Solid Wood furniture
Know the insights of your wooden furniture
Wooden furniture adds charm in the interior space. The open grains of the wood, finishing touch, and aesthetics add the earthy accents in the room. Have you wondered how wooden furniture is made, anyways?
Let’s have a quick look at the steps of building your own DIY wooden furniture at home
Step 1: Get the plan right
You should have a proper technical drawing of the furniture piece to be made. For instance, if it is a chair, a schematic drawing of its top, front and side view with basic dimensions like seat height, backrest height, armrest dimensions, width and length and height of the chair, etc.
With the help of the plan, figure out the cut list you will need. This way you will know how much lumber and sheet goods you will require and a rough costing for your materials for the project. Add 30% to your lumber needs to pad for issues with the wood or errors on your part.
Step 2: Be prepared
If there are any new joinery you haven’t done before be sure before doing the final cutting. Practice a little first before going all DIY. You don't want to try that stuff on the real piece and have to do over a panel because you wrecked it, it will add delays and costs to your project.
Step 3: Get the right tools
Get your tools ready and sharp before you start, most accidents happen with dull blades. Check if there are tools, router bits, or accessories you could buy to make your work easier and comfortable.
Step 4: Choose the right wood
Choose the solid wood carefully and as straight as possible. Plan your cuts according to the wood. Draw the cuts on wood to know the right position knots, bowing, and grains of wood. Cut the lumber at the radial saw to a more manageable length.
Step 5: Make the panels first
If you have panels to make, make it on the table saw. Plan your cuts in advance and try to cut with grains patterns in entering. If your boards are curved, keep the curve facing upwards while cutting so when you cut it, it doesn’t squeeze the blade and through back at you.
Step 6: Jointer
Identify your cut pieces at the end of the planks to keep track. At the jointer, adjust the fence to the width you require and keep it perpendicular to the table. Do not forget to wear safety gear and goggles while cutting. Cut slowly and apply even pressure to get perfect cut pieces. Pass 1 face and one edge on the jointer and identify them for use on the table saw and thickness planer. If you are making panels, do 1 face and 2 edges and go glue them up. Put a mark on the sides that went on the jointer for future reference.
Step 7: Working on a table saw
If you have long panel pieces to saw, watch out for tension to avoid curving of the wood. Always pass your wood on the long side, if your piece is wider than long use a cross-cut sled or a chop saw. Set the right blade height for proper cutting
Step 8: Glue it well
Prepare your clamps for the panels, check for the harmony of grain figure, and decide which piece goes where. Trace the growth rings and make sure they don't go in the same direction from one piece to the next to ensure the strongest panel possible. By tracing the rings there's less chance of confusion with the saw marks. Put glue on one side of every piece and put the clamps at distances to maximize contact with the glue. Use as many clamps as you need.
Read the grain and feed the board according to the blade rotation of the planer. Put the mark you made on the face of your piece while at the jointer face down on the table.
Cut the pieces to length on the miter saw. After making panels, cut them on the panel saw or with a circular saw using a guide to get a straight measure.
Step 9: Tracing
Once everything is cut to size, match everything, and mark the grains right. Next, put a mark on what will become your show face. Now trace everything you need to do to your pieces (joints, mortise, tenon, rabbit, etc).
Step 10: Machining
Plan the order of all the operations so it's logical and easy to measure. If you have mortise and tenon joints, start with your mortises, check the depth! Next, try it on a martyr (a piece of scrap wood that matches the specs of the piece you want to machine.) Clean your mortises with a mortising chisel. Next machine your Tenons, put dadoes on your table saw, and be sure to bring the mortise they should fit into with you to test if they fit perfectly. Use the crosscut sled since you will be putting on the wide side.
Step 11: Router your product
Watch your hand, it shouldn’t be close to the blade. Put even pressure across the pieces so they come out perfect. Make sure you adjust the fence with the bearing of the bit. Make successive passes so it doesn't rip chunks out of it. If you work with hardwoods, it could be a good idea to round the edges a bit so the bit is less aggressive. When working with end grain, put a martyr at the end to minimize blowouts.
If you make raised panels on the shaper or router, remember to put your good face on the table.
Step 12: Dry fit
Before gluing anything, make a dry assembly to make sure everything is where it should be and fits perfectly.
Step 13: Stain it with dyes
Prepare your desired stain and apply it evenly on the surface. Add multiple coats if needed post drying of the former coat and then apply sealer.
Step 14: Sanding
Now it's time for the final sand down! Sand to at least 120 grit and the end grain parts to 220-320 so the color absorbs evenly. Trace lines on your pieces with a pencil, that way when the lines are gone, you'll know the sandpaper touched everywhere, thus preventing over-sanding and deformation of the piece. With proper light, you can check the sanding marks.
Step 15: Finishing coat
Add finishing coats for the dyes to get seamless and clean finishes. Add a coat of varnish to seal the furniture. wait till the coats dry out and your furniture is ready to use.