Category Archives: Building

How to Build a Garden Maze

A garden maze can be enjoyable to persons of all ages. Not only do they look great from the ground but it is also an astonishing sight from overhead. So how exactly do you go about getting a garden maze in your yard? As long as you have the landscape space to do so you can easily create one from scratch. Once you decide on the type of maze you want to build then the rest will be a breeze.

Required Materials

  • Ground Cover
  • Soil
  • Plants
  • Walkway Materials
  • PVC Drainage Tube

Required Tools

  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Shovel
  • Chalk
  • String
  • Wheelbarrow


  1. Locate your Area – Clearly the very first thing we will need to do is to locate the area in which your maze will be. Try to map out what you would like where and try to find a place for it in your yard. You could also try to integrate some of the elements already located in your yard for example some of the trees already in position may be able to highlight certain areas of your maze. To give yourself a clearer visual locate the area you want to be the middle of the maze and mark it with chalk. Our maze will be scaled using paces, lets say three feet equals to be equal about one pace. So lets begin pacing out our maze. Be sure to make a mark each time you turn a corner (remember this is not a set scale so you can feel free cut it down if you do not have enough space).When you are though mapping out your path then the rest can be filled in eventually but be sure mark your outer boundaries, there should be a straight-line reference point for the entire maze.
  2. Pick your Plants – Your maze can be made from any plant you want as long as it can be grown in the conditions of your environment. Once you have selected the plant material you which to use it will be time to begin planting our maze. Dig your plant hole about a quarter of an inch and a bit wider than the pot that it came in. Add fertilizer around the plant, ensure that you tamp it down to avoid air pockets. To allow water absorption form a small dish around the plant. While pruning the plant be sure to keep your initial maze outline in mind.
  3. Follow your outline – Be sure to follow your outline when planting your garden maze, check the each plants location at least twice before you actually plant it to avoid re-digging holes. Remember no all paths will be an open path so be sure to plot out your false paths carefully.
  4. Select Path Material that Drains Well – Your paths can be made from various different materials, from grass to stone. Regardless of what you choose you will need to ensure that it is able to drain well. We wouldn’t want huge puddles in our maze every time it rains now would we? You may want to find creative drainage means for example you could pill soil and stone around a perforated PVC tube or you could consider making the paths with a slight rise in the middle. You can decide.
  5. Development over time – The great thing about planting a garden maze is that once you set the basic structure everything else can be achieved over time. You may add to it or even subtract from it whenever you choose.

How to Build a Water Wheel Pump

Knowing how to build a water wheel pump goes a long way towards helping you automate tasks like pumping water and pulverizing grain. Here are the things you’ll need.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Buckets
  • Sewing pins
  • Ruler
  • Wood planks
  • Saw
  • Pencil or pen
  • Protractor
  • Skewer (wood)

Create the Paddles

Use the ruler to draw a line on a wood plank. The line must be set a couple of inches from the edge of the board. Segregate this into ten equal parts.

Take the protractor and make a couple of circles. Make a note of the center as it will be the axle. Remember that the size must be in accordance with the wheel you’re making. If you build a water wheel pump without the right proportion, there will be no balance.

Create the Stand

Cut two triangular shapes from the wood boards. Add a wood beam for further support. Make sure that there are grooves in the stand to fit the wheel. The height is up to you.

Create the Sides and Wheels

Now take the wood board with the ten spaces you marked. Cut them with a saw. Cut the circles as well. Be certain they are cut as accurately as possible.

Put the Paddles in Place

Take the paddles and put them on the wheel. Set each one at 40 degrees in between the wheels. Before you continue to build a water wheel pump, you must stick the paddles first. Use wood glue. Now put the wood skewer at the center point of the wheels you just made.

Put the Stand and Wheels Together

Carry the wheels and put it on top of the stand you created. You can now put buckets there. The bucket size depends on how big the wheel is.

Tips and Warnings

Take careful note of the stand. If you are making a large wheel, the base must be robust enough to carry it. That is the reason for the support beams. Some would even create a separate foundation for the stand to be set on.

As always, you should be careful when you build a water wheel pump. Never hurry when cutting the wood boards. When nailing the stand, be careful not to hit your fingers. Although this isn’t as work intensive as other projects, it’s still a good idea to wear gloves.

Test the utility first before actually using it. Set the structure under a faucet. Turn it on. If the wheel spins when the water flows into it, you’ve done it right. To avoid problems, make sure you cut according to the measurements you made on the protractor.

You can make a handle if you like. Take a carton and makes holes on the top part. Put a string around it. Put the longer part on the axle. This handle is however, only optional.

