DIY Father’s Day Gifts Your Dad Will Actually Use
Give your dad something he’ll actually want to use (and tell his friends that YOU made for him). Check out these projects – some are pretty quick, but others may take a little time. Either way, you’ll end up with something your dad will use and cherish for years to come. Get building!
Handmade Garden Toolbox
Is your dad lugging around his garden tools in a 5-gallon pail or worse? Make him this handy toolbox instead. With a couple branches and pieces of wood, it’ll have a rustic feel perfect for gardening around the yard. Get complete plans and instructions here.
Rolling Shop Cart
This is one of the handiest tools in the shop – a rolling shop cart. With just some castors, screws and a single piece of plywood, you can build a super-sturdy, super-useful rolling cart for your old man. Learn how to build this rolling shop cart here.
Fantastic Fire Table
What’s better than relaxing outside? Relaxing outside in front of a fire! This fun-to-build fire table makes a fantastic Father’s Day gift. Combine all of your dad’s favorite materials (wood, metal and concrete), add a little propane and fire, and you have a present he’s sure to love. You’ll spend all evening hearing all kinds of stories about the good old days, basking in the warm glow of good memories and a good fire.
Wooden Cutting Board
Surprise your friends and family with easy-to-make photo sculptures. Your favorite folks will ‘pop’ from your photos when you use this easy technique.
Here’s how: Apply photo mount adhesive to pieces of 1/4-in. hardwood plywood, firmly press on the photos to be sculpted, then cut out the figures with a scroll saw. Make some wood bases from scrap wood and glue on the sculptured photos with Special-T cyanoacrylate glue (about $11). This glue will tightly bond the sculpture’s bottom edge to the base, so you won’t need to fiddle with notches or screws.
Hints for great-looking sculptures:
- Use a sharp No. 2 or No. 4 ‘skip tooth’ blade (about $24).
- Change blades when the sawn ‘paper edge’ appears slightly ragged.
- Select a medium or high speed and feed the work at a slow rate, pressing the wood firmly on the table as you saw.
- When choosing photos to sculpt, look for clearly outlined subjects so it’s easy to follow the cutting line. Hair or clothing that blends into the background is difficult to cut.
Simple Step Stool
- One 8-ft. 1×8 clear hardwood board (actual width is 7-1/4 in. and actual thickness is 3/4 in.). Oak is a good choice because it’s readily available at home centers.
- One 4-ft. 1×3 hardwood board (actual width is 2-1/2 in. and actual thickness is 3/4 in.).
Cut the 8-ft. board into:
- Two 22-in. riser boards
- Two 11-in. riser boards
- One 14-in. step board
- One 14-in. seat board
You’ll use 94 in. of the 96-in. board, so make practice cuts on a scrap board first to check the angle and length of cut. Don’t cut the 3-ft. 1×3 board until you’ve dry-assembled the step, seat and risers and measured for a perfect fit.
To create two risers, join the 11-in. boards to the 22-in. boards with No. 20 biscuits and glue. Let dry 30 minutes, then lay the step and seat across and mark for two No. 20 biscuits at each joint. Dry-assemble the step, seat and risers with biscuits, then cut and snugly fit the crosspieces. Mark the riser-to-crosspiece joint and cut slots for No. 0 biscuits. Glue and firmly clamp the step, seat and crosspieces to the risers. Check for square and let dry 30 minutes, then cut out the 4-1/2 in. diameter arc on the bottom of the risers to create the legs. Finish-sand and apply your favorite finish. This project is designed for use on hard-surface flooring only?not carpeting. We’ve got plans for lots of different simple stools, like this one that you make using your jigsaw.
Easy Knife Block
To build one, you only need a 3/4-in. x 8-in. x 4-ft. hardwood board and a 6-in. x 6-1/2-in. piece of 1/4-in. hardwood plywood to match.
Begin by cutting off a 10-in. length of the board and setting it aside. Rip the remaining 38-in. board to 6 in. wide and cut five evenly spaced saw kerfs 5/8 in. deep along one face. Crosscut the slotted board into four 9-in. pieces and glue them into a block, being careful not to slop glue into the saw kerfs (you can clean them out with a knife before the glue dries). Saw a 15-degree angle on one end and screw the plywood piece under the angled end of the block.
Cut the 6-1/2-in. x 3-in. lid from the leftover board, and slice the remaining piece into 1/4-in.-thick pieces for the sides and end of the box. Glue them around the plywood floor. Cut a rabbet on three sides of the lid so it fits snugly on the box and drill a 5/8-in. hole for a finger pull. Then just add a finish and you’ve got a beautiful, useful gift. If you don’t have time to make a gift this year, consider offering to do something for the person. You could offer to sharpen their knives! Here’s how.