Sunday, December 31, 2006

Trying Furniture Making

Do you have a nook in your home that is just begging for an awesome piece of furniture? Are you unable to afford all of the cool pieces you want right now? One way to get around budgetary constraints is to make your own pieces of furniture. That way you can work on them in your spare time and spend less money. Plus, they will be personalized to fit your space.

To get started, you will need to think about the space. What would work best? Some areas call for a round table while others will be great for square shapes. Measure the space and write down the dimensions you want for the table. Then you will need to think about how sturdy you want the table. Introductory furniture-making will be less sturdy pieces, but you can add some stability to them with a few simple tricks. Knowing how you plan to use the table will help. If it is supposed to hold your medical school books, then you will need something much sturdier than a table that will be the place you toss your keys every evening. For our purposes, we are starting our furniture making with a basic square-top table.

Once you have the table planned, head out to a lumber or home improvement store. You are looking for untreated wood that is fairly inexpensive, especially if the table will not be a long-term piece of furniture. Do not allow the salespeople to try to talk you into the most expensive lumber they have. For this basic table, you will need a piece of pressed plywood that is the size you needed. If you go to a good store, they will cut the plywood for you. If you have your own tools, you can do the cutting yourself, but for most people, it is worth it to have the cuts done at the store, even if it costs $1 or so per cut.

Next you will need legs for the table. You will need to get wood that will hold the table and that you can have cut to the right length. Explain to the person doing the cutting that you need them to be exact because otherwise your table will be crooked. Once you have these pieces, you should get hinge brackets and screws along with an inexpensive electric or battery-operated screwdriver if needed.

Next you will need to head to the paint aisles. Feel free to ask for help here if needed. You are looking for paint that will work on wood. You probably can get a basic enamel paint in the home improvement store. You should pick a color that will work as the foundational color. You most likely want to select a neutral or Earth tone for your base color.

After getting these materials, it is off to the craft store where you will pick up the brushes needed for the paint job and any craft paint for the more intricate painting you will do. Ask someone there or read labels to find out what you can use on wood. (You probably should not use these paints on tables you will be using for eating.) Also get some type of varnish to use to help hold the paint.

When you get home, you will paint all of the pieces first. Be sure that you allow them to completely dry before you move on to the next phase. You may need to do two coats on some pieces so keep that in mind. Once you have painted the table, you will align the top piece onto the legs. (It helps if you have two people.) Then get under the table and put the L-brackets (hinge-type devices) onto the table. Be sure that you get all of the screws in properly so that the table will be level and will stay together. Now you add a coat of varnish, allow to dry, and you have a table!

Try something more complex for your next project if you enjoyed this one, and you may just find yourself with a new hobby. Plus all of the furniture in your own home with work well with the spaces you have.

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