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What's the first piece of furniture you ever built..?

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Forum topic by Rick Dennington posted 08-22-2014 01:40 PM 1222 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rick Dennington

5442 posts in 2861 days


08-22-2014 01:40 PM

In 1964 I was a Junior in high school…Our final exam was to build a project that you could use around your home…..My Mom needed an end table, so I decided to try and build her one for Christmas…..By my standards today, it was pretty crude, but I “got ‘er done”, the teacher liked it, and I got a good final grade…...
The table is Zebra Mahogany, and I put an Ogee edge on it….Back then all the bits were steel, so there was quite a bit of burning, and the design was my own…..Finished it with some sort of finish (?), and when it was ready, gave it to my Mom….She was so proud of it…..She used that table from 1964 to 1996 when she died….My sister then took it, till she died in 2003, and it came back to me…..I’ve still got it today, and use it in a spare bedroom…..I’ve never seen any Zebra Mahogany since then…... Her’s a couple of pictures of it…... What was your first piece you built…? Tell us about it, and post pictures, if you have some…...

I wrote the year I built it on the bottom, but it has faded out over the years…....

-- My grandpa used to say: "Y'all come back when you can....come after dinner, and leave before supper.."


23 replies so far

View TheWoodenOyster's profile

TheWoodenOyster

1292 posts in 1602 days


#1 posted 08-22-2014 01:50 PM

Good looking first piece of furniture. Way better than mine.

My first was a shaker style maple coffee table. I decided that just for the sake of it, I wanted to build something out of a wood other than pine. In my woodworking infancy, I had no idea that maple was so hard. I learned quick. Joinery was crude, no mortises and tenons, just lap joints. I also just screwed the legs to the skirt, oops. The drawer looks like a four year old built it. Tons of end grain glue joints that I cringe at every time I see them. I did the breadboard ends so wrong, it is unbelievable that the thing is still together. I did tongue and groove the tabletop boards together, which is totally overkill. I learned a ton on that table and despite all of the mistakes, it still looks pretty decent and sits in our living room. Of course no one else ever notices anything. One other thing that table taught me – wood glue is incredibly strong. It can hold things together that you wouldn’t think possible. We should have a little more faith in a decent PVA glue joint.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Don W's profile

Don W

18326 posts in 2234 days


#2 posted 08-22-2014 02:02 PM

When I was in high school (I graduated in 76) I built a 12 gun gun cabinet. Since my parents had to supply the lumber (most students were making a peg rack) it was made from pine. Eventually a 12 gun cabinet wasn’t big enough and I built a 24 gun cabinet, and the 12 gun got dismantled for recycling. That was 25 years ago, but I still have the top piece waiting for the right project to come along.

I’m sure if I dug I could find a picture, but not today .

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3726 posts in 1434 days


#3 posted 08-22-2014 02:50 PM

My first project was a bowback mandolin. Made the back with mahogany and maple strips. The neck was a spalted curly maple. It came out nice and sounded good according to the musician friends (I can’t even play a one string instrument). I have a tendency to give away my creations as I did this one.. It is somewhere in Alaska belonging to a disabled person.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5442 posts in 2861 days


#4 posted 08-22-2014 03:05 PM

mrjinoo7…....In 1984 I built a mandolin, also…..It was patterened after the Gibson F-5…The body and sides were made of curly birdseye Maple, and the top was 80 year old Sitka Spruce…..A lutheir friend showed me how to get started, and kind of guided me along, but I did all the work…..Took it to Gibson Guitar Co. in Nashville, and had them finish it…....it turned out beautiful, and I still got it….I play the mandolin, guitar, and upright bass…..

-- My grandpa used to say: "Y'all come back when you can....come after dinner, and leave before supper.."

View ChrisK's profile

ChrisK

1860 posts in 2748 days


#5 posted 08-22-2014 03:16 PM

It was about 1975, 6th grade wood shop, built a bookcase from 3/4 pine boards. Blocky and ugly, still use it in the shop today. Store paint cans on it.

-- Chris K

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Rick Dennington

5442 posts in 2861 days


#6 posted 08-22-2014 03:20 PM

ChrisK…..If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…..One thing I’ve learned…..all seasoned woodworkers were beginners at one time…...We all got to learn…...

-- My grandpa used to say: "Y'all come back when you can....come after dinner, and leave before supper.."

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mahdee

3726 posts in 1434 days


#7 posted 08-22-2014 03:29 PM

Very cool Rick… Love to see a pic.

-- earthartandfoods.com

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5442 posts in 2861 days


#8 posted 08-22-2014 04:14 PM

Here ya go, mrjinx007….....I had Gibson to put a sunburst finish on it kind of like Bill Monroe’s old mandolin…

-- My grandpa used to say: "Y'all come back when you can....come after dinner, and leave before supper.."

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

7146 posts in 1817 days


#9 posted 08-22-2014 04:20 PM

First piece of furniture that I “built” was a kitchen island. I modified a bathroom vanity that I found at a Habitat for Humanity store by adding lower rails, shelves, and a top. It was a pretty poor effort, but it started everything.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3379 days


#10 posted 08-22-2014 07:53 PM

A chair for my first born.
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/6469

I hope I’ve learned SOMETHING in the ensuing years LOL!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

485 posts in 3031 days


#11 posted 08-22-2014 08:01 PM

My first furniture project was a knock down platform bed (around 1980) for my grad school condo. It was designed to house a hidden box spring mattress and had storage underneath. Made from pine and built it using hand tools only. The support system was a series of half lap joints.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

9619 posts in 2047 days


#12 posted 08-22-2014 08:29 PM

My first was a stand for 12 guns. Built from hard maple it was big, heavy, lots of work, and my skill level. I still own it and I’ve considered cutting it apart to make something else but I can’t bring myself to do it.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5442 posts in 2861 days


#13 posted 08-22-2014 10:09 PM

Good stuff, guys….It’s always interesting to see what people come up with for their first ever project that they decide they need to build/ have…..Never tried a gun case, and used to hunt quite a bit, but all my guns were stolen in a break-in of our home several years ago, and I never replaced them…..Just went fishing more….!!!

-- My grandpa used to say: "Y'all come back when you can....come after dinner, and leave before supper.."

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3335 posts in 3490 days


#14 posted 08-22-2014 10:33 PM

The one I remember the most was converting a waterbed into a chest of draws. I still have it some thirty years later now it use for my daughter art supplies.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18326 posts in 2234 days


#15 posted 08-22-2014 10:58 PM

before I built the gun cabinet in school I remember making a set of throwing knives. I never did get the balance right, and I doubt the temper I put into the blade was right. I can’t remember what wood I used for the handle but I used some 16 penny nails to rivet them on the tang. At least I didn’t burn the barn down doing it.

I have no idea what ever happen to them. Some sawyer will probably find them in the last tree I threw them at some day. They may not be properly tempered, but they’ll play havoc on a sawmill blade, not matter what kind.

I know its not furniture, but this thread just made me think of them.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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