Recent Articles and Blog Posts
How to build a foldable picnic table for kids
This article was originally published in the Spring 2015 issue of Cottage Life magazine. (Photography by Eugen Sakhnenko, Illustrations by Len Churchill.)
For kids, there’s no such thing as single-purpose furniture.
4 gas-free chainsaws for the cottage
Juiced by lithium-ion cells, battery-powered chainsaws have from toy to big-boy tool. I field-tested four 40V cordless chainsaws by running them repeatedly through a 5x5 timber. They all offer quiet, fume-free operation, instant...
How to build stair stringers
Constructing outdoor stairs, such as those leading down from a deck, can be a challenge,
one that some cottage handypeople avoid, thinking it too daunting. In fact, the planning is just simple arithmetic and geometry, math any...
Here’s a simple method that I use to cut a hinge mortise—a task that can be tricky to do the traditional, chisel-only way. Position the hinge leaf on the surface and score the outline with a sharp utility knife. Remove the...
How to build a gazebo
As soon as the hammering began, interest around the bay was piqued. First, a pedal boat cruised by; the pedallers had heard construction noise and wanted to see what was going on. Their compliments were enough to make this old...
How to build a convertible picnic table
Last summer, my wife, Lynn, and I dropped in on cousin Kathleen and her husband, Ross, at their Wahwashkesh Lake cottage. After the customary welcome refreshments and sharing of family news and gossip, Ross and I naturally started...
How to build a swim ladder
Let’s face it: If you have a dock or a swim raft at your cottage, it’s pretty much a given that you need a ladder. I know your daughter’s skinny 18-year-old boyfriend can exit the water gracefully unaided, but those of us...
How to build an outhouse
Privy, john, biffy, crapper, backhouse, whatever you call it, the outhouse remains a common architectural feature on the cottage landscape.
Technically considered a Class 1 sewage treatment system by the Ontario Ministry of the...
How to build a tree house & tower
When I was kid, growing up in the wilds just outside of North Bay, we always had a treehouse—rather rickety affairs that we built ourselves. We spent endless hours in them; it gave us a sense of independence and adventure,...
How to build a canoe or kayak rack
A couple of rickety old sawhorses. That’s what passes for a winter storage system for my canoe. And during canoe season, I just park it upside down on the beach. I didn’t invest a lot in that canoe—in fact, I don’t even...