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Be ready when spring arrives and spruce up your home's exterior with these ideas

METRO CREATIVE SERVICES - Build this comfy Swing Bed using a downloadable plan, tools and supplies from Woodcraft.Be ready when spring arrives and get busy sprucing up your home's exterior and outdoor living space.

Invest family time to envision which projects would transform it into a more organized, inviting retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Do doors, door frames, porches/ railings, gates, decks, patios, and outbuildings need to be cleaned, repaired, repainted or replaced? Do you need more furniture, flower boxes or play equipment?

Once a project list is made, visit your local Woodcraft store to stock up on all the needed tools, materials, and supplies. Woodcraft store employees can help with advice about products and projects.

WOODCRAFT MAGAZINE CLASSIC PROJECT PLANS make it easy to build the inviting Swing Bed (pictured) and picnic tables, benches, hand grill carts, potting benches, Adirondack chairs, and much more.

RESTORING OUTDOOR PROJECTS, a Woodcraft blog, offers tips to make Adirondack chairs and other wood pieces and structures look new again. Download the free PDF (woodcraft.com/blog_entries/restoring-outdoor-projects).

Cleanup & Repairs

HOWARD CLEAN-A-FINISH WOOD SOAP easily breaks down grease, grime and wax on all wood surfaces. It effectively cleans without ammonia or bleach, using a traditional blend of gentle yet powerful, natural soaps. Use it also on plastics, upholstery, carpet and vinyl.

BLUE BEAR PAINT AND URETHANE STRIPPER (SOY-GEL) is Franmar Chemical's effective, effortless and odorless coating remover made from soybeans and natural elements.

BRIWAX CHAIRX is an easy solution for repairing loose chair joints. Inject ChaiRX into a small hole you drill in the joint, and the thin unique formulation will penetrate the wood cells to swell the joints and bond them together permanently. In 12 hours, the chair will be wiggle-free. Consider TITEBOND III ULTIMATE WATERPROOF GLUE for other gluing tasks, a waterproof adhesive designed for interior and exterior use with superior strength, unaffected by finishes, and cleans up with water.

Building

FOR LAYOUT TASKS, PICK THE PINNACLE COMBINATION SQUARE — blade, square head and center finder. The 12" blade features extra-fine graduations in eighths, 16ths and 32nds. In addition, the combination head has a scribe and spirit level.

SAW WOOD TO SIZE WITH THE FESTOOL CARVEX PS 420 EBQ-PLUS JIGSAW that can cut up to 43.4" wood beams, aluminum and steel. The Razorsaw Ryoba handsaw from Gyokucho, a powerful cutting tool, has ripping and crosscutting teeth on opposite sides and an adjustable pivot point for angled cutting in tight spaces.

NORTON HAND SANDING KITS cover most sanding chores. Detail Sander fits well in hard-to-reach places. Finishing Block Sander makes general sanding quick and comfortable.

THE MONTANA BRAND 4-IN-1 DRILL AND DRIVER comes in a 10-piece set that includes all you need to drive #6, #8, #10, and #12 screws. Add the Montana Brand 3-Piece HD Self-Centering Plug Cutter Set — unique in the woodworking industry — and you are ready to build projects for the outdoors.

For fastening, consider the handy FREEMAN 23-GAUGE 1" PINNER & 2" BRAD NAILER COMBO KIT.

Finishing

If color is a factor in painting an outdoor project, select GENERAL FINISHES MILK PAINT, available in 33 colors. This high-tech, water-based acrylic paint is durable, easy to apply and rated for interior and exterior use. Colors may be mixed or used with General Finishes water-based Glazes and Wood Stains to create decorative finishes and effects.

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