Build A Simple Planter Box

Love flowers, but don't have the space -- or the desire -- to plant a garden? You may want to try making your own flower box, which can be just about any size you wish.
This planter box is built with a top and a bottom exterior frame; then you affix cedar panels to the frame and add bottom panels. After that, just add plants for a touch of spring anywhere you want to put it!
Expert tip: Always draw a diagram before you build anything. Remember: If you can't draw it, you can't build it! You don't have to be Leonardo Divinci, just that YOU can read it!! Your diagram will be useful in helping you determine the size of your project and the amount of lumber you'll need. Simply take the finished diagram with you when you go shopping, and you'll be sure to get everything your project requires.
Four Lengths of 26 Inch 1x2 Cedar
Four Lengths of 13 Inch 1x2 Cedar
Twelve Side & End Panels 5 ½ Inches x 12 ¼
Two Base Panels 1 Inch x 6 Inches x 24 Inches
Wood glue
Galvanized nails
Stainless-steel or Ceramic Coated Screws
Drill driver and bits
Speed square
Note: All our sections were precut, so they just need assembly. If you can't or don't wish to cut your own lumber, home-supply stores will generally cut it for you for a small fee.
Expert tip: Before you begin hammering, use sandpaper to rough up the striking surface of your hammer. Then it's less likely to slip while you're working.
Building the Frames
Build the top and bottom frames out of the 1x2 cedar strips. You'll be butting the ends together, so no mitering will be necessary.
1.Fasten two 26" strips to two 13" strips to form each rectangular frame. (You'll need to ensure that the length remains 26"; to do this, butt the ends of the shorter strip against the longer strips. The thickness of the two longer strips will add an inch to each end of the shorter strips, increasing their length to 16". Do this at each end of the longer strips to form a rectangular frame 26" long and 16" wide.)
2. Apply a bead of wood glue to the junctions of the strips; then nail together with a single nail in each junction in preparation for inserting screws to hold them more securely.
3. Predrill the ends prior to screwing them together; this helps keep the ends from splitting. Then insert a screw in each corner.
Attaching the Side Panels
1. Stand the two frames on their sides and apply a bead of wood glue to the inside face of the bottom side frames (the long sides).
2. Attach four side panels to each long side, smooth sides out, and nail from the inside to hold them in place. Make sure the frames are flush with the panel ends on at least one side, or the bottom panels won't fit properly. If the panels are jagged on the other side, you can always smooth them with a trim saw later.
Tip: Because you're nailing from the inside, you may have to drive the nails at a slight angle. The advantage of this is that it conceals the nailheads from the exterior face of the window box.
3. Repeat step 2 on the other side of the box.
Attaching the End Panels
1. Stand the half-completed box on its end and apply a bead of wood glue to the inside face of the bottom end frames.
2. Attach two panels to each end in the same manner that you used to attach the side panels, once again ensuring that the ends are flush on the bottom.
3. Repeat the process on the opposite end.
Attaching the Bottom Panels
1. Check and if necessary adjust your box for square.
2. Attach three bottom panels to form the base of the planter box, using wood glue and screws. The base will reinforce and brace the box.
3. Drill several holes in the panels so that water can escape, or simply leave a gap between the panels.
Lightly sand any rough edges and corners to smooth out splinters. Now it's time to feel, smell, kiss and hug your new planter box, because it looks so good - and you did it yourself!
If you wish, you can stain, seal or prime and paint your planter to suit your home's decor. Because you used cedar, however, it can stay unfinished: cedar is one of the best lumbers you can use for exterior applications.
This planter is a good size for potted plants, but you may wish to add a plastic liner and fill it with soil (add a layer of gravel first). If you do, don't forget to cut holes in the liner to line up with the drainage holes in the bottom of the planter.
Enjoy planting!
Courtesy: Cedar Creek Woodshop

17 Tips Thatll Safeguard You and Your Family From Dog Bites or Attack

Did you know that more than one million
north americans will be bitten by dogs
this year, and about one million dog bites
will go unreported.
Its sad but most of the victims will be children.
These dog bites will come from animals known
to them. Unleashed dogs will account for most
of the bites inflicted.
What Makes Dogs Bite
Not being educated and pet owners not being
committed on training their pet is what leads
to most of these dog bites. We must realize
that dogs don't normally become a part of our
families already trained.
Why Then Do Dogs Bite?
1. They will bite if scared, angry, or threatened.
Even a dog thats friendly will bite.
2. If he feels he's cornered or crowded.
3. They will protect what they think belongs to them.
Like their food, toys.
4. Dogs will protect their space such as sleeping area,
yard, porch, cars and home.
5. Dogs are predatory by nature and love to chase
and attack.
6. A stray dog may feel upset being lost or hurt and
bite with alot less provocation.
7. A dog being startled may lash out and bite.
How to Prevent Bites
8. Teaching young children to be careful around pets.
Don't allow children to play rough or allow pupies to
bite. Not even play biting.
9. Teach your children never get close to strange dogs.
10. Leave a dogs things alone like food, toys, bones,
11. Most injuries are caused by getting too close to a
dogs face with your own.
12. Refain from running past a dog. They love to chase.
Avoid getting a dog excited or aggressive, by yelling
and screaming.
13. You never want to pet a dog thats eating, sleeping
or careing for its puppies.
14. Stay away from dogs that are tied up or in cars.
15. You should always ask permission from a pet owner
to pet his dog. Even if he's present and the dog's on
a leash.
16. Refrain from swinging your arms or things you have
at a dog. It may think its an invitation to bite.
17. You should never pet stray dogs or ones running loose.
Its great to have a dog go on a hike or walk on a trail
with you but we humans need to treat dogs with respect.
Just remember to teach your children how act around dogs,
it will keep them safe.
Val and Robin Shortt are experienced campers and own three outdoor websites. For more tips like these and to register for their Free newsletter visit:Good Night Camping Equipment

Structured Settlements Are Like Ants

Ants are powerful creatures. The powerful ant legs are able to lift 20 times their body weight, and run the equivalent of a man running as fast as a racehorse. Structured Settlements are strong agreements that turn an agreement to pay a plaintiff into an ironclad guaranteed structured award.
Ants have powerful armor on their bodies, called an exoskeleton. Structured settlements have several layers of protection. Attorneys work to preserve fairness and best interest of affected parties. Insurance companies protect the investment and insure payments are made. State and federal laws protect all parties with aggressive qualifications for the creation and distribution of structured settlements.
Ant colonies have a distinct odor that is unique to the members of that group. Structured settlements are individually and distinctly arranged to meet the personal needs of the award recipient. The payments from a settlement annuity are structured to address financial needs over time.
People generally consider ants as pests and do whatever they can to get rid of them. It's easy enough to put sugar outside your door and keep them outside where they belong. Annuitants also get tired of receiving payments spread out over time. There are federal and state approved programs that allow for the acceleration of the settlement payments.
Jason Rigler
"Settlement Advocate" and consultant for Prosperity Partners Customer Service Department.