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Forum topic by SanDLL posted 07-18-2014 05:05 AM 749 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SanDLL

12 posts in 313 days


07-18-2014 05:05 AM

Hi guys,

My main profession is designing buildings. At that point I’m flawless – everything goes well together. But when it comes to carpentry I have troubles knowing how to put complicated stuff together.

Would you please be so kind and help me out with the attached photo? My GF asked me to design her such couch. Is it all made of MDF and the veneered? Probably biscuit joints all over? Maybe some screws to help it hold together? or is there any other way this one is made? Couch will be painter turquise with white pillows.

http://shrani.si/f/1G/FF/1yfKDqFh/2014-07-15-193935.jpg

Guys (and girls) thank you!
Sandi


17 replies so far

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ChrisK

1156 posts in 1739 days


#1 posted 07-18-2014 12:04 PM

Not much of a fine finish furniture maker myself, but i can see the frame being MDF and pine or poplar boards that have been joined with biscuits and/or pocket screws. The veneering of the frame would be a task for me, but that is what looks like was done. If you are going to paint the frame an MDF covering over wood would make a vice surface. The back rails would need some more support than i would ask of MDF. MDF is so heavy for its strength.

-- Chris K

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Rick M.

3978 posts in 1037 days


#2 posted 07-18-2014 06:54 PM

MDF is one way and would give a nice surface for painting, but will be relatively weak structurally and heavy as a pile of bricks. Something like that would sure look nice made from solid wood beams (also heavy). I would at least make a solid wood frame (pine, poplar, soft maple, etc.) then skin it with 1/4” or 1/2”’ MDF for painting.

Here is another pic I found:

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3768 posts in 2025 days


#3 posted 07-18-2014 07:44 PM

I hate to be a party pooper again but if you are going to paint it I would use MDO because it takes paint very well and the surface is very tough compared to MDF with a coat of paint. Also MDO is easier to work with and creates a lot less dust.

If you are going to apply veneer then I would go with MDF!

In either case I would stay away from solid wood because of the large pieces and potential cross grain issues.

As far as the design goes it is all done, all that is left is building it. Just kidding the picture is the concept and there are probably many things that still need to be designed.
  1. support under the cushions, some type of spring/plywood/strapping
  2. back rest support, same issues as above
  3. connecting rails between the two sides, layerd plywood/solid wood/ metal

If you Google “building a sofa from scratch” you will find a lot of information including videos and instruct ables that may help.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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Loren

7570 posts in 2305 days


#4 posted 07-18-2014 07:52 PM

Veneered corners are fragile. I’ve been asked to build stark modern
stuff like that before and I always warn about the corners. I
don’t think people like hearing it.

Faux painting may be what you’re looking at. Hard to tell. Paint
gets around the vulnerabilities of veneer.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Tootles

704 posts in 1159 days


#5 posted 07-19-2014 03:55 AM

Wow. Thay looks very nice, but a tricky build.

Instead of veneer, perhaps you could look at something like formica. It is a bit tougher than veneer (I remember my father getting sheets of it that he stuck onto kitchen couner tops) but it is also thicker than veneer so you may still see the edge of the formica.

Otherwise, if you want a wood grain rather than paint, you could consider plywood. The trouble with that, as with MDF that you paint, is that if you do not want to see butt or rebate joints at the corners, then you need to mitre all edges. That takes some effort to cut each piece accurately. Also, mitre joints are not the strongest joint around, so you need some method of supporting them.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

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Tootles

704 posts in 1159 days


#6 posted 07-19-2014 10:49 AM

Oh, I’ve just remembered something about building lounge furniture. I once made myself a lounge suite – two sofas and two chairs. I did it because it was a fun project and I got exactly what I wanted. As a bonus, I expected to save a lot of money compared to buying a lounge suite.

Wrong! It was all good while I was doing the woodwork, but the wheels fell off when I went to get cushions made and upholstered. The cushions cost something like four times the cost of the wood. Okay, so things may have changed and it may not be that way for you right now, but the message is to make sure you know what you are letting yourself in for before you go out buying wood. In my case, it was not a pleasant surprise.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

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hobby1

282 posts in 955 days


#7 posted 07-19-2014 01:53 PM

If your asking for some suggestions of constructing a project like this,

The construction part of it, looks like it could be built into three seperate boxes, for each side, since it will all be covered in some kind of venner, the joints would not have to be mitered corners, but rather butt joints glued and screwed together.

The build process can be very simple, for light duty use of the couch, or more complicated for heavy duty use of the couch.

For light construction, the legs could be assembled with four sides and an end piece as a five sided box. Set these leg assemblies aside with the open end up.

Then assemble the arm rests as a completed six sided box, then screw on a block on both ends of the arm rest at the bottom, the same size as the opening formed on the top of the legs.

To assemble the arm rests to the legs drop the arm rests ontop of the legs, as to insert the armrest blocks into the openings of the legs, and screw through the legs into these blocks to complete the assembly of the legs to the armrests to build the sides of the couch.

The same can be done for the back assemblies, built up as boxes, then using filler blocks attached to other parts of the assembly parts can be mated together.

The above procedures can be modified to whatever way you would like to attach the parts together, but this is just a suggestive assembly method for this kind of project, on a light scale use.

If more strength is desired for the couch, then the above suggestions would need to be modified further with heavier lumber or stronger joining methods.

Hope this helps getting some idea of one of many assembly methods that could be used in this project.

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oldnovice

3768 posts in 2025 days


#8 posted 07-19-2014 04:28 PM

If you are concerned about veneer peeling at the edges, do what David Marks does and use very thick, up to 1/8”, but you should veneer both sides to balance otherwise the wood will warp.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

800 posts in 974 days


#9 posted 07-19-2014 05:47 PM

I’d probably use MDO with hardwood corners to build the framework then veneer over the whole thing. That minimizes any issues with damage occurring at the corners.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1459 posts in 1019 days


#10 posted 07-19-2014 06:37 PM

1/2 inch Baltic birch boxes, painted or veneered.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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oldnovice

3768 posts in 2025 days


#11 posted 07-19-2014 08:24 PM

JAAune, wouldn’t there be an obvious seam between the hardwood corners and the veneered portion?
Or am I misunderstanding what you wrote?

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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Iwud4u

363 posts in 186 days


#12 posted 07-19-2014 11:51 PM

I would make it out of solid wood and miter all the corners.
(Not sure if the wood movement would bust it apart or not though)

-- It's far better to be criticized by a wise person than applauded by a fool --

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JAAune

800 posts in 974 days


#13 posted 07-20-2014 01:29 AM


JAAune, wouldn t there be an obvious seam between the hardwood corners and the veneered portion?
Or am I misunderstanding what you wrote?

- oldnovice

No. Veneer goes over the hardwood corners after everything is glued up. Since the grain is oriented in the same direction expansion/contraction isn’t a problem. The corners get relieved with a mild chamfer which could expose the underlying hardwood but the eye doesn’t pick up the seams too well when they’re very close to the corners.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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oldnovice

3768 posts in 2025 days


#14 posted 07-20-2014 03:29 AM

JAAune, OK, I understand now!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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Rick M.

3978 posts in 1037 days


#15 posted 07-21-2014 02:33 AM

He’s painting the frame, not veneer.


Couch will be painter turquise with white pillows.

- SanDLL


-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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