Thursday, May 12, 2016

Quick and Easy Raised Garden Beds

Make these quick and easy Raised Garden Beds in just one day!  Watch my video showing the basic steps, then read further for a shopping list, step-by-step instructions, more photos, and a few awesome videos for extra inspiration!

Shopping List - Quantities shown will make one 48" square bed.
  • Four 8-foot 2x6 boards, untreated
  • A 4-foot section of 2x4, untreated
  • 40 exterior screws (2.5" or 3")
  • Landscape Fabric 
  • Stapler with 1/4" staples
  • 15-16 cubic feet preferred soil

Step-By-Step Instructions

To make a square bed from 8-foot 2x6 boards, cut each board once at 49.5".  This will also yield a shorter 46.5" piece.  You should end up with four of each size.

Cut four 11" sections of 2x4 for the corners.

Stack two 46.5" board on top of two of the 2x4 pieces, making sure the 2x4's are flush and square on the ends.  Drill pilot holes and screw them together - two screws at the end of each board.  Repeat for the other 46.5" side.

Stand the two sides up so they are vertical.  Stack two of the 49.5" boards on top, making sure the sides are flush and square with the ends of the longer sides.  Screw them together.  Carefully flip the partial assembly over and fasten the two remaining boards on the other side.

Cover the bottom with weed block landscaping fabric.  Leave some excess around the bed if you will be landscaping around the beds.  Use a stapler to fasten the fabric.  

Flip the raised bed over and position it in place.  Landscape around the beds if desired.  Fill the bed with 15-16 cubic feet of your preferred garden soil.  My wife selected Vigoro Organic Garden Soil and Miracle Gro Gardening Soil for Vegetables.

 Plant your vegetables and don't forget to water them!

Make a sign to personalize your garden.  I used an Inventables X-Carve CNC machine, but you can paint one just as easily.  Be creative!

Below are some more awesome videos that may give you some other ideas for making raised garden beds.  Enjoy and happy gardening!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw Unboxing and Bear Project

I've wanted to upgrade to a better scroll saw for a long time so I can make more detailed projects.  Recently, the stars aligned and with the help of a store sale, some gift cards, and a little extra cash, I was able to order the DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw.  Watch as I unbox the saw and make my first project on it using Steve Good's Bear Cubs Silhouette Pattern.

The saw was packed well and arrived in new condition;  however, I did encounter one minor electrical issue.  The speed control dial was working intermittently.  I noticed if I moved the plastic casing that it was attached to, it would affect the speed.  I removed the screws and found that a wire connector was not properly seated.  After fully plugging it in, the dial worked fine.  This was really no big deal and an easy fix.

DeWalt Scroll Saw

The saw was easy to assemble by attaching the table top with two bolts.  That was it!  It came with two blades so I could get started cutting right away.  I am really happy with the performance of the saw and it is very easy to insert and remove the blade.  I recommend finding a solution for holding up the arm temporary while you insert the blade into starter holes.  I was blown away by how easy it was to make the detailed cuts in Steve Good's Bear Cubs Silhouette Pattern.

Scroll Saw Artwork

One of my buddies sells Scroll Saw Comfort Knobs that slip onto the standard DeWalt knobs and tighten with a set screw.  The knobs come in small and large sizes.  The large one slips on easily; however, the small knob requires that you sand the ends of the standard knob a little in order to get it to slip on.  I highly recommend these knobs as they are much more comfortable to use than the standard knobs, especially if you have arthritis or other hand grip issues.  For more information, email  (Note:  I understand that the Excalibur scroll saw knobs have the same threading, so you could add Comfort Knobs to your Excalibur if you order some of the DeWalt knobs too.)

Scroll Saw Comfort Knob

If you are in the market for a scroll saw, I highly recommend the DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw.  I plan to make a stand for mine, but you might also want to consider getting the DeWalt DW7880 Scroll Saw Stand and DeWalt DW7881 Work Light.  Stay dusty my friends!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Shoo Fly Don't Bother Me Whirligig

I made a "Shoo Fly Don't Bother Me" whirligig for our local woodworking club's whirligig contest that was held at our Spring picnic.  It was a beautiful day and the whirligig did a great job at keeping the flies away from my plate.  Watch this video of the build and see it in action!

The propeller is made from fly swatters from the dollar store with the handles cut off.  I made a red square hub out of wood and hot glued in the fly swatters.

I used leftover wire from a fly swatter handle, an eye bolt, and a piece of straight 1/8" steel rod to make the action mechanism.  I cut these with large wire cutters and bent them into shape with pliers.  This takes a little fiddling to get it to work smoothly.

I cut out the wooden parts, then drilled all of the holes prior to painting and assembly.  I think outdoor whirligig projects look best with a mix of bright colors.  I was really happy with the table cloth pattern I got by masking off stripes and spraying light coats.  I attached a small wooden name badge on the whirligig.

Plus, the swinging hand keeps the flies away!  If you've never tried to make a whirligig before, you should definitely try it.  They are fun to make with a big payoff when the wind starts blowing.  These are great projects for getting kids of all ages involved in woodworking.  Have fun!

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Atlanta Woodworking Show 2016 Recap

The Woodworking Show in Atlanta was a blast!  It was nice having the show in my home town.  In this video I share some clips of the exhibitors, some selfies with other YouTube woodworkers, and pictures and video from about 25 people who visited my shop.

Here is a picture of the crowd at the Video Woodworkers booth.  It was a pleasure meeting lots of other woodworkers and many people who watch my videos.  If you missed the show, I hope you can make it to the next one where the Video Woodworkers booth appears.