Posts from the ‘Outdoor Projects’ Category

Kids Picnic Table

When using our picnic table this past summer, I always thought it would be nice for my son to have a smaller table to see his food better. I had some left over 2x6s from the picnic table, cedar boards from the pizza oven and 2x4s from the garbage shed. I figured it was probably enough, or very close to enough to build a small picnic table.

Using the same general concept of the larger table, I made a smaller version around 20” wide and 4’ long. I alternated 2×6 and 2×4 boards on the seat to give a little more depth and I had the 2x6s to use. 🙂

I had enough pressure treated for the top and seats, but that was it. Luckily I had some shorter 2×4 cedars and a 2×6 cedar board. That was exactly enough for the base.

Love the look of this picnic table, but more importantly, my son loves it.

Garbage and recycling shed

Our city recently switched to rolling garbage and recycling containers. They are great, but take up quite a bit of room in our garage… my workshop.

I have unsuccessfully tried to move them outside previously, but I succeeded in convincing my wife to move them outside after an exceptionally smelly garbage week. Our plan was to build a storage shed for them.

We first looked for a store bought version, but our recycling bin is rather large and most wouldn’t fit. We found one for $650! I thought I could do it much cheaper and better construction.

I used pressure treated 2x4s and fence boards for this task. It took me around 2 days to construct everything. I made the frame inside my workshop and moved it to the backyard for assembly and attaching the fence boards.

The top opens for placing the garbage and recycling inside the bins, then the front for removal of the bins in garbage day. The lid is a bit heavy to hold while you put the garbage in, so I attached 2 pieces of wood to swing up and hold the lid open. Very happy with the results. Now I just have to rig up some bungee cords to open the lid when I open the top of the shed. 😃

Welcome sign

Next up on my to do list was a welcome sign for the front entrance. Since the pandemic started, we have seen these painted pine welcome signs pop up all over the place.

To be different, I used ash and routed the welcome letters in. I had an ash board mostly finished and just had to sand it. Once done, I attached a template to follow that my wife printed off with a font she liked. Since my letter routing jig only routes horizontally, I had to route it by hand.

Once routes I spray painted the letters black and then did one final sanding before putting on an outdoor safe finish. We attached it to the front of our home directly to the brick. Very happy with this quick project.

Picnic Table

Now that we are cooking outside so much, I thought a picnic table would be a good idea. I looked for a plan, but ended up using the picnic table in a This Old House YouTube video.

I made the whole picnic table out of pressure treated lumber so I do not have to do any maintenance on it. The top is 8 feet long, and a little over 3 feet wide.

Very happy with this outdoor project and looking forward to many years of enjoying this!

Outdoor Pizza Oven!

Last fall, I came across a video on YouTube about an outdoor wood fire pizza oven. It looked so cool. You can cook more than pizza in it, but they are generally sold as pizza ovens.

We decided to buy one over the winter, but waited until March to order one. These ovens are HEAVY and I did not want to move it more then I have to.

We needed a cover for the pizza oven, so I started researching wooden stands. I found a design I liked and modified it for the space we have.

I made a 4’x6’ stand with a small concrete counter top attached. The base is made with 2×6 pressure treated to support the weight. I liked the idea of it being 100% cedar on the exterior, so I used cedar shingles for the roof! The concrete countertop was made with some red concrete dye so it blended in with the look of the cedar. The doors underneath is used for wood for the oven.

This brick oven is amazing and we love everything we have had in it so far!

First pizza!
Cooking a beef roast with some applewood!

Wooden Signs

My brother wanted to get some signs made for his camp/cottage. He asked if I had something to make signs, which I do. I never used it before this time, but I purchased a Sign making set for my router a couple years back. I planned on making a sign that said “Arcade” for my arcade I was building, but found a metal one that looked nice and used it instead.


Setting up and using the jig was surprisingly easy. We made 2 signs out of cedar and then used a blowtorch to scorch the wood to make the letters black. After sanding away the scorched wood from the non-letter part, it looked very nice. 🙂

Outdoor Swing Set

We recently adopted a child and I wanted to build a swing set in the back yard. Since I already had made the frame previously for our bench swing, this one was very easy to build.

I bought pressure treated 4x4s for the frame and brace, and 2x   2″x6″x10′ pieces for the top support. I glued them together with a good water proof glue, then drilled holes for the swing set clips.  I used 6″ structure screws to connect the 4x4s and the 2×6 header. In the future I plan to add a slide so I didn’t add any side-to-side bracing right now.

After installing the 2 swings I opted to switch out the rope for chains for a stronger support.

It only took a few hours from start to finish. Very happy with the results and my son loves it as well!

Swing Set

Now on Instagram

I decided to start posting pictures to Instagram. Mainly progress pictures of projects and pens. I am still posting projects here. But since I am making a lot of pens, I figured I would post them as I made them on Instagram and updating the site when I have a punch to post. You can see the last 6 posts on the column to the right.

You can also go directly to my profile by clicking here: Rich Eklund Instagram

Cedar Cross for my Uncle

My Uncle passed away in 2012 and was buried in the same plot as my other Uncle who passed away in 2007.  My Mom didn’t like that my Uncle’s grave didn’t have any marker on it. So she asked me if I could make a small cross to go beside my other Uncle’s grave stone. I had a piece of 2″ cedar that I thought would be a good size for the cross. I wanted to make sure I had the proportions correct, so I searched the internet for a vector based image file of the cross. I then opened it up in Paint.Net and scaled it to the exact size I wanted (based on my 2″ thick cedar). I then recorded the measurements and went to work. It was quick work cutting the sizes to length. I then made a half-lap joint for the centre of the cross. I drilled a hold in the bottom to snugly hold an epoxy coated rebar I picked up at Home Depot. I epoxied it into place. After getting the brass name tag engraved at a local sore I attached it to the cross and then coated the entire cross in epoxy to protect it. Very happy with the results.



Cedar Planter Boxes

Finishing up the last of my wife’s requests for this year is 2 cedar planter boxes. I based the design off of the VegTrug planters I saw on Lee Valley. We liked gardening in pots and wanted something larger, but off of the ground.

I was planning on using cedar fence boards for the sides, but when my neighbor found out about my project he gave me all of the rough cut cedar boards I would need for the planter boxes. I only had to buy the cedar 2x4s for the legs. I figured out I had enough 7 foot long boards for one planter box and enough 5 foot long boards for a second one. So I decided to make 2 sizes. The shorter one is a lot wider than the longer planter box. They both stand a little more then 3″ off the ground to the top of the planter. I added an extra horizontal brace on the longer one, but it didn’t seem to add any stability to the structure, so I left it off the shorter one. They are pretty stable they way they are. Since they are for gardening I didn’t apply any finish to these planters.

Side view of the 2 planter boxes

Side view of the 2 planter boxes

Length view of the cedar planter boxes

Length view of the cedar planter boxes