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Thread: My first furniture build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    13

    Default My first furniture build

    I built my first piece of furniture, it took me a little over a week to complete. But it cost me a lot less than one from a store. My original plan was to use black walnut, but at $9.00/bf I decided to go with maple $3.00/bf. The curly/spalted maple used in the panels was $4.50/bf, but give it character. The pictures donít do the figured maple justice. I then dyed the wood with a golden brown dye and clear sealer. Next up matching end tables.

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by rtmal1; 01-05-2018 at 11:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    305

    Default Re: My first furniture build

    Looks nice! Did you follow plans from somewhere?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
    Posts
    12,473

    Default Re: My first furniture build

    Your photos are sideways because you took them with an iPhone and didn't edit them before posting. If you want them to appear upright, you always have to edit the photo (just cropping will do it) in the phone, save it, then post it.

    If you would like a few simple tips for your next build and don't mind a critique:

    * You have sap wood in the middle of your door panels, thats like having gristle in your New York Strip. Just like the butcher is happy when someone buys those out of his meat case, your wood supplier was equally as happy you bought those from his inventory. In the future, try to avoid that sap wood. As someone who has bought thousands of pieces of figured maple over the years, I would instantly reject that piece if a woodworker brought it to me because of the sap wood.

    * Just say no to kitchen hinges. It's not too difficult to cut a mortise into your doors and reveals and use a proper hinge, and you'll be more please with the end result. All you need is set of sharp chisels and a marking gauge.

    * There's tricks to getting a vibrant finish on figured maple, you are partially there. You are on the right track with the water-based dye, however you should use a 50/50 cut of fresh (not premix) orange shellac after the stain coat, let that try, then apply a toner coat of darkening agent such as a linseed-oil based color burnt umber (very thinly) followed by two coats of the shellac you mixed up. The result will be a finish like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    When start your next project, lets see your drawings and if you are going to make drawers, then its time to learn hand-dovetailing - which is not hard, just requires some patience.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My first furniture build

    Danw99, I drew the plans up myself. I knew the overall width I needed, and the width/depth for the game consoles in the center and went from there.

    Duane, I appreciate critique, it will make me better. This was my first wood project since junior high wood shop (roughly 25 years). I would have loved to made it more ornate, but I stayed in my comfort zone for the first one. And I didn't want to tie up floor space in my friends shop. I did consider shellac, but I wanted the finish to be more accident proof since it is in my family room. I went with General Finishes Arm-R-Seal it is an oil/polyurethane finish. I took another pic playing with the lighting and angle to get the tiger to show better.

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    Last edited by rtmal1; 01-06-2018 at 12:18 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    488

    Default Re: My first furniture build

    Love it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: My first furniture build

    Looks good, the spalted maple gives a bit of a rustic look. Charles Neil Woodworking has you tube videos on enhancing figured wood with trace coating which you might find interesting. His blotch control works well also.

  7. #7

    Default Re: My first furniture build

    Joint quality looks pretty flush from here. Are those rails and stiles mortised/tenoned, biscuited, or butt-glued? I'm a little nervous about the mitered edge-banding on top. Your piece's depth might be small enough to get away with it depending on the joinery, but the top will expand and contract across the grain with humidity and temperature, maybe 1/8" or so indoors depending on where you live. The short edge banding will hold its size, and that will lead to either gaps at the corners, front-and-back, or if glued solidly, splits horizontally. The principle is the same reason why cabinet door panels aren't glued to rails and stiles. Edge banding is appropriate to surround a plywood or MDF panel that is dimensionally stable, but that might get you banned around here

    Great work though! I admire anyone who is willing to pick up the tools and build something.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: My first furniture build

    Thanks Tunnel, mortise and tenon on doors, face of the piece is butt glued and screwed. Top is biscuitted. The banding is a bit of a concern, but I can always redo the top down the line if I need to. My original plan was a live edge slap top, but my wallet said no for now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
    Posts
    12,473

    Default Re: My first furniture build

    Yes! Furniture making is a learn-as-you-go experience. Keep at it, try to improve the build each time.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Didcot, Oxfordshire
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: My first furniture build

    Impressive work! I like it.

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