But after some careful cutting and sanding the edges, a little white stain along his edges, some glue, clamps, and some carefully modified deck screws, he went together pretty well. (Two pieces of the plywood together were only about 7/8 of an inch, so I used a pair of bolt cutters to nip off enough of the ends of the one-inch deck screws I had to make them just short enough so they wouldn't go all the way through the wood and mess up the project.)
I had a piece of 1/2 inch conduit pipe that I found nicely fits over a long piece of rebar, so I cut it, drilled a couple of holes, and screwed it into the thickest part where three layers of plywood come together.
So after I drive the rebar into the ground where I want him to stand, I'll have what I hope is a good, unintrusive way to stand Santa up in the yard.
Now, his glue is dry, he's all screwed
I still need to get some white outdoor caulk and use it between the edges of the pieces of plywood that are glued/screwed together. I want to do this to minimize the amount of rain, snow, and ice that gets in there. After all, I'd like this Santa to last for a while through a mix of bad weather conditions.
Here's what I learned from this project:
- If you want to work with treated plywood, buy it and let it sit flat to dry out for a couple of weeks - I was too hasty, and I think the wood shrunk and bowed a little as the treated chemicals in the wood dried out
- Have plenty of clamps to hold the pieces together after you apply the wood glue - with the piece glued and clamped, you can then screw the pieces together to hold better. I left the clamps on until the glue dried
- If you have the Santa standing up while the glue dries, watch for glue running down the front - if you catch the runs before they dry, they'll wipe off with a wet cloth
- Don't expect to have the pattern glue down perfectly to the wood - despite my best efforts, I have some wrinkles and areas where air pockets puffed out the applique a little
Overall, this was a fun project, not too difficult, but you do need enough space to work in, the right tools, and you have to be fairly good with a jigsaw or sabersaw.