From filtering water to pulverizing granules, you will get a lot of benefits when you build a water wheel pump. It isn’t even hard to do, as you can tell your friends when they ask how you made the object.

How to Build a Static 3-Phase Converter

Are you in search for a device that can help you lessen the electric consumption in your home? Do you want to conserve electricity in your office? Are you looking for an effective device that can be used to discharge and charge capacitators? Then learn how to build a static 3-phase converter. This device is very useful in starting electric circuits and saving energy. Below are the guidelines and basic steps in making a reliable and safe static 3-phase converter.

Tools and Materials

Before making this converter, it is best to gather all the necessary materials such as an idler motor, wires that have various lengths, run capacitators as well as start capacitators. Other needed materials in this project are plastic tapes, plugs, rubber gloves and a riley. Aside from these materials, get all the tools like a measuring tape, switches, nails, plugs and a voltmeter.


To start building a static 3-phase converter, it is necessary to know the different local wiring codes. Be sure that you only use the code that is reliable. To assure that the converter will function efficiently, remember to ground its frame. After doing this, the next step is to choose the most effective and functional 3-phase idler motor. Always check the motor’s nameplate before installing it to the main frame of the converter.

After installing the motor, select start capacitators and run capacitators based on the motor’s specifications. Refer to the blueprint before installing the capacitators to the frame. As soon as the capacitators are ready, proceed with the addition of fuses. To do this, be sure to make and refer to a schematic diagram so that the fuses will be placed in the right locations.

Check the flow of current before selecting the size of the wire that will be used. Afterwards, wire the overloads and the run capacitators. It is important that the voltage drop does not exceed three per cent. After wiring the capacitators, it is best to perform several current balancing tests. If the results of the tests are fine, then the next move is to evaluate if the converter is functioning based on the specifications. Finally, install a plug or a disconnect switch to ensure the safety of users.

Additional Tips

Always follow safety hazards as well as precautions when building a static 3-phase converter. Do not forget to wear rubber gloves when testing the conductors to avoid experiencing electric shocks. To finish this project successfully, prepare a blueprint of the design of the converter before making the device.

How to Build a Ramp

Although it looks simple enough, there are underlying principles to follow when you build a ramp. There is also a lot of planning and you need to have the right gear at your disposal.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Saw
  • Building material (i.e. wood boards, steel etc)
  • Posts (you can buy or make them with wood or metal)
  • Nails
  • Tape measure
  • Screws
  • Bolts
  • Cardboard tube
  • Cement mix
  • Hammer
  • Screwdrivers

Design the Layout

Decide first and foremost what you want to make. There are structures for skateboarding, boarding aircraft or crossing to a higher platform. Take this into account. Know exactly what you have in mind. Now draw the basic outline on paper.

Make Measurements

This includes the overall structure length. Also note the degrees of the transition (curves) and the turns. Make a note of the degrees involved. To build a ramp, this information is critical. It doesn’t just tell you how much material to get but will keep it from falling apart. Never use guesswork on the measurements.

Prepare the Site

The place must be clear and the surface level. If you’re going to do a lot of work, make sure it’s not on a busy path. Get rid of any dirt or thrash in the area.

Have the Permits Approved

Get the permits from the local officials first. If you’re making one for skateboards, check the safety rules and regulations. If the structure is for pedestrians, ensure it complies with the standards for disabled people before you build a ramp. Check the laws for your state / country.

Make the Posts

Begin to build a ramp by getting your building material. Create the posts. If you’re using wood, saw to the required size. Use a tape measure if necessary. Plant or insert them in the ground. Make sure they are aligned properly. For more support you can add cardboard tube in the hole around it.

Note: if the ground isn’t level, you’ll need to cement it. Dig a hole (several inches will do). Take out some of the sod and pour in the cement. Hardening takes about 24 hours. Now you can continue to build a ramp.

Make the Deck

Use the wood boards to create the deck. Cut each section to the right length. You can use wood glue or nail it to the base. Make sure the deck is aligned properly before fastening it in place. Sanding is optional. If there will be plenty of curves or a 180 degree turn, use four posts for that area. Nail in the rails.


Wood treated material is optimized for these structures. If you’re just making one for skateboarding, ordinary wood will do provided you stain it. For pedestrians or passengers, treated lumber is necessary.

Always refer to your layout when working. This helps you stay focused especially when cutting and shaping the curves and transitions. Wear gloves and eye goggles when cutting wood.

The final step to build a ramp is painting. When it has dried, congratulate yourself; your job is done.

