Building your own furniture is something that you may enjoy doing especially if you are one of those people who love owning things that bear their own impressions in one way or another. Rather than buying the type of furniture that is mostly displayed in stores, both physical and online, an increasing number of people are now putting their abilities to the test in an attempt to build their own furniture.
To be successful at doing this you need to get forearmed with plenty of pertinent information, a number of personal skills, and a host of resources that will all combine to make your effort a worthwhile one.
Skills Required to Build Your Own Furniture
One of the foremost skills required in building your own furniture is the ability to make useful sketches. You will need to create realistic sketches of each item of furniture you want to fashion simply because woodworking is all about working with measurements. You need to get whatever you want into perspective and this can only be achieved with a combination of detail and proportional measurements.
Secondly, you need to have some level of skill to handle the various woodworking tools including saws, levelers, chisels, planes, etc. All the tools you need, or at least the most basic and useful, should be acquired and safely maintained in a proper carpenter’s toolbox to ensure their longevity.
Next, you need to be well informed about the various materials and accessories that are required in making different items of furniture. Here we are talking about materials like fixing laminates, nailing boards, woodworking adhesives, knobs, fasteners, bolts and nuts, hinges, screws, etc. Of course you will have to know what is appropriate to use for the purposes of decorating your work after a proper assembly has been done.
Worried about where you are going to learn all these things? Don’t be. Of course you need some guidance from people who know the trade and it will thus be worthwhile for you to join a short-term carpentry class. Here you will get some hands-on experience in the various basic techniques of carpentry as you learn how to make small articles of furniture like center tables, coffee tables, stools, etc., and it will be a practical foundation as you look forward to building more of your own furniture in the future. A good example of such a training center is www.sagemountain.org/living/furniture.html.
The Tools Required for Building Furniture
As a woodworking novice one of the most basic blunders that you’ll be most prone to making is rushing to buy a set of carpentry tools without being well informed about issues of quality, size, and applications. It is preferable for you to invest in a few basic tools of quality that will suffice for the initial simple project and from there you can go on adding to your arsenal. Again, the hands-on experience acquired in a woodworking class will serve you well in this endeavor. That said, a basic carpentry toolbox should include a saw (there are different types like the compass saw and back saw), a hammer, chisels, a plane, gouges, brace and bit, screwdrivers, try square, nail set, marking gauge, a clamp, etc. A better list of these is available via chestofbooks.com/home-improvement.
Where Do You Buy the Materials You Need for Building Furniture?
The best way to start building your own furniture is to go cheap from the onset and this is especially so when it comes to the wood materials you need. The following are some good sources of cheap materials:
- Local classified ads – Perhaps the most ideal sources of wood that you should make a point of checking out are Freecycle and Craigslist. For both of these sites you can browse ads for lumber and materials under well-defined categories. You may also post ads in these categories detailing what types of materials you need.
- Lumber liquidators – As lumber liquidators usually buy large quantities of lumber without being very critical about choice they often end up with supplies they can’t sell at the standard retail prices. You can inquire about such and they are sure to sell these at much lower prices.
- Manufacturing waste – If you neighbor a company that makes furniture of different types you can contact the management and ask for access to the produced waste. This could be a good source of milled lumber of fine quality.
- Thrift store waste – Charity thrift stores are often unable to repair some of the items of furniture that are donated to them and such end up being discarded as trash. You can contact local thrift store managers and see if it is possible for you to pick such to save them the costs of disposal. These items will provide very usable materials once you take them apart. Alternatively you can try refurbishing the same.
- Construction site waste – Construction site waste will often include 2X4 pine planks, as well as 2X6 and 2X8 boards of various lengths. You may also get milled wood and plywood of good enough quality to do some trim work.
- Big box stores like Home Depot or Lowes often stock various types of wood like oak and pine.
Tips for Building Furniture
The novice woodworker will be well advised to get hold of as many resources as possible just to get that solid footing in what should be an interesting vocation. Ideally, you will need resources that address some of the different facets of fine woodworking including furniture making techniques, tools for woodworkers, practical woodworking designs, polishing and staining, timber technology, woodworking machinery, wood finishing, basic woodworking geometry, how to identify wood, joinery techniques, and different bench skills. These could be well supplemented with information from various industry magazines and trade journals. A little bit of furniture-making history is quite in order too. A proper detailing for these is available via www.geoffswoodwork.co.uk.
You can also create inexpensive articles of furniture with help from furniture.lovetoknow.com.
What are Some of the Types of Furniture that You Can Build?
There is such a big array of furniture items to choose from as soon as you begin thinking of what to build first. You can start with a wooden toolbox, something that you can put to practical use immediately! Other items can include a butler tray, trestle table, outdoor planter, bench-top storage, corner cabinet, side table, a double Muskoka chair, spice rack, fold-up stepping stool, jewelry cabinet, and so much more. DIY instructions and free woodworking plans for these and more can be accessed via www.woodworkersworkshop.com, www.freewoodworkingplan.com and www.u-bild.com.
Cost-Savings while Building Your Own Furniture
Whether you are thinking about making your own tables and chairs, or indeed whatever type of furniture, the potential to save costs is really worth the effort you’ll invest. Building your own furniture according to a well thought out plan could see you save thousands of dollars off the expense you’d incur to buy furniture from a store. The initial cost of actualizing this effort may be quite demanding, with reference to the tools and resources you’ll need, but the long-term savings will more than recoup these costs.
There are plenty of advantages in deciding to build your own furniture too. For one, the designs of each furniture item will be to your likings, tastes and specifications since even though you may refer to downloaded plans you can actually modify various aspects as you prefer. The same can be said about how you decide to finish each article of furniture. There are so many possibilities and just imagine how accomplished you will feel when you finish that first piece of furniture!