Author Topic: First piece of furniture I've ever built!  (Read 4670 times)

bbates

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First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« on: July 07, 2014, 11:15:03 AM »
I've never built a piece of furniture before, but with the recent purchase of our first home and needing some things here and there, I decided to take on the task.  It's not perfect, but I'm really proud of it and I learned a lot of things throughout the process.  It cost probably 1/5th of what a similar table would cost at the store and the satisfaction it's given me can't be bought anywhere!  Looking forward to building more!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/82239326@N07/14411087788

*Update: I should mention, I didn't design the table.  It's a modified version of this guy!  -->http://ana-white.com/2012/07/plans/rustic-x-coffee-table
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 11:26:47 AM by bbates »

Cwadda

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Re: Built my own coffee table!
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2014, 11:16:16 AM »
That's a nice coffee table!

Icecreamarsenal

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2014, 11:23:12 AM »
Wow, nice!

JCfire

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2014, 11:48:16 AM »
Nice table!  That Ana White site is a goldmine for furniture plans that don't require much in the way of up-front investment in fancy tools.  I think everything on that site can be built without a table saw, planer, or jointer, for example.

Michael792

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2014, 11:51:09 AM »
That is an awesome table! I bet you could bring some side money in building things like that, whether or not you designed it.

Exflyboy

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2014, 11:55:19 AM »
That is really nice.. well done!

Frank

bbates

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2014, 11:56:44 AM »
Thanks everyone!

JCfire - Yes, it's a great site!

Michael792 - That's definitely crossed my mind.  Now that this first one wasn't a flop, I'm more seriously considering building a few and seeing if I get any bites.

Greg

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2014, 12:18:54 PM »
Nice job on the table.  Now you've done that and learned/honed the skills needed, you can extrapolate the general design and make some matching pieces.

wiggam007

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2014, 01:46:50 PM »
I can only echo what everyone else has said, you did a great job on that table.  It looks really nice!

Michael792

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2014, 05:53:35 PM »
Couple suggestions before you go building a bunch of clones.

(1) You could put the picture of the one you built for your home and put it up on craigslist. Let them know a price and say that they will be built to order. That is, once someone orders a piece, then you'll build it for them. This way you won't be putting any capital into the project without first testing the water.

(2) Build some more furniture that you would like, maybe matching that table. It could be a replacement for existing furniture or just something you wouldn't mind having around. Then you could put that up and see if it sells. This way you'll have capital invested, but you'll have a plan to put it to use if no one bites, and you won't have a bunch of the exact same piece. Also, added benefits of gaining more experience and learning new skills. If it does sell well, then maybe start building more in advance or somehow incorporating a build to order offer along with pictures of your previous projects.

Personally, I'd go with the second. You learn more skills faster than just sitting waiting for a response, and if no one buys it you can still use it. :D

Sunflower

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2014, 07:49:54 PM »
I'll echo everyone else - nice table!!

What tools did you use and how much of the cutting did you do yourself vs. getting it cut at Home Depot?

I've been really itching to try my hand at something similar for a couple years and frequently browse ana-white just to drool over the possibilities. I'm currently hampered by the fact that I live in a small apartment with no available outdoor space and I can count at least two more moves in the next few years so I'm really trying to embrace minimalism and live small. Also, I have a power drill but no room to store fancy tools and my quick searches haven't yielded any tool libraries/makerspaces in the area.

JCfire

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2014, 05:53:52 AM »
I'll echo everyone else - nice table!!

What tools did you use and how much of the cutting did you do yourself vs. getting it cut at Home Depot?

I've been really itching to try my hand at something similar for a couple years and frequently browse ana-white just to drool over the possibilities. I'm currently hampered by the fact that I live in a small apartment with no available outdoor space and I can count at least two more moves in the next few years so I'm really trying to embrace minimalism and live small. Also, I have a power drill but no room to store fancy tools and my quick searches haven't yielded any tool libraries/makerspaces in the area.

The first two pieces I made from Ana White's site didn't require any tool besides a kreg jig (which itself is somewhat optional) and a cordless "starter" tool set (battery powered circular saw, drill, and sander).  From your starting point, you could get by with two additional tools (the handheld circular saw and sander) which might cost a total of $150 and take up about half a cubic foot of space.  Building with those tools won't be as easy or precise as making the same plans with a table saw, nail-gun, miter saw, etc, but it's possible.  It might make sense for you to wait for a less temporary location before building rooms full of furniture, but don't let the lack of tools be an obstacle for the basic plans on that site!

Sunflower

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2014, 08:46:56 AM »
I'll echo everyone else - nice table!!

What tools did you use and how much of the cutting did you do yourself vs. getting it cut at Home Depot?

I've been really itching to try my hand at something similar for a couple years and frequently browse ana-white just to drool over the possibilities. I'm currently hampered by the fact that I live in a small apartment with no available outdoor space and I can count at least two more moves in the next few years so I'm really trying to embrace minimalism and live small. Also, I have a power drill but no room to store fancy tools and my quick searches haven't yielded any tool libraries/makerspaces in the area.

