Carpenters working together to build a frame

A True Blue Pioneer: Building Wood Furniture from Scratch

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Buying spare parts to repair something has never been easier. You don’t even need to get out of bed to do it. A quick search online will do the trick. The same rule applies to furniture. Why allow your couch to go legless and leaning on a stack of books if you can order a leg peg that fits it? Better yet, have a professional repair it or buy a replacement.

Some people, however, prefer to craft their own furniture either out of practicality, hobby or as part of their livelihood. Luckily, beginner craftsmen can just buy a laser engraving machine, electric sander, and power tools to get started.

Here are the first steps in crafting your own furniture:

Choose the Right Project and Create a Plan

Don’t start with a complicated project right away. Woodworking isn’t like crocheting in terms of sheer expenditure to get you started. Choose a project you’re sure you can accomplish within the time frame you’ve allotted for it. Consider a simple chair or kid’s table to get you started.

After you’ve decided on a project, allot a budget for your supplies according to your project’s plan. Find a design online or take a picture of a piece of furniture you’d like to recreate. Use software to break down its parts or print out the pictures and start measuring to see how much material you’ll need for the project.

Start Chopping

When you’ve got all your information and supplies ready, it’s time to start chopping. Cut your wooden planks and blocks according to the dimensions your plan dictates. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes at this point if you’ve bought spare wood. Wear protective gear to avoid accidents and make sure you see where your saw or cutter is going at all times.

Put Them all Together

Man putting wood pieces togetherWhen you’ve cut it all up, it’s time to put the pieces together. Use wood glue, drill, and screws or nails to join the parts. You’re usually going to use a combination of all three for certain projects, such as desks or shelves.

Nails and screws should not protrude from these surfaces as they present a hazard to you and to whoever will use it. Test the sturdiness of the surfaces you put together with a simple nudge or a sit. But be careful when applying pressure—you could wreck your new furniture when you could have applied little pressure to it instead.

Finishing Touches

Sanding, polishing, and varnishing will make your project polished and scratch-resistant, just like professionally or mass-produced items. Projects can be decorated before or after this process. Painting is an easy way to make your furniture look unique. Carving or engraving is another way of doing it.

Water-based wood paint and stains are the best ways to go for painting woodwork. Chisel and hammer are tricky to master at first, though there are advancements now that make tapping away at wood easier. Adventurous types can buy a laser engraving machine for easier etching—just remember to test with spare wood at first to avoid marking the finished product with impermanent work.

Before you complete all of the furniture to fill your abode with your own creations, take a step back and assess your capabilities. A complete beginner with guidance from online how-to videos or articles will have an easier time making their own furniture.


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