This collection contains woodworking designs for the outdoors. Included in these outdoor woodworking plans you'll find projects for your yard or garden. As with several of the projects on this site, many of the designs were originally developed to be given as gifts.
One thing to pay particularly close attention to when building outdoor woodworking projects is the wood species. If your project doesn't need to last very long, there is no need to pay premium prices for moisture and insect resistant woods like Cedar and Redwood.
However, less expensive woods like Fir and Pine need to be well protected with paint or outdoor wood sealer. Otherwise, they will become moldy and rotten after only a couple of seasons out in the elements.
I have chosen to use Cedar in most of my projects. Personally, I like the look of natural wood and don't care much for the chemicals in outdoor wood sealers. Also, where I live Cedar is readily available and less expensive than Redwood.
I just let the wood weather naturally. It would last a bit longer if I coated it with wood sealer, but I'm happy with the look and the project lifespan without the use of the chemicals.
Pressure treated lumber is also available that resists rot and insects. However, it's probably not suitable for many of the woodworking designs here. The biggest problem with using pressure treated lumber is that you can't cut or sand the wood without creating chemical-laden sawdust.
Also, most pressure treating only reaches a short distance below the surface of the wood. Anywhere the wood is cut, you need to apply end-cut treatment to the cut surface in order to maintain the rot-resistant properties.
For my money, I simply prefer a wood species that naturally works well outdoors with no further treatment. Barring that, any wood species will work fine outside as long as you keep it well painted or well sealed. This is usually necessary about every other year.
Whatever wood you choose, I hope you enjoy building the projects from these free outdoor woodworking designs.
If you're finishing up a deck building project or just need a place to sit outside, these deck bench plans are simple to build. Better yet, it's designed to utilize leftover building materials. So scrounge through that junk pile and get started on a project that will serve you well through many summers.
Still have leftover materials after building a couple of nice deck benches? For something a little larger and a bit more complex, take a look at the potting bench plans. Better yet, it's sized just right to do double duty as a barbecue table!
Want to make some birds in your neighborhood happy? Take a gander at these bird feeder plans and you'll be well on your way. By following the link or clicking on the picture, you'll find more details and drawing files in PDF format that you can view or download.