How to Build a Porch

Carpenters usually do this task, but you can build a porch yourself. To ensure continuous work, it’s best if you prepare the things you’ll be using first. These are ordinary tools that can be bought in any hardware store.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Saw
  • Screwdrivers
  • Screws
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Concrete mix
  • Concrete anchors
  • Lag bolts
  • 2 x 4 wood stock

Establish the Sill Plate

Cut some of the 2 x 4 boards if needed. Align them to make the sill plate. You’ll need at least four pieces. Attach them together and form a square. Get some screws and secure it on the surface. For stability, utilize concrete anchors. These are inserted into the ground. When in place, fasten them with the bolts.

Continue to build a porch by adding a wood board above the plate. Fasten it with screws. Affix a stud again the wall and stick the sill plate there temporarily. Set it against the ceiling and remember the spot.

Inserting the Studs

The next step is to take out any base or foundation plates. Cut them with the saw. Put studs in the walls. Assess the screen breadth for its proper placement. For the door frames a couple of studs are required. Set them on the corners.

Put the Door, Rail & Screen in Place

Use a level and designate a spot 32 inches up the wall. To build a porch correctly, this needs to be set on the studs. Take the 2 x 4 and create the rail. Fasten it in the space between two studs. Judge the space between the sill plate and rail. Cut wood boards that will fit in. Fasten it with nails on the outer wall.

Create the door from the wood boards. Set it in place. Put a doorstop at the upper and side corners. This is done immediately after the frame is set. You can now apply the screen door. If you didn’t get a pre-built screen, just attach it with staples. When putting it up, be sure to set the staples on the stud.


Apply the primer and put in as many coats as needed. Use painter tape so the screen doesn’t get smeared with paint. This is the final step to build a porch.

Tips and Warnings

Make sure your workspace is clear and clean. It’s all too easy to lose sight of all those screws and bolts.

If there are kids, keep them away from the paint as the smell can cause nausea. You might consider wearing a mask yourself. Keep any pets away from the work area. A dog or cat might eat some of the splinter from the wood or swallow a nail.

This job can be done by a single individual but it doesn’t hurt to get some help. Having someone work with you will get the job done much more quickly.

While it isn’t exactly a walk in the park, you can build a porch with some diligence. As long as you get the alignments done right, there shouldn’t be too many problems.

How to Build a Deck Box

If you have plenty of stuff lying outside the house, you can build a deck box to store them. These containers are mostly used for stocking outdoor accessories but you can also use it to clear the clutter indoors.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Saw
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Concrete mix
  • Wood boards (2 x 4 is ideal)
  • Paint or stain
  • Gloves
  • Bolts
  • Face mask
  • Joists
  • Hinges
  • Nails
  • Tape measure
  • Wrenches

Make a Design Sketch

Draw the basic shape. It can be a simple square box. Or you can make it rectangular with a large intricate cover lid. When making the sketch, add the measurements too. Knowing the length, height and width gives you an idea how many wood boards to buy.

Make the Footings

Start to build a deck box with the footings. Decide on how high you want it to be. Use the tape measure to get an accurate figure. Saw the wood into the desired shape. Make sure each one is the same size. Sand them if the wood is rough. You can use concrete for the footing too. Just pour the cement into a frame or form and use it after it solidifies.

Create the Support Beams

Take the measurements for the box and use it for the frames. Make four pieces for the flooring. Also make four vertical beams for the wall sides. To build a deck box frame, nail the pieces together. Now you can screw or nail them to the footings.

Create the Wall Sections

Saw four more pieces from the wood boards. Double check the thickness measurement. Put all four walls in the frames. You can nail each one in place. If you want to use screws, drill holes in both walls and frames. Then you can fasten the screws.

Add the Lid Cover

To cover the container, make it just a little bigger than the box. Shape the wood as you want it to be. Now drill holes in it for the hinges. Fasten the screws. Make drill holes in the box too. Connect the hinges.


You can start to paint it now. This is the last stage to build a deck box. Start by adding the primer (the first paint layer). Put the strokes in evenly. Keep in mind that the more layers you apply, the longer the drying period.

Tips and Warnings

Put on the mask when you paint. Some people don’t like the smell and there could be chemicals there too. Be cautious when hammering in nails or sawing wood.

Divide the box into sections. Insert thin wood boards in the container. This will keep your things better organized.

You can also make handles for the box. Just cut them from the wood boards and nail them into place. If you want to use wood glue, it has to be the strong one. You don’t want the handles coming off when you lift the box.

It isn’t so hard to build a deck box .Just stick to your plans and follow the procedures. In due time, you’ll be finished with the project and packing your stuff there.

