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Question: Dear Joe,
The Victorian Conservatory is a  dream of mine.  I am  about to order plans, but I was wondering if you could give me a  realistic idea of what tools I would need to build the conservatory.  I  want to make certain it is not easier to buy a pre-cut package.  I don't  have any carpentry skills.  Do the plans come with a suggestion of  material source?

Thanks so much for your time.  Beautiful  designs.  Danielle   

Answer: Building a conservatory isn't too much more difficult than building a deck or a  barn or a garage.  For a list of materials and the complete how-to manual, see  the following page:  How to Build a Victorian Conservatory  (an  updated hard copy comes with the plans),  Some of the posts and sills are  pretty heavy . . . You could hire a local carpenter or contractor to construct  it for you.  I had the local glass company install the glass for me.

If  you do it yourself, you'll need the following tools for framing:
 - Hammer.
 - Square
 - Circular saw with rip fence.
 - Level
 - Speed square
 - Tape  measure
 - Snap line
 - Cat's Paw crow bar.
 - Flat bar
 - Carpenter's  Pencil
 - Utility Knife
 - Electric Drill with 1/2" and 3/8" ship augers (bit  assortment).
 - 5/8 and 3/4 ratchet wrench (low clearance) for lag screws
 - Chisel(s)
 - Hand saw or Recipricating saw.
 - Ladders
Although not  absolutely necessary, I'd also recommend:
 - 10" Table Saw
 - Cordless drill,  cordless saw, etc.
 - Electric reciprocating saw
 - Caulk gun
 - Electric  miter saw
 - Pneumatic Nailers (framing and finishing with air compressor)
If you do your own foundation, brick and plumbing . . . . There are  other tools (let me know if you need a list).

If you want to start with rough cut lumber, you'll need a joiner and planer.

If you want to cut and mill your  own trees, you'll need a port-a-mill and a solar wood drying kiln!

A pre-cut kit would save you  some time but will be a lot more expensive.

I don't think I'd tackle  this project alone.  I had a friend visit me for a week and we did the heavy  stuff (main room framing).  I hired a local handyman for a few weekends to help  with all the window trim (tedious!).  I had friends over for the concrete  pour.

I hope that helps.
Thanks for visiting and may all your dreams  come true!


TABLE SAWBosch Table Saw

Bosch 4000K 10" Worksite Table Saw,...  A Table saw is a must.  This one has a soft start which will make the motor last a lot longer and is quieter.  The extensions are great.  Make sure to buy the accessories.  The shop vacuum plugs into the back. 

Porter-Cable 3802L 12" Compound Miter...    I have a Dewalt 12" Compound Miter Saw which is good... but this Bosch looks great!  I like the laser

Porter Cable 333VS 5" Quicksand(tm).  Fast, great dust collection, low vibration.

Combo cordless set

Bosch 36-Volt 4-Tool Combo Pack   I have the 24V combo set but it's pretty heavy and the drill tends to move my tool belt down to knee level!  However, it has enough power that I rarely use my corded tools anymore.


Bigg Lugg Heavy-Duty Multiple Use Power...   I almost never use a hammer for my greenhouse building because "Phillips" brand decking screwsDewalt-Quick-Chuck work so much better.  I use DeWalt DW2535 3 Piece Countersink Set to pre-drill & counter sink the hole, then sink it with my 18V Makita Cordless Drill.
Makita 12V Drill Combo set

More on the way . . . .
















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