A key part of my kit is the shopping list. After I have worked out the design of a project, I create an inventory of the parts, using Cutlist Plus software. The rest of the kit consists of: a pencil, some white chalk, a pad of graph paper on a clipboard, a calculator, and a moisture meter. I also have a small digital recorder I take along with me, which I use to record special notes or reminders.
Often referred to as Douglas Fir, this wood has a straight, pronounced grain, and has a reddish brown tint to it. Fir is most often used for building; however, it’s inexpensive and can be used for some furniture-making as well. It doesn’t have the most interesting grain pattern and doesn’t take stain very well, so it’s best to use it only when you intend to paint the finished product. Douglas fir is moderately strong and hard for a softwood, rating 4 on a scale of 1 to 4.
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Like you, I too am benchless. I built the “Mozilla” Molson vice variant from last year’s issue (I forget which) and it comes in handy for a lot of operations. I clamp it down to a piece of plywood that I have covered with formica (actually, it’s two pieces that I have piano-hinged together for easier storage) laid across two sawhorses. As long as lateral thrust is not involved, this is a pretty stable way to work. I also have a Zyliss vise for working on smaller pieces. I’ve made do for nearly forty years with a radial arm saw and circular saw. I have only recently acquired a planer and router table (both on wheels) It makes the garage croweded because also sharing the space are two motorcycles and about 400 board feet of rough sawn Camphor. I currently attend classes in woodworking and this coming semester I’ll be enrolled in a class for handtools only (and sharpening).
Furniture Making engages students in the process of furniture making. Topics include an American historical overview and a look at the use of power and hand tools. Common themes include sketchbook work, cutting, hand tools, power tools, bending and jig making. This course employs various technical readings, visual aids, videos, project pictures and assignments.
Once the vinegar solution dries (or if you decided not to do the solution) you can go ahead and stain the project. First use a rag or air compressor to remove any dust from the table. Then use a clean rag to apply the stain of your choice. Don't forget to wear gloves and ventilate the area. Have a brush in your other hand to stain hard to reach areas.
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However, if you want to stain or clear-coat the project, you'll have a number of choices to look through. Since your local home center megamart will probably only carry a couple of hardwood species (poplar and red oak are common) spend time at a fine wood supplier and look through the vareties available. They should be able to help you determine how each species will look when finished, which will go a long way toward refining your decision.
An assortment of chisels should be part of every workbench. Chisels are not just for wood carvers. Any woodworker will need chisels to clean out joints and saw cuts. Look for chisels made of high-alloy carbon steel or chromium-vanadium alloyed steel. Hardwood grips are best, especially if they have metal caps on them. This will keep the end of the handle from becoming malformed when you hammer on it.
Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!
The article is coming soon to the magazine, and I’m happy to say that the map is here. Months ago, I put out a call over social media for readers to submit their favorite local lumberyards, with a short review or blurb about what they like about their yard – I called it “The Great Lumberyard Census.” After hours of sorting through the entries, formatting them for the digital interactive map and playing with GIS software, the map and accompanying directory is finished.
Hi Alex! I usually only do one coat of stain for darker colors like Dark Walnut. The dark wax doesn’t make a huge difference in the color since the stain is already pretty dark, but I like using wax on furniture to give it more of a natural finish versus a poly. For pieces that get used and abused heavily (like our dining room table) I use a matte finish poly, but for the coffee table wax worked just fine. I hope this helps!
I would like to say that the apothecary coffee table is one of the most significant coffee tables in the world. Inspire yourself from old style apothecary coffee tables and make one for your personal from scratch by subsequent a simple step by step seminar. Paint the body of the furniture a washed out white color and let the wooden top unprocessed wood for a best delicate contrast.
The final building step is to lay each plank in place. These will be cut to 20” long each. Attach each piece using wood glue and brad nails. Just make sure the length the nails isn’t longer than the width of the planks and plywood combined. Once you have finished that, you can paint or stain and add your hardware!  Because I was using pre-finished white barn wood from Porter Barn Wood, I painted the table before adding the planks.  Check out these planks….