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    How to: Build outdoor furniture for summer

    Published on 4 December 2014, Thursday, 1:13 AM

    Building outdoor furniture is a practical way to save money, as well as enjoy spending time in the garage or shed. It's an excellent activity to bring people together, as the kids or your friends lend a hand. The added benefit to this project is that you can continue to bond around the barbecue with family and friends once your outdoor furniture is complete.

    What tools will I need to hire?

    This depends on the design you choose for furniture. If you decide on something that includes a lot of repetitive cuts, a circular saw and a table saw are essential. For plans that involve curves and angles, a jigsaw and compound mitre saw will be your best friend.

    You'll need a nail gun, drill or other fixing method to assemble your table and chairs once all of your cuts are made. Generally speaking, screwing things down works better than nailing. When wood swells in wetter weather, it can pull up nails, whereas screws and bolts will do a better job of holding fast.

    You will most likely have all of the hand tools necessary, such as a measuring tape, level, engineer's square, chisels and a hammer.

    What materials should I use?

    Most DIY garden furniture projects will be made almost entirely out of wood, unless you're hiring a welder and a drop saw to fabricate a steel-framed table with a glass or wood top.

    The type of wood you choose will depend on your budget and how long you want the furniture to last. For a bigger budget, look at teak or cedar for a beautiful end product. On the cheaper end, most types of pine will be suitable for these kinds of projects, although you should be aware that there are different grades as well. You don't want rough-sawn wood for your chairs, as you'll get splinters in some painful areas.

    Remember to treat your wood so that it lasts for more than a couple summers.

    When it comes to securing the pieces of lumber together, choose a fastener that will last for a long time. Galvanised or zinc-coated screws and bolts will do pretty well on a budget. If you have a bit more cash to spend, have a look at marine grade (316) stainless steel fittings. These are also essential if you are in a coastal town or any other area that has high humidity or moisture.

    If the wood and fittings sound a bit more expensive than what you had budgeted for, have a look at upcycling pallets or other materials as a source of free stock for your project.

    Nathan Mills portrait image
    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.