How to Build a Column Footing

To build a column footing you need only the most basic of workmen’s tools. When you are done, you’ll be able to give your garden a new look.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Cement mix (two types: one with gravel and one without it)
  • Paint or stain
  • Plywood (2 x 4 will be all right)
  • Water
  • Wire brush
  • Trowel
  • Shovel
  • Tape measure

Create a Design

What do you want it to look like? Get some paper and draw it. It can use classical motifs or something you make up. Also note down the measurements. This will help you gauge the needed space.

The next step to build a column footing is to look for the place. Look in your garden for the most suitable spot. If you are going to make several, take this into consideration also.


are the Site

When you have the location, mark and measure the area. Allow at least eight inches space bigger than the column foundation. The shape is usually a square, but it can be rectangle or any other you can think of.

Once the area has been set, use the shovel and start digging. For stability, the hole should be a foot deep at the very least. Also give 2 to 3 inches allowance for the base. This is for the column foundation, not the general area mentioned earlier. This is crucial when you build a column footing. The reason is it keeps the structure from being chipped.

Create the Frame

Saw the 2 x 4s to construct the frame. Take each wood board and set on the edge. Set some plywood on the frame. These must cover the edges. You can use a form too. If you use that, you’ll need to attach a board 2 inches in width to hold the mixture. When using forms, you’ll need to set part of it on the surface. You also need to spray some quick drying rubber coating.

Add the Cement Mix

When the form dries you can put in the cement mix minus the gravel filler. When you build a column footing, put enough cement to reach the panel’s walls. Now put in the cement with gravel filler. Give it time to dry. Take away the form and it’s done.

Finishing Touches

Use a brush to eliminate some soft spots. Be careful when you use this. If there are any uneven areas, use the brush to fill them in.

If you want the natural look you can leave it as it is. But you can also paint it. Give it the right amount of time to harden.

See to it you do the cement and gravel filler sequence correctly. Wear gloves when you cut the plywood boards. Because the work here involves cement, it’s best to do it in summer.

Finally, don’t get too stressed out when you build a column footing. This is for decoration and it is actually quite simple to make unlike a gazebo. Just be creative. After you are done, you can relax and see how well the structure complements your garden.

How to Build a Closet

If you need some space in your room, you can build a closet. You’ll just need to clear some space first so you can work successfully.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Air compressor
  • Nail gun
  • Stud finder
  • Wood boards
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Drill

Choose the Site

This doesn’t just refer to the physical space. You should also consider the space for the door when you open it. If you’re thinking of expanding it, this is something you need to consider too.

Make a Design

Get the tape measure. If needed make more space by removing some things in the area. Now get some pen and paper. Make a sketch of how you want it to look like. Decide how many shelves you want when you build a closet. Now get the materials you need from the hardware store.

Cut the Walls

Use the stud finder to locate them in the wall. You might also draw the shape on the wall for reference. Now use the saw and cut the pieces. Check the measurements to ensure that they are correct.

Add in the air compressor. Use a nail gun to secure it in place. Now you can install the wood boards. Attach the pieces on the studs. If you don’t the structure might collapse.

Add the Shelves and Door

Proceed to build a closet by adding the shelves. Cut them with the saw. Make as many as needed. Fasten them with the nails. Make sure that you add some 1 x 4 stringers and rod cup holders. This will provide the stability for the shelves.

If needed slice the closet rod to make it fit the cup. Set the rod support on the brackets. Fasten it by utilizing screws. For the door, you can just cut it out from the wood board. Check that it’s the right size, and then attach it.

The last step is to paint it. You can also apply some staining if you prefer. After you have finished, you can put your belongings in there.

Tips and Wranings

You can add more space in the closet by adding more rods. Just be sure the structure is strong enough to support it. Of course when you build a closet you can put in books, CDs and other stuff there.

Don’t dump everything though. Its purpose is to help you arrange your stuff. Try to keep your stuff sorted out.

The importance of the studs can’t be over emphasized. If you don’t set the boards there, you could hit the plumbing or some wires. Hitting one of these can be disastrous.

Be careful when using the saw to cut wood. While you want to be precise, take care not to cut yourself. If you are going to paint, don a mask. Wearing gloves can also protect your hands when handling rough materials. After working, be sure to clean up afterwards. Sweep all splinters scattered on the floor.

It doesn’t take long for a room to get cluttered. If you can build a closet though, you’ll be able to clear space up quickly.

