Author Topic: Does anyone here make furniture?  (Read 703 times)

JLee

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Does anyone here make furniture?
« on: January 03, 2018, 08:02:42 PM »
I kinda want a liquor cabinet and have been perusing Craigslist to see if I can find something that would work, but most furniture appears to be geared primarily (or at least with a heavy emphasis towards) wine bottle storage and I have precisely zero bottles of wine.

So, I'm thinking about designing / making something.  It does seem to be a fairly daunting task.  If plan it out far enough ahead, I could cut everything out on a friend's CNC routing table -- that should involve learning CAD to some level though, so I don't rely on him to do all of the modeling for me.

I could also just go to Ikea and find something that works...which would be infinitely easier but not nearly as awesome. What say you, MMM hive-mind?

diymark

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 12:13:31 AM »
Yes I do and would encourage you to do as well.  A liquor cabinet is probably a bit ambitious for a first project but very much in reach. You can think of most cabinetry as a box with a lid (door). Or maybe some drawers.....which a just more boxes. Of course that is a simplifaction but you get the idea.
I'm a custom furniture builder (this is my second chapter in life)  and I have often heard clients tell me they want me to make something similar to a piece they saw at Ikea. I tell them if you find something you like there.... Buy it. They have great stuff. In general it is stylish, well designed, and you can't beat the price. But it generally is not something you'll be giving to your children. It typically has a lifespan of about 7 to 10 years or so,  which is fine for  a lot of life's changes. Furniture craftsman on the other hand build pieces to span generations. But I  digress.

I would encourage you to take a woodworking  class a the community college. Not only will you learn life skills but the bug may bite you and you'll find a very fulfilling hobby.  Once your skills improve you can save thousands of dollars making furniture for yourself. Even your own kitchen cabinets,  bathroom vanities, bookcases, and trim work, which gives great satisfaction. Like most things in life it just takes initiative and perseverance. www.furniturebymark.com

Rover12

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 03:48:08 AM »
Just to throw my two cents in, I am an aspiring wood worker. I have made a few tables and cabinets for our house. I second what @diymark said, take a class. if you have a particular project in mind, this would be the best/cheapest way to try your hand without making investments on tools. I took. A class a couple years ago and was amazed at what a difference a quality table saw could make as well as how nice it was to have an instruction who could help through some of the sticky points.

I hope you try it out if you have the itch! I'm bad, but get so much enjoyment out of it!

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 06:00:36 AM »
I'm also somewhat of an aspiring woodworker - nothing like what mark has done (amazing stuff on your website!) but built my custom kitchen cabinets, our butcher block counter tops, and most recently a wood-frame for a sofa.   

For your first project, I'd start with a solid pattern/ tutorial.   It would also be a good idea if all the angles were 90 degree.  =). There's also no shame in having your first project be one you know you are going to paint instead of stain.   Wood filler can hide a lot of mistakes when you're painting it in the end!  And lastly, don't forget that you're going to know where every tiny mistake is in the project, but virtually no one else will. 

That said, the ability to make pieces custom fit for your home and your lifestyle is a huge upside to a hobby that even otherwise I still find very enjoyable.  Good luck and have fun! 
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Just Joe

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 07:04:39 AM »
Check and double check that your table saw or chop saw is properly adjusted. Nothing like making 89 or 43 degree cuts and not realizing you are off a little.

Uturn

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 07:33:10 AM »
It depends on your motivation.  Are you wanting to be a furniture maker, or are you just wanting something unique?  If you are not serious about being a woodworker, then paying someone to build your cabinet will be cheaper and far less headache.  Woodworking tools are not cheap, small quantity raw materials are not cheap, the learning curve is much steeper than the YouTube videos lead you to believe.  Now if being a woodworker/furniture maker is your goal, then absolutely, jump in! 
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Just Joe

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 08:24:50 AM »
http://www.ana-white.com

Check her website out. Sometimes you can find something that matches your ability, tools and taste and modify it to your needs.

gavint

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 10:24:25 AM »
I make furniture too, mostly for my own use, but I once built a Japanese style bed for a paying customer out of pine.  It's a really fun and rewarding hobby, go for it!

I second DIYmark's comment - take a joinery course at your local community college - it's great idea.  It will give you a handle on various joining techniques, what makes a piece of furniture stable and strong, and how to properly use all of the various pieces of equipment.  It'll also help you to decide if you want to go to the expense of buying the necessary equipment to get into the hobby - Quality tools are not cheap, but they last a lifetime, and will pay for themselves over time if you use them enough. 

have fun!

gooki

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 01:36:42 PM »
You donít need to learn full 3D CAD to create designs for CNC.

