchesThere are many reasons we DIY projects: saving money, customizing for the space, or to make something from quality materials without a particleboard heart. But never do we do it because we want it to look like a thrown-together project. 

I have had a corner of my yard that just feels like wasted space. It isn't horribly ugly, it just doesn't really do anything. That’s where the thought of a fire pit corner was born. It’s only a 10’x10’ area, but with some careful planning, the space could be transformed into an area that draws people in, that simply assumes a nightcap is in order.

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Jul 26, 2016

Weekday Project: Make a Cedar Bench in Less Than 2 Hours

Weekday Projet: Make a Cedar Bench in Less Than 2 Hours

I recently lost a beloved church pew to several years of rot and water damage. Totally my fault, I didn't seal it properly. But, that's ok! It gives me a reason to build something new! On top of that, I thought I'd challenge myself.

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Jul 06, 2016

How to: Make a Simple, Rustic Wooden Bench (In Under an Hour)

Artist and designer Josh Rhodes came up with this quick and easy project: a warm and rustic piece of furniture, made in a single afternoon for less than $30 in easy-to-find materials. Done, done, and done!   

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May 31, 2016

How to: Make a Live Edge Walnut Bench

I love a full-on, hardcore woodworking project: milling the wood from rough lumber to glass-smooth surfaces, careful design and proportions, and sturdy, hand-cut joinery to keep everything in place for many decades to come.

created at: 05/31/2016

But that's a big commitment, requires a lot of knowhow and tools, and a can take several weeks of nights and weekends to finish. So, I'm equally a fan of any project that produces great results with solid materials but uses some more "woodworking light" techniques.  

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Feb 17, 2016

Make This: You Need A Solid Work Bench

Gluing Up a TopThe heart of a workshop is the bench. It's the base where everything is made so it need to be solid and easy to use. Here's a great tutorial on making a simple bench with plenty of function.  

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Jun 02, 2014

How To: Make a Simple Wooden Bench

An easy and super affordable way to add some extra seating... 

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Mar 17, 2014

How To: Make a DIY Dining Table and Matching Bench

created at: 03/17/2014

No more eating your dinner on the couch. Even if you can't afford, or have space for an heirloom quality dining table, you can outfit what ever space you've got with a proper eating space, DIY-style. 

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Nov 12, 2013

How to: Build a Workbench for Every Craft

created at: 11/12/2013

Artist, maker, and friend of ManMade Mr. Lentz details his process for making a sturdy and efficient workbench designed for all kinds of crafts and projects. The more projects I finish, the more I realize how essential a strong flat work surface is to every kind of endeavor, and that it should be among the first projects any creator takes on.

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Feb 17, 2012

6 DIY Workbench Projects You Can Build in a Weekend

created at: 02/12/2013

No matter what you make, you've gotta have a place to do it. And while you're dining room table might work for light projects, I say any serious maker, crafter, or artist needs a proper workbench.   

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Oct 26, 2011

How to: Make a DIY George Nelson-Inspired Outdoor Slat Bench

created at: 10/26/2011

When my neighbor, Gina, moved in next door, a standalone porch swing appeared on our shared patio. The thing was at least thirty years old, and had been outside for just as long, and showed the wear of snowy winters, blazing hot summers, and all the rainy days in between. Not that it was likely much to look at when it was new.

It was, in every way, an eyesore. 

But, my goodness, if that thing wasn't useful. I'm sure I sat on it a good fifty times more often than she did. I took to enjoying my breakfast on it, and built a little morning routine around sitting outside, reading the week's New Yorker before I started my day. I used it to prepare for my bike rides: changing shoes, making adjustments, etc. And my friends and I would eat dinner out there, and watch thunderstorms. Boy, it was ugly, but it made me appreciate my patio, and got me out there frequently.

Then, Gina did the unthinkable: she got married, had a baby, and moved away. And, with her, away went the porch swing. And though I love my current neighbor (Hi Jillian!), she brought no shared furniture to the arrangement.

So, I figured it was time to make some outdoor seating of my own. For inspiration, I turned to the most iconic of mid-century bench designs, the Platform Bench by George Nelson (1946). It was created from easy-to-find 1x6" cedar decking, making it quite inexpensive to build, and safe for outdoor use. 

Wanna make one, too? Okay, here we go... 

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Mar 03, 2010

How To: Create a Basic Work Table

No matter what your medium - art, illustration, sewing, knitting, soldering, voodoo doll making - you gotta have someplace to do it. Many of us work in basement, garages, offices, closets, kitchen tables, and from boxes in couches.

But, as I've advocated before, a designated workspace to store and organize your supplies, whatever they are, can help one be more productive and inspired.Basic Work Table

I'm really digging this design by Randofo, which was built, in his words, as a
"simple work table for my home studio so that I could have a surface upon which to work and document projects. I tried to keep the design as simple as possible as I only have a limited arsenal of power tools, a small vehicle for transporting materials and little patience for woodworking."

I especially like the white surface - which is great for documenting and taking step-by-step photos. I wonder if the effect could be recreated with a secondhand, white dry-erase board supported by 3/4" plywood.

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