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Forum topic by Joel_B posted 08-15-2014 03:01 PM 420 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joel_B

26 posts in 33 days


08-15-2014 03:01 PM

Hi,

I am new here and have some experience with woodworking. My basic tools are table saw, miter saw, router, chisels. I recently built 5 gate doors out of cedar and I am working on completing a router table.
I want to build some furniture for our bedroom, dressers and night stands.
Since I have no experience with this kind of project I am looking for books that might be helpful for design and techniques. I found these two on Amazon that look interesting:

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Illustrated-Furniture-Cabinet-Construction/dp/1561584029/

http://www.amazon.com/Illustrated-Cabinetmaking-Construct-Furniture-Woodworker/dp/1565233697/

I found a dresser at a local store that I like and can use as a starting point for the design.

It is a floor model and they marked it down from $1500 to $1000. I offered them $700 for it but they would not take it even though it has dings, scatches, faded finish and the drawers are are very cheaply constructed. A new version of it costs $2000. I hope to build it out of cherry or white oak for much less than that and higher quality.

Also I have some experience with Sketchup so I can use that to design it.

Thanks – Joel

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA


10 replies so far

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

2020 posts in 802 days


#1 posted 08-15-2014 03:06 PM

View Loren's profile

Loren

7545 posts in 2300 days


#2 posted 08-15-2014 03:34 PM

“Practical Design Solutions and Strategies” by Taunton is
a good one to have on hand.

Either of the books mentioned in the top post should do
for an overview. I have the Andy Rae book but I’m sure
the other one is good too.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Joel_B

26 posts in 33 days


#3 posted 08-15-2014 09:33 PM

Another question I have is would it make sense to use cherry plywood for certain areas (sides, back) to save money and it would be less work cutting and edge gluing solid pieces together. The price I got for 3/4” cherry ply is $120 which works out to $3.75 per sq ft vs $6.31 per sq ft for solid wood.
I am planing to use 1/2” poplar for the inside of the drawers. I think the top definitely should be solid. Maybe it will become more evident once I do some reading and get into the design.

Thanks

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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jmartel

2020 posts in 802 days


#4 posted 08-15-2014 09:51 PM

Nothing wrong with using cherry ply. A large amount of people do that. Just hide the plywood edges and use solid trim so that you don’t risk the veneer peeling and you will be fine.

That being said, for my personal use, I would prefer to use solid wood. Just because I’m planning on having this furniture for a very long time and want to pass it down. For me, it’s worth the extra cost.

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pintodeluxe

3359 posts in 1465 days


#5 posted 08-15-2014 09:59 PM

In my experience, you can’t make furniture much cheaper than commercially made pieces. However you can make them higher quality.
As an added benefit, you can design the piece however you like.
Collect books and plans, and subscribe to online magazines. Fine Woodworking online magazine is an excellent resource.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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Loren

7545 posts in 2300 days


#6 posted 08-15-2014 10:24 PM

Cherry ply won’t look like solid cherry. It won’t take
a finish the same. The veneers are thin and the
glue from the veneering process gets up in the
pores of the wood from the back which inhibits
the way finishes effect the color.

As long as you’re prepared for that, go ahead and
use ply where it works for you.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Joel_B

26 posts in 33 days


#7 posted 08-15-2014 10:37 PM

I think I should go with solid wood then. The cost isn’t that much more and since I am doing the work might as well make it as nice as possible within reason.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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Joel_B

26 posts in 33 days


#8 posted 08-15-2014 10:42 PM



In my experience, you can t make furniture much cheaper than commercially made pieces. However you can make them higher quality.
As an added benefit, you can design the piece however you like.
Collect books and plans, and subscribe to online magazines. Fine Woodworking online magazine is an excellent resource.

- pintodeluxe

I hope this isn’t case. It is part of what is motivating to make it myself.
I would think at $6.31 per sq ft for wood would be much cheaper than the $2,000 for a dresser from the store. I realize there will be cost for hardware like slides and such but still not that much. I am planning to spend around $1000 on tools but that will be one time cost I can use for other projects.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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jmartel

2020 posts in 802 days


#9 posted 08-15-2014 10:52 PM

In my experience, you can t make furniture much cheaper than commercially made pieces. However you can make them higher quality.
As an added benefit, you can design the piece however you like.
Collect books and plans, and subscribe to online magazines. Fine Woodworking online magazine is an excellent resource.

- pintodeluxe

I hope this isn t case. It is part of what is motivating to make it myself.
I would think at $6.31 per sq ft for wood would be much cheaper than the $2,000 for a dresser from the store. I realize there will be cost for hardware like slides and such but still not that much. I am planning to spend around $1000 on tools but that will be one time cost I can use for other projects.

- Joel_B

Typically this is said to get people to realize the relative cost of one’s labor. If you are making something for yourself, I don’t see anything wrong with valuing your time at $0 for labor. It’s a hobby. You wouldn’t estimate how much another hobby costs by artificially adding a cost for your labor to it. I don’t figure out how much it costs me in labor to ride my motorcycle around unless it’s for work and I’m billing it to a client.

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Joel_B

26 posts in 33 days


#10 posted 08-15-2014 11:42 PM


In my experience, you can t make furniture much cheaper than commercially made pieces. However you can make them higher quality.
As an added benefit, you can design the piece however you like.
Collect books and plans, and subscribe to online magazines. Fine Woodworking online magazine is an excellent resource.

- pintodeluxe

I hope this isn t case. It is part of what is motivating to make it myself.
I would think at $6.31 per sq ft for wood would be much cheaper than the $2,000 for a dresser from the store. I realize there will be cost for hardware like slides and such but still not that much. I am planning to spend around $1000 on tools but that will be one time cost I can use for other projects.

- Joel_B

Typically this is said to get people to realize the relative cost of one s labor. If you are making something for yourself, I don t see anything wrong with valuing your time at $0 for labor. It s a hobby. You wouldn t estimate how much another hobby costs by artificially adding a cost for your labor to it. I don t figure out how much it costs me in labor to ride my motorcycle around unless it s for work and I m billing it to a client.

- jmartel

Ok thanks makes sense to me. I am an electrical engineer and if I counted my labor cost it would certainly exceed the cost of buying from a store. I could just go get some consulting work and work 60 hrs a week or more but like you said I would rather spend that time enjoying woodworking and improving my skills at it.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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