Create an efficient, inviting outdoor living environment

The Kreg mobile project center offers a versatile work surface that can be used indoors or outside for tasks like the one these do-it-yourselfers have undertaken – laying out interior trim before installation. Courtesy photo

TEMECULA – Be ready to enjoy the warm days of spring and summer with an “updated” outdoor dining, living and garden area that is welcoming and efficient. Woodcraft has the tools and supplies needed, along with helpful advice at a local store and free how-to articles on Woodcraft.com.

For projects, take stock of the outdoor furniture. Is more needed? Would colorful new Adirondack chairs, a new picnic table and maybe a garden bench and planters be more inviting? Or perhaps a cleanup and new paint would bring existing furniture to life for another season? Does the porch, patio or deck area need to be resurfaced or enlarged?

Streamline dining areas by building mobile carts to transport food for prep and for serving. Add a butcher block top to the food prep cart and storage drawers to both and improve the efficiency and pleasure of the dining experience.

Gardeners may want to build a potting bench and wooden flatbed wagon to haul plants and supplies.

Consider tools, supplies and how-to instructions.

“Make anywhere your workspace with the Kreg mobile project center,” Peter Collins, Woodcraft senior product manager, said. “It’s a portable workbench, sawhorse, assembly table and clamping station all in one that provides a versatile work space for DIY, repair and woodworking projects.”

The large polypropylene work surface is 31.5 inch high, 27 inch wide and 31 inch deep. It supports a 350 pound load capacity, and two centers can be connected to double the work area. Collins also said adding the new Kreg in-line bench clamp and bench clamp system for dog holes to make almost every clamping task possible.

Visit Woodcraft.com to see building plans for outdoor furniture, as well as Adirondack chair templates. The website also offers a large number of how-to articles such as “Laid Back in a Classic Adirondack” that shows how to build with Adirondack chair templates, while “WoodSense: Spotlight on Outdoor Projects,” describes woods that work well outdoors.

For building projects, the Freeman 18-gauge brad nailer is a professional quality, innovative home improvement tool that is great for furniture. Its oil-free operation requires no regular maintenance and eliminates the risk of stains on project surfaces. If the chosen joinery requires screws, the Groz instadrive screwdriver features a patented retractable, rotating bit cartridge that makes it easy to find, store and change driver bits.

For hauling lumber or other large items to a project site, use the Xstrap heavy duty ratchet tie down to hold up to 1,000 pounds in place on a truck bed.

To finish new furniture or recolor existing pieces – and brighten outdoor landscape – choose one of the 28 premixed General Finishes milk paint colors that can be mixed, lightened, glazed, layered, antiqued and distressed. Other good choices for outdoor surfaces include General Finishes outdoor oil finish for use over exterior oil stain or exterior clear oil finishes for additional protection and General Finishes 450 varnish, which minimizes fading, retards mold and fungus growth.

For painting guidance, watch “Hand Applied Milk Paint from General Finishes at Woodcraft” and read “Create a Milk Paint Masterpiece” on Woodcraft.com.

Homeright’s Finish Max HVLP sprayer will spray most solvents except lacquer and conversion varnish and most water-based products, latex paint, milk paint, chalk paint, furniture paint, stains and finishes. It’s easy to set up, use and clean. When painting furniture, consider using the Homeright large spray shelter or when painting small accessories, opt for the small spray shelter.

For furniture that needs extra care, read “Restoring Outdoor Projects” on Woodcraft.com to learn how to determine what needs to be deep cleaned, repaired, rebuilt and repainted. Handy helpers for the process include Blue Bear Paint and Urethane Stripper, Krud Kutter No-Rinse Prepaint Cleaner, Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue, SculpWood Putty and Briwax ChaiRX.

Take on custom garden and game projects. Turn a unique transplanter, cultivator and weeder with the three-piece WoodRiver garden tool turning kit, constructed of durable, cast aluminum. Turning blanks for the handle, sold separately, may be made from wood, acrylic or another man-made material. Build a wooden croquet set with help from “Picnic Perfect Croquet Set” in Issue 65 of Woodcraft Magazine. Subscribers can download the article free, or the issue can be purchased at Woodcraft.com.

To learn more about these and other products, visit a local Woodcraft store, call (800) 535-4482 or visit www.Woodcraft.com.

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