Iíve created designs with adobe illustrator, and then had them cut on commercial laser cutters. Inkscape would probably do the trick as well if you want free software. Just be aware youíll be limited to 2D patterns.
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Just Joe

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2018, 09:19:46 AM »
Don't forget SketchUp (Google). Its very powerful but not quite CAD like Solidworks or AutoCAD Inventor. Sketchup is easier.

Also: FreeCAD 3D.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SketchUp

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeCAD

zinnie

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2018, 12:39:14 PM »
Don't forget SketchUp (Google). Its very powerful but not quite CAD like Solidworks or AutoCAD Inventor. Sketchup is easier.

Also: FreeCAD 3D.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SketchUp

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeCAD

+1 on Sketchup, it is great for modeling furniture. We built a dining table, bench, and coffee table using it. We just found photos of designs we liked and then modeled in Sketchup before building.

A liquor cabinet might a little difficult for a first project from scratch, but you could also find simple plans that are ready to go online. If you check out reddit DIY forums or Pinterest, there should be a lot to work with. As long as you can get the tools you'll need, I say give it a try--it's so fun to build your own stuff! :)

jeninco

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 08:24:43 PM »
Some makerspaces will have the equipment you need and someone to train you to use it properly. I know there's such a space in Longmont, not sure where else.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2018, 04:38:57 AM »
Not a help on the furniture making thing, but try searching eBay for "cocktail cabinet". You get loads of hits where I live.

scottish

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2018, 11:28:26 AM »
I've thought about it, but I think I'd need a separate workshop to keep the dust under control.   My dad did quite a bit of cabinet making as a hobby and it's very satisfying.

Where do you do your woodworking - do you have a separate workshop from your house?   I know one fellow who has a basement that's not connected to the central heating so that the dust doesn't spread through the house.
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Uturn

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2018, 12:22:15 PM »
I do my woodworking in the garage.  The best thing for dust control with power tools is a dust collector.  I noticed my shop and house were much less dusty after getting one.  Since I switched to mostly hand tools, dust is really a non issue.  Hand tools make shavings and chips, which just fall to the ground.  Occasionally, a shaving will hitch a ride on my shoe or pant leg and make it into the house, but it's not really an issue either.

If you are going the power tool route, I think a dust collector should be the first machine you get.  Power tools make a ton of small dust and it just gets everywhere without a dust collector, including your lungs.   
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scottish

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2018, 03:08:11 PM »
Do you cut pieces with hand tools as well?   Isn't it hard to get a straight line?   (i'd find it very hard to get a straight line, and I have a couple of pieces of older furniture from my grandparents that show this)
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Uturn

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2018, 07:52:19 PM »
It's a learned skill.  There are some body mechanics to it, but mostly practice.  If at a workbench, step back with the same foot as your sawing hand.  If at a low saw bench, take a step forward with the opposite foot.  These steps get your body out of the way of your arm.

Until you get good a sawing, saw a bit away from your line, then sneak up on the line with a plane.  If you want to get good with a plane, be bad with a saw. 

Handtools are frustrating in the middle between just beginning, and getting it right.  Let's say it takes 50 attempts to get good.  1 - 10 are going to suck, but that's ok because you expect it.  10 - 30 you see progress.  40 - 50 are frustrating as hell.  50+ is a joy. Now you have the skill and can build on it. 
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 08:00:35 PM by Uturn »
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Zamboni

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2018, 07:59:50 PM »
Good for it! My Mom still has some of my brother's early efforts . . . he looks at them and shakes his head, but I can see that he is smiling with a fond memory.

gooki

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2018, 04:50:37 AM »
Cyclone, plus a bucket with lid, plus a vacuuming cleaner makes a very good dust collector.

Or just buy a big ass dust extractor if you have the space/money.
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Just Joe

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2018, 10:45:47 AM »
http://www.ana-white.com/2016/03/free_plans/sideboard-cabinet

Don't know what you want to build (style) but changing the solid door panels to glass might be a step in your direction.

Anyhow, lots to look at there.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Does anyone here make furniture?
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2018, 09:34:38 AM »

On the website is a sideboard, beautifully made.

When we had our kitchen cabinets made, the builder could make the doors/drawers so when they closed they overlayed the cabinet (about 1 1/2 inch of the frame showed between adjacent doors/drawers), or he made them so they were inset, like the photo.

He told us, in older homes like ours that are prone to settling, he can make the doors and drawers so that they overlay, but are only 1/2 inch from the door/drawer next to them. Craftsman kitchens were basically inset and this was a way to kind of get the look, and settling issues would not mean the door/drawer didn't work.

Our house settles , prevented by the railroad rail holding it up in the basement, mostly.

As a first item, maybe the inset doors are not the best idea, imo.