Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Sterling (June 30, 2000)
Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,225,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #131 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Garden Furnishings #646 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Carpentry #685 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Outdoor & Recreational Areas
Argh!!! where to start!?! If you're attempting to build anything in this book just be careful. Use it as a rough guideline, but do not follow the instructions. Why? Because they're all wrong! I am building the adirondack couch. First of all the list of materials has mistakes in it. The back slats for the seat call for 1x6 wood. If you do the math, you'll find that 1x6's don't work. You have to use 1x4's. It calls for 11 of them, yet in the written instructions they tell you you'll need 12 of them. One of the diagrams is mislabled. Some of the measurements are wrong. They tell you to nail in a screw (you can nail in a nail and screw in a screw, but can you nail in a screw?). As far as attaching the back to the seat...it's an architectural mystery as to how it's actually going to keep the seat back from collapsing when there are no supports at all. What else...oh. yes. the lovely pictures they have. If you use the pictures of the completed project as a guideline...don't. They don't match what they're telling you in the instructions. They tell you to use carriage bolts, yet the picture doesn't show any. The seat back has the corners cut off to give it some shape, yet, if you do it the way they tell you, you'll soon find out that you're cutting through the top back support.It's great for project ideas but I definitely wouldn't reccomend it to any beginners. Before you attempt any of the projects, spend some time and double check the materials list and the instructions...especially before you go out and spend money on the wrong materials and then realize nothing fits.
This book is great for beginners in that it introduces and familiarizes readers with tools, lumber, and techniques. In fact, I would go as far as to say it's a great motivator to start building your own projects. As far as the plans in the book go, I recommend either redoing measurement calculations on lumber and hardware, or finding plans elsewhere. I built the lawn chair, and found some measurements to be wrong in lumber and in the screw lengths. I wrote down the corrections as I went along, and found that my second chair only took me a fraction of the time to make, compared to the first. Looks great! Just be careful if you're using the plans! Good luck.
The authors, Stevie Henderson & Mark Baldwin, devote the first five chapters of this book going over materials, tools, techniques and safety. All of which I personally wish more authors would do. They go through everything from adhesives to selecting the type of wood to use.After the introduction the book jumps straight into building projects. The projects range from building a Birdhouse Table, an Adirondack Sofa, a Yard Light, an Outdoor Storage Center, a Privacy Screen, a Portable Deck and so much more.My favorite aspects of this book are the authors provide a lot of diagrams and pictures to help spotlight the amount of detail they provide. Also, each project has detailed lists of what material is needed and instead of just providing the reader with a Cutting List, and they provide a Material and Hardware lists. There's no more guesswork on what tool is used to make or do what!This book is very thought out and it is geared toward the beginner to intermediate. I enjoyed this book and look forward to building many of the projects for my own personal use. I recommend the purchase of this book.
I have built, the 2x4+1x4 chairs (a bench to match the chairs, as well as foot rests that slide under the bench "all my designs"), the small table and the barbeque table from this book and have to change all the measurements. She has the back supports for the chairs wrong, they don't work, you must use 17 or 17 1/2 inch back supports. Also the seat is too high for the arms so you must either lower the seat or shorten the legs (front and back). They are also uncomfortable for seating as built, I have found that lowering the back of the seat 1 1/2" makes them much more comfortable. After building the chairs, I just used the basic ideas and worked out the measurements for what I wanted since I couldn't trust the ones in the book. I have build some nice things from her basic ideas but they are not her plans but mine.
Before today, I'd never operated so much as a power saw. But I've had this book for a few months now and have been eyeing the adirondack sofa. And I'm thrilled to report that I finished the entire project in only 5-6 hours today, following the instructions given. It looks really great!A few things to note, however:1. While the "cutting list" dimensions are perfect, the "materials" amounts are not. Before you buy lumber, be sure to list out the size of the pieces you'll need and then decide how many pieces of wood you'll need to buy. I knew I was going to buy 6 ft. boards from the hardware, so I figured out ahead of time which pieces I'd be cutting from each board. Buying the proper # of boards saved me a ton of time and headache.2. The instructions do require you to think through the steps prior to execution. For the most part the steps were clear and only a few were challenging -- but I was able to find easy work-arounds that accomplished the same results.3. I wish the authors would indicate which tools are needed for each project. They seem to assume that the builder owns all tools mentioned in the beginning of the book... but this is clearly unrealistic. I bought a power miter saw to use for the sofa, and while a jigsaw would have also been helpful, I did just fine with the miter saw.4. Another reviewer mentioned that the cutting list for the back slats of the adirondack sofa improperly called for 1x6 boards and she had to substitute 1x4 boards. However, she must have had another version of the book, because my cutting list is perfect and even fits together better than most IKEA furniture I've assembled. The back slats call for twelve 32" 1x4 boards. My version was published in 2000, perhaps she had an earlier copy.Overall, I'm really pleased with this book and plan to make several more projects!
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