Posts from the ‘Outdoor Projects’ Category

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

Pressure Treated Bench Swing

Next up on my project list is the bench swing request by my wife. My brother made a swing set for his kids a couple years ago and he bought some metal brackets for the main structure. I looked on Amazon and was shocked to learn they were $60 per bracket. They are very easy to install and slip over the 4×4 posts, but I thought a birdsmouth joint would be strong enough for the bench swing. After looking at some pictures of bench swings on Google Images I decided on my design. The structure went up very easy using 4×4 posts for the legs and 2 x 2×6’s glued and screwed together for the main beam. I then used glue and structure screws to secure the legs to the beam.

The bench was made out of pressure treated deck boards and 2x4s. I wanted the length to be 6′ long, and the height and depth of the seat was determined by what felt comfortable using full width deck boards. I used the angle of the lawn chairs as the angle on the bench swing as well. Then hung the swing using swing hardware I found at a local hardware store and 1/4″ chain.

The swing is just what we wanted for that space and I am very happy with the results. The ground slopes toward the back of our property quite a bit so I had to put some blocks under the legs on one side. You don’t walk by it, so there is no tripping hazard, but I think I am going to figure out a more visually pleasing solution.

Pressure Treated Bench Swing

Pressure Treated Bench Swing

Cedar Lawn Chairs

I’ve always wanted to build a lawn chair. This year my wife gave me 3 projects for the summer. #1 two lawn chairs. #2 A bench swing for the back yard. And #3 some cedar planter boxes for the back yard for vegetables.

I decided to use the plans for sale from since it looked very nice and included a 1:1 template of the build. I never built anything using 1:1 plans before, so I thought it would be nice to try. Matthias has some very nice plans on his site that I have been admiring for some time, such as his screw advance box joint jig ( I figured this would be a nice starting point into his plans available.

I built my chair out of cedar, and then applied a teak oil finish so it keeps its golden colour for a little while. The chairs are very comfortable and I am happy with the results!

Here is a link to the plans and video from

Cedar Lawn Chairs

Cedar Lawn Chairs