The first two pieces I made from Ana White's site didn't require any tool besides a kreg jig (which itself is somewhat optional) and a cordless "starter" tool set (battery powered circular saw, drill, and sander).  From your starting point, you could get by with two additional tools (the handheld circular saw and sander) which might cost a total of $150 and take up about half a cubic foot of space.  Building with those tools won't be as easy or precise as making the same plans with a table saw, nail-gun, miter saw, etc, but it's possible.  It might make sense for you to wait for a less temporary location before building rooms full of furniture, but don't let the lack of tools be an obstacle for the basic plans on that site!

Yeah, the small space and frequent moves are more an argument against acquiring furniture than tools. But....maybe I'll invest the $150 at some point just so I can try my hand on some little/cheap things.

greenmimama

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2014, 08:59:51 AM »
Love the Ana White site!  Your coffee table turned out beautiful!

Angie55

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2014, 09:01:20 AM »
I started building off the Ana-White site while still in an apartment. I felt compelled to build and I've been slowly acquiring starter tools while renting. Yes, it takes some space. It also takes a patient spouse/roommate (this is harder than the space/dirt requirement!).

I started with simple shelves, a stand-up mirror, and refinishing already built furniture. Once I moved to rent a house with garage it got a little out of hand though. Two tables, some shelving, cedar planters, temporary shade trellis, and a camping trailer..... I'm so sick of projects now. I can't wait for the week I don't have to go to home depot to get one more thing. It has been 3-5x per week for the last month preventing me from riding my bike to work. My garage is overflowing with scraps, extra screws, and crap.

Its a slippery slope. Although I'm proud of what I've done I'm ready to take a break. Building definitely clutters your mind all day long! Although, it is wonderful to be able to go out to the garage and build something really quick with scraps though. Once I finish the camping trailer I need to do a big garage cleanout since it is driving me nuts. I also dread the day we will have to move everything. Getting into building seems like it will save money. Except now I'm locked into renting an apartment/house that has a garage and/or a large space to store all my crap. It hurts to think of the opportunity cost of an extra 200+ of rent a month.

Exflyboy

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2014, 09:02:24 AM »
Battery powered tools are nice but I would avoid a battery powered circular saw.. Thats a lot of load to put on a battery and I suspect it will wear them out pretty quickly. A corded circular saw will be cheaper and last almost indefinately.

A battery drill ( a good one) is a great investment however, and the ratchet style impact drivers are even better (but you can't really use them to drill holes). This is where you want the portability for something around the house/apartment you can pick up and don't have to go find the extension cord etc.

Frank

bbates

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2014, 09:57:39 AM »
Michael792 - Thanks for the tips.  I may try #2

Chemistay - I can relate about the apartment.  I had been living in one for a year and a half and couldn't do this kind of stuff. 

I cut all the wood myself.  I had to make a few tweaks along the way because I measured/added wrong.  It would have been a nightmare if I would have had to go back to home depot each time.  Because it was my first one, I bought the cheapest wood available.  Whitewood, I believe it was.  As I get more confident, I'll upgrade to oak or pine.

As far as tools go, I invested in a nice Dewalt miter saw for this and future projects.  And I already had a battery powered drill.  The only other tools I bought were minor - countersink bit (to hide the screws), paintbrush, other random drill bits.  It could have been done without the miter saw, but it did make it a lot easier.

Shooter_D

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2014, 08:32:44 AM »
Awesome job! I built my first piece of furniture based on an Ana White plan.

http://ana-white.com/2014/01/plans/alexia-bench

I'm procrastinating doing the finishing right now, but will get to it. I'm staining and applying polyurethane, and am also in an apartment so am holding off fuming the place up... The whole build happened in my third floor walk-up apartment, which isn't ideal, but it was a good experience. I may wait until I have more of a work area to complete the next project. I did pick up a Kreg jig and enjoy it, but did all the cuts with a circular saw... Needless to say I'm looking forward to having the space for a mitre/table saw.


zarfus

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2014, 10:44:28 AM »
I'd like to echo the "nice work", looks great!

I built the same table, the console table, and the dining room table all in the 'X' plans on her site.  Very happy with how they turned out.

For those interested, here's the tools I would recommend:
1) http://www.harborfreight.com/power-tools/miter-saws/12-in-double-bevel-sliding-compound-miter-saw-with-laser-guide-system-61776.html
Can be had with 25% coupon as well.  Big enough to handle 4x4's.
2) Kreg Jig. I didn't get the fancy set, just the $30 or whatever. Worked great.
3) GOOD clamps. Irvin ones. Big ones.

Honestly I think that's all the special stuff I bought.  I also built her miter cart for that saw with some old 2x4's and plywood:
http://ana-white.com/2012/04/plans/miter-saw-cart

(1) You could put the picture of the one you built for your home and put it up on craigslist. Let them know a price and say that they will be built to order. That is, once someone orders a piece, then you'll build it for them. This way you won't be putting any capital into the project without first testing the water.

I've seen exact Ana White models on my local craigslist.  Literally multiple people running it as a business.  No way I could enter the field in my area with just myself.

Hedge_87

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2014, 06:58:05 PM »
Another good source of starter projects Is wood working for mere mortals website. He has lots of projects that take minimal tools and some projects are made from pallets so with a little searching your wood for some projects could be more or less free. That is a pretty sweet table by the way!

Edwin_6

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Re: First piece of furniture I've ever built!
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2014, 11:35:19 PM »
Nice post!