Project Ideas in the New Home

Jay Oyster's picture

We've been in our new house for about eight months now. Frankly, after moving four times in five years, I was just too worn out to consider new woodworking projects. But I've caught my breath.

I'm heading toward the finish line on the Roubo workbench, and I owe a completed jewelry cabinet to my wife. But along with those, I'm starting to think. Things to tackle. New wood challenges to try. 

I've taken to listening to the WoodTalk PodCast. (I was also briefly listening to The Woodworking Podcast, but their verbal tics finally just got on my nerves enought that I had to give them a break. "I made it to where . . . ", ) The WoodTalk podcast is nice. It's funny. It inspires me to try things that are new and challenging. Shannon is a naturally entertaining presenter, and the new Matt is nicely "aw-shucksy" authentic and enthusiastic. Mark is there. If he can be a little less cynical and snarky, I'd like it more, but I'm still impressed by anyone who can take this hobby and make a business out of it.

Multi-level play fort idea for our backyard. The shed already exists in our yard. I'm using it for scale.So . . . two project ideas. One is a playset I've promised my boys. If you look back in history on this site, you'll see that I built a really big playset for my first son at our home in Florida. But then we lost that place, and I've told my younger son ever since that I would work to replace it. They're really getting too old now for a 'playset', but they both would love a backyard fort. So that's what I'm going for. I have two types of projects . . . the kind I conceive of and take forever to build (see Roubo, jewelry cabinet), and the kind I think of in a weekend and build in a month (see the aviary, and the hanging tool cabinet). I have to make this backyard fort into the latter. Still, I want it to be something special. I've been thinking more and more about post and beam construction, so I'm going to use home center materials, and the tools I've mostly got already, to build a multi-story fort. 

I started working on a playset design last year . . . but then it became apparent that they didn't want swings and slides anymore. They wanted, as my 10 year old put it, a 'man cave in the backyard'. Well, I took that to mean an enclosed space up off the ground.  I've done some pretty detailed work on the structural elements in Sketchup.

The second project I have is simpler, but will probably also involved post and beam construction, and maybe some carving. I need a new post for my mailbox. But I want something that says, "A Woodworker lives here." I'm just starting to ruminate on that one. . .