How to Build a Circular Deck

You don’t need to be a carpenter to build a circular deck. If you know the basic way of using carpentry tools you’ll have no problems setting one up for your home.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Wood stock
  • Driller
  • Saw
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Screws and nails
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pain or stain
  • Gloves
  • Cement mix
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer

Planning and Preparing the Site

Make sure you know exactly what you want it to look like. Set down on paper the scale and location. When the site is set, put some stakes around the perimeter. Let this serve as a guide so you don’t lose track of the scale when you start to build a circular deck.

Create the Foundation

Pour cement into the ground. This is to give it a solid foundation. Cut a 3” wood and set on the surface. The bigger the structure, the more support beams you’ll need. Cut a beam 1” diameter and set it in the middle of the site. Remember for every one foot of deck there should be one of these 1” supports.

Create the Platform

Dig a hole 4” deep and 8” sq. Pour some concrete and add a rebar. There will be about eight inches exposed. Make a support and put it in place. Drill an opening and insert the rebar there.

Create the Frame

Proceed to build a circular deck by getting some 4 x 4 wood. Fasten one 4 x 4 for every one of the beams in place. If needed, use a metal plate (shaped like a T) to hold these pieces together.

Create the Floor Surface

Use solid deck flooring as it is more stable than the tongue and groove type. 2 x 4 wood boards are best suited here. To ensure stability, countersinking screws is recommended.

Add the Rails and Stairs

Make the proper indentations for the railings. Making them on your own can be complex. The same can be said for the stairs. For this reason, most of those who build a circular deck buy pre-built rails and stairs. If you want to make your own, slice them from the wood stock.

Coating the Structure

For best results get all purpose types. These aren’t just attractive but also give the deck protection. When using stain, adding sand is recommended. This helps in making the steps less slippery. After painting and coating, allow it to dry. That is the last step in the project.

Tips and Warnings

Wear eye goggles when cutting wood stock. You’ll be doing a lot of cutting and splinter will fly off. So keep yourself safe by wearing goggles. Workmen’s gloves are also used to protect your hands from cuts or wounds.

Coating helps but only so far as the wood material is actually good. Avoid purchasing wood stock that are too rough.

Sweep the area after you work. You don’t want any splinter or nails lying around which could be picked up by a child or pet.

If you follow these instructions you’ll be able to build a circular deck. Once it’s completed, give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

How to Build a Ballista

Although it was a powerful weapon, you can actually build a ballista without too much difficulty. First off you should look for a clear working area.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Several 2 x 4 wood stock
  • Wheeled cart
  • A rope
  • Hook
  • Saw
  • Nails
  • Winch
  • Hammer
  • Brace

Create the Base

Put the cart wheel before you. Take a couple of 2 x 4s and cut them. It can be any height you like but they need to be the same. Place them on a vertical position on the edge of the base. Hammer the nails so the wood beams are secured. Cut another wood beam. Set it horizontally atop the two vertical beams. Nail it.

Make the Bow

To build a ballista you must have a bow. Saw a wood board or plank. Make it slim enough it becomes bendable. Bend it to form a bow shape. The length must be equal to the vertical wood sticks you constructed. Secure it in position. The angle needs to be 45 degrees and midway up the two beams. Lift the bow so it gazes up.

Prepare the Chute

Cut three 2 x 4s. These need to be longer than the ones you just made. It should be long enough to rest on the floor. Take one of these 2 x 4s and set it against the cart. After verifying the height, set it on the floor. Continue to build a ballista by inserting two other 2 x 4 wood boards on the side of the vertical beams. Fuse the wood. Now put this chute or container on the foundation corners. You can set a brace on the rear if you like.

Attach the Winch and Spool

Get the winch and insert it in the chute. Optionally you can set a spool in the chute as well. Just place it at the top and make sure it will be able to turn without difficulty.

Next, fasten the rope along the bow. Fasten another one on the winch. Take the hook and secure it with this rope. Set the hook in the midst of the bowstring. Now to build a ballista, crank the winch and it will be ready for use.


Here are some things that can help you build a ballista more effectively. Set a cup or container on the bowstring. Let this serve as a container for your “weapons”.

Make sure to check the nails and the hook. These need to be in place for the object to work properly.

These structures were not painted, so you can leave it as it is. If you want to add some luster, staining will do the trick.

Like a catapult, this can be potentially dangerous. Do not hurl objects at windows or buildings. Never aim at people or wildlife. This is for fun and experimental purposes, so choose the objects you will hurl carefully. Always monitor where the object you fling will land.

There is something about ancient warfare that fascinates people. As you build a ballista, you’ll get more insights into the ways that battles were once fought.