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You shouldn’t need an excuse like Father’s Day to spend time with your dad. That’s where tackling a project together comes in. The right one can help you learn new skills and more about each other, while avoiding the awkwardness that comes after spending too much time at the table when he forgets his “sexy Betty” is still just “mom” to you. Start hatching plans at this year’s celebration using the thought starters below and remind any cynical (read: jealous) family members that it’s really just about “building, not bonding”.

Restore a Classic

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Sure it’s cliche, but there’s no denying the memories and frustration joy restoring a classic car to its former glory can bring. Learning the ins and out of automobile mechanics definitely isn’t an easy task, but fortunately, rides from before 1991 don’t require complex computing equipment for restoration. Still, we wouldn’t recommend taking this job on unless dad can bring at least some experience to the table to go along with your enthusiasm. Just pray that by the time you’re finished, cars aren’t already driving themselves.

Things You’ll Need: Kobalt Creeper with Head Rest | Sunex Tools Heavy Duty Pedestal Transmission Jack | K Tool Dent Puller Kit | K Tool Engine Stand | K Tool Free Standing Parts Washer | K Tool Five Piece Upholstery Clip Remover Set

Brew Your Own Beer

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A cold beer has always been a just reward for a job well done, so why not transform the reward into a job all its own? Truth be told, first-time brewers are better off wading into the world of homebrewing via a pre-assembled kit, but even those often lack extra niceties that make the process easier to manage. After your first few successful batches, expanding the operation will depend solely on your mechanical wits and the amount of basement space your better halves are willing to cede you. It also doesn’t hurt to clue in the neighbors about your project, lest they think you’re cooking something else.

Things You’ll Need: 5-Gallon Food Grade Buckets | 30-Quart Aluminum Pot with Lid | Bayou Classic Burner Ignition | 3/8-in Copper Tubing | Hopkins Assorted Funnels | Frigidaire Freestanding Beverage Center

Create a Woodworking Shop

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Few things offer satisfaction like building something with just your hands…and the most advanced power tools money can buy. Many men aspire to learn woodworking once they’ve retired, and you might as well get a taste of what you can look forward to by helping your dad. Plus, unlike some of the other projects on this list, the fruits of your labor could very well become family heirlooms, passed down for generations to come.

Things You’ll Need: The Complete Book of Woodworking | Dewalt 10-in Table Saw | Shop-Vac Shop Vacuum | U-Bild Wood Working Plans | Titebond Wood Glue | Delta 11-in Variable Speed Wood Lathe

Set Up a Home Theater

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The way things are going with media distribution via the internet, the days of dragging your feet across the corn-torn floors of the local multiplex could soon come to an end. Help prepare the family accordingly by transforming the basement into a projection-filled haven of audiovisual bliss. It’s just a hunch, but we’re guessing it’ll change Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays in the fall for the better too.

Things You’ll Need: On-Q/Leggrand Home Theater Connection Kit | In-Wall Speaker Wire | Lutron Maestro Digital Dimmer Switch with Remote | Leather Dual Reclining Loveseat | RCA Speaker Wire Clips | RCA 50ft HDMI Cable

Upgrade the Backyard

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It’s high time that sad mud pit back there actually earn its title of yard. Though the sky’s the limit when it comes to crafting the outdoor space of dad’s dreams, even focusing on some basic details can go a long way. Good grass is a must, so actually try watering, seeding and feeding it for once. Next, switch off some breakers and wire the lawn for light and sound. Toss in some classic seating and lounging options plus a bit of eye candy, and the next family BBQ will practically sell itself, dry ribs be damned.

Things You’ll Need: RST Outdoor Olefin Hammock with Stand | Highwood USA Adirondack Chairs | Scotts Turf Builder Broadcast Spreader | Portfolio Solar-Powered LED Path Light Kit | On-Q/Legrand Outdoor Speakers | Landmann USA Outdoor Liquid Propane Fireplace | allen + roth Cassay Four Cobble Patio Stone
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