I am a Boy Scout planning my Eagle project. I am not allowed to purchase pre-made items and I am having trouble finding plans or advice on what I would like to build. I need to construct an outdoor horizontal single-sided enclosed bulletin board/message center, roughly 3’x4′. I am also wanting to build an outdoor menu enclosure, roughly 12″x15″. I have checked the Internet, looked through numerous books, visited a woodworking shop, and contacted a manufacturer. All with no luck. Any assistance that Woodworker’s Journal or its readers can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thank you. – Ben Cournoyer
Chris Marshall: Ben, if you can’t find ready-made plans, you may need to rely on your own creativity and draft original plans for these two projects. However, that can be part of the fun of building them, and when you’re finished you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you truly created them from scratch! Since both of these are outdoor projects, the best advice I can offer you is to build them from wood that stands up well to the elements. Cedar, cypress, redwood or white oak are all good choices, because they’ll last for years and years even if you don’t apply a protective finish. (However, all of these will eventually turn a silvery gray color as the wood oxidizes and ages.) Cedar, cypress and redwood are also quite soft, which might work well for the bulletin board, since people will be pressing thumbtacks or driving staples into it. You might even consider using treated lumber and staining or painting it, if that look works for your intended project locations.