Good weather is here, at least where I live. It’s great to be outside, and many of us have time on our hands given the Covid-19 social isolation. Why not spending that time on a CNC Project aimed at Outdoor Fun?
Here are some ideas for you.
Sturdy Outdoor Games
When the weather is nice, we love to BBQ and entertain our friends. Recently, we were over at another couple’s home for a BBQ and they had an outdoor dart game set up. Everyone had a blast, and it made me want to do some outdoor game projects. Maybe I’ll finally get to it this year. Meanwhile, here are some ideas I have collected. Spread a few of these around your back yard and watch people gather to play and have fun.
How about a nice metal (i.e. durable for outdoor use) tic-tac-toe game?
4 in a row is popular…
4 in a row is always a popular game. Make a table top version, nice CNC Router project. Make it from aluminum and brass–stunning and unique.
Got a bigger machine? Make a big standup version that sits on the ground.
World Map or Game of Risk?
Some people see a map. I see a nice beginning for a fancy board for the game “Risk”. Imagine making it from aluminum? Paint the countries. Or, do some kind of inlay to call them out. You can get as fancy as you like.
I like games turned up and mounted on walls. You can do it with almost any game. You just need a way to secure the pieces. I’ve seen chessboards that have a little shelf at the bottom of each square. You could do a big scrabble board and use magnets to hold the tiles in place.
This scrabble game is a project from Jen Woodhouse (lots of fun things there.
Imagine your guest’s surprise and delight if they come over for BBQ and find something like this waiting for them!
For lots more game and toy ideas, try my Pinterest Board.
How about a Tiki Bar in your backyard? Wouldn’t that be fun!
But you’re wondering how Tiki Bar’s and CNC go together?
I have a friend who owns a shop in Hawaii. He made a lot of the decorations for Disney’s Aulani Resort using his CNC machines. Talk about Tiki! The two go together just great.
Let’s start with a sign. You’re going to need a good sign for your Tiki Bar. Cut out the various shapes, paint them, and assemble to make some like the one pictured above.
Or maybe more like this one. Mine would say, “Trader Bob’s”:
Tons of designs are available online. Or make your own design.
More art to hang on the walls or perhaps on the Tiki Bar itself. Again, tons of inspiration online.
Simple carpentry will get you a bar. People build them out of plywood, pallets, and bamboo. Use a little imagination and your CNC to create the details that will “Tikify” it:
And now, for the Big Kahunas out there. You know who you are. You want to go above and beyond the call!
Well, if you have a CNC Router with a 4th axis and large enough travels, the Tiki World can really open up for you!
Imagine being able to do Tiki Bar Stools like these:
The sky really is the limit when it comes to decorating your Tiki Garden backyard. Lots more ideas on my Tiki Bar Pinterest Board.
How about a custom BBQ grill? Saw this and thought it was so cool:
Custom BBQ Grill: #1 Dad–not bad!
As mentioned, I love to cook, epecially outdoor grilling. A lot of the masters of BBQ love these aluminum BBQ grates:
Now you could buy one ready made, but you’re a CNC’er. You can make one that’s personalized with your own custom design. Cool!
BBQ? You’re going to need bottle openers, right?
Check out our Bottle Opener page for more ideas.
4th of July BBQ? Maybe you need to signal dinner is ready with a miniature black powder cannon that fires BB’s.
Sundials and Other Lawn Decor
Lots of outdoor decoration possibilities. Maybe one of these will be your project this Spring or Summer?
Let’s start with Sundials. I think they’re very cool, and the potential exists to make them even cooler if you’re a CNC’er. Here are a couple ideas:
Lawn furniture is also a fruitful area to explore.
A plasma table, little welding, and maybe some bending would make short work of this music bench.
3D sculpted furniture like this hammock almost has to be done with CNC.
Extra guests? You may need extra chairs. Hang ’em on the wall.
If you can imagine it, CNC will help you create it!
For even more CNC Router Projects, check out our article.
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Bob is responsible for the development and implementation of the popular G-Wizard CNC Software. Bob is also the founder of CNCCookbook, the largest CNC-related blog on the Internet.