Learning #1: My "first" project

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Blog entry by Rha7 posted 07-15-2011 05:58 PM 3976 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Learning series Part 2: Bath cabinet »

My wife saw a coffee table like this in a magazine, and asked if I could make one for her… the answer was of course “hell, yeah, your husband can build a fort for you”, but in the mean time, I was thinking, man, she knows the only thing I’ve done is an unintenationally skewed cabinet for the bathroom, that she doesn’t seem to notice, doesn’t care, or just doesn’t mention it.

Anyway, I set out to buy the MDF sheet (up to today this is the only material I’ve worked with, but I’m intending to build a bathroom vanity mirror frame made with poplar, but that is another story, came back home, in three different days, I cut the pieces, using a hand held circular saw (I’ll get a table saw today), and let me tell you it’s a real challenge to get straight cuts even with a straight edge clamped to the MDF, specially if the cut is a miter, but somehow I managed to build it.

It has rough edges if you look at it from an angle, and my paint job is far from perfect, although I thinned the paint too much so I had to give it like 8 coats of paint, you can see a couple of scratch marks, and a bit of dust caught in the paint.

My wife? she doesn’t seem to notice, doesn’t care, doesn’t mention it, or maybe, she just loves me.

Thank you for reading :)

-- Gabriel Medina, Juárez, México, formerly, "The greatest border of all".

11 comments so far

View Rha7's profile


21 posts in 2532 days

#1 posted 07-15-2011 06:02 PM

By the way, that white thing in the back is my canine son, Beny.

-- Gabriel Medina, Juárez, México, formerly, "The greatest border of all".

View Rha7's profile


21 posts in 2532 days

#2 posted 07-15-2011 06:02 PM

Not the one in the right, that is a plastic dish.

-- Gabriel Medina, Juárez, México, formerly, "The greatest border of all".

View SnowFrog's profile


102 posts in 2571 days

#3 posted 07-15-2011 06:28 PM

Oh my! I am laughting so much!!!!
I just had to come and post here. I believe there is not one renovation/project in my house over the last 15 years that has not started by somekind of variation of “Honey, you could build that for me! Couldn’t you?”.

Usually, pushing the limits of my abilities and involving some time distorsion like ””you can do this over the weekend, right?”

Anyhow, good work!

-- One can dream, about a passion not yet fully fulfilled!

View Bsmith's profile


330 posts in 2695 days

#4 posted 07-15-2011 07:04 PM

I believe the personal touch of creating your own furniture far outways any small imperfections. Good looking table.

-- Bryan

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3161 days

#5 posted 07-15-2011 08:23 PM

How about posting this as a project? It’s completed and it’s made of wood (MDF counts). Maybe with a few more pictures? We like pictures.

As you gain experience the cuts will get easier and better.

Thoughts for next time: Since it is out of MDF and painted I would think you could have used butt joints rather than miter joints and end up with exactly the same look, so long as you got clean cuts. It isn’t so easy getting a clean cut on a circular saw, so one strategy is to cut it close to the line and then clean up the edge using a router & straight bit. ‘Course you can do the same with bevel cuts using a large V bit.

-- Greg D.

View CharlesAuguste's profile


126 posts in 2566 days

#6 posted 07-15-2011 09:25 PM

Seems to me like the perfect oportunity to say to your wife that you had a hard time doing the project since you didnt have the proper tools!!!!!!! but the table looks good!!

-- "the future's uncertain and the end is always near" J. Morrison

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2908 days

#7 posted 07-15-2011 10:23 PM

great looking table. My bit of advice is ALWAYS use a project as an excuse to get a new tool.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Rha7's profile


21 posts in 2532 days

#8 posted 07-15-2011 10:48 PM

Haha my hand shakes like a circus jugler while cutting, and I tried with a V bit, but the largest I have is too small, I didnt just butt-joint (wuhuu!, I’m using these fat words now) the mdf because I thought the side of the sheet would look different when painted, but I’ll do it in a different wrong way next time haha

(: CharlesAuguste, yeah!, she agreed that I should get the table saw, I’ll be getting it tonight :)

I just took a couple of pictures before painting it, I’ll try to post them tonight from home :)

Btw, it’s awesome that I got comments and responses on my first post on my first day in this community, it’s really encouraging, thank you all :)

-- Gabriel Medina, Juárez, México, formerly, "The greatest border of all".

View chrisstef's profile


17424 posts in 3031 days

#9 posted 07-16-2011 03:17 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks and thanks for posting … i think that everyone around here loves to see the progression of individuals just getting into the hobby succeed and truly enjoy what they have built. Keep up the good work, have fun, and watch your fingers. BTW the table looks darn square to me!

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View rrdesigns's profile


531 posts in 3211 days

#10 posted 07-16-2011 05:33 AM

Table looks great. A word of advice…make sure that planter has a good saucer under it. MDF and water are not a good combination.

-- Beth, Oklahoma, Rambling Road Designs

View Woodbutchery's profile


395 posts in 3610 days

#11 posted 07-16-2011 02:09 PM

It’s a great looking table.

Projects are always good excuses for getting tools.

We are all, everyone of us here, still learning, so you’re in good company.

-- Making scrap with zen-like precision - Woodbutchery

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