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JoeDavola

Custom Built Furniture

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I've just had one of my crazy ideas which will has involved designing a bit of furniture. The furniture itself is really quite simple but is a very clever and efficient use of space (yes, I'm bragging)....it's and just a slight modification (and in some ways, simplification) of a fitted wardrobe like this one:

Fitted%20wardrobe%20carpentry.jpg

In order for it to be of the required durability, some of the wood might have to be a bit thicker than that pic, but the whole thing is basically a simpler version of what you see above; it's just 8 or 9 bits of wood, and a hanger for an 'open' wardrobe to hang clothes in, like the one in the picture.

I know someone who's got good joinery skills so could put it together - but does anyone know what the best way to source the wood is for something like this? Especially cause I might want to build more than one of these things in one go - can I just hand the dimensions of the bits of wood that I want cut to someone, take delivery of that and then sort the rest out myself?

As you can tell, this is an idea that has just popped into my head in the last few hours and I have no previous experience of these things. All advice welcome e.g. what wood options there are, and whether this will just work out to be stupidly expensive vs buying furniture.

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can I just hand the dimensions of the bits of wood that I want cut to someone, take delivery of that and then sort the rest out myself?

Yes, a proper timber yard will do that for you.

If you know someone with skillz, what do they suggest for wood?

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Yes, a proper timber yard will do that for you.

If you know someone with skillz, what do they suggest for wood?

The person with skills is my father, who whilst being an expert joiner, sh*ts on most of my ideas. So if I ask him this, he'll first of all ask "why" in a suspicious tone, and then when I tell him why he'll start shouting at me* about what a stupid idea that is and all the worst-case-scenarios regarding the idea, and then not give me an answer, or only give me a half arsed one. So I'm doing my research here instead ;)

* I am 31 years old

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I've just had one of my crazy ideas which will has involved designing a bit of furniture. The furniture itself is really quite simple but is a very clever and efficient use of space (yes, I'm bragging)....it's and just a slight modification (and in some ways, simplification) of a fitted wardrobe like this one:

Fitted%20wardrobe%20carpentry.jpg

In order for it to be of the required durability, some of the wood might have to be a bit thicker than that pic, but the whole thing is basically a simpler version of what you see above; it's just 8 or 9 bits of wood, and a hanger for an 'open' wardrobe to hang clothes in, like the one in the picture.

I know someone who's got good joinery skills so could put it together - but does anyone know what the best way to source the wood is for something like this? Especially cause I might want to build more than one of these things in one go - can I just hand the dimensions of the bits of wood that I want cut to someone, take delivery of that and then sort the rest out myself?

As you can tell, this is an idea that has just popped into my head in the last few hours and I have no previous experience of these things. All advice welcome e.g. what wood options there are, and whether this will just work out to be stupidly expensive vs buying furniture.

Does it need to be wood? The material in the picture isn't wood. Built out of wood that sort of construction would be build on a frame. The construction in the picture looks to be made out of chipboard or mdf - mdf is awful stuff, but it is much easier to use to make the sort of thing in the picture.

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It'll cost a small fortune in real wood.

Best bet maybe veneer covered ply (for stiffness in longer sections, I think MDF might be a little light), does depend on design/support areas, Basically look to make most use out of 8x4 sheet dimensions. Sprayed MDF can give a good finish - custom kitchen cabinet fronts for example are often done this way.

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The person with skills is my father, who whilst being an expert joiner, sh*ts on most of my ideas. So if I ask him this, he'll first of all ask "why" in a suspicious tone, and then when I tell him why he'll start shouting at me* about what a stupid idea that is, and then not give me an answer, or only give me a half arsed one.

* I am 31 years old

Fair enough but you'll get that anyway.

I've yet to venture beyond constructional stuff which tends not to be wood. Even so it's easier to pay for sheet material (2400*1200mm) to be cut to size for specific jobs.

Most furniture and kitchens are made from glue and rat shit so melamine board is an option for a specific look without the price.

If you're serious, you might also want to get a quote from a local joiner once you've got it sketched out just for comparison.

Some fitted storage is on my list of things to do but I can't pay the price and my skillz are still a long way off.

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I'm building my own cabinets. Using furniture grade Baltic birch plywood with Formica veneer where it needs to be hard wearing. Leaving the edges on show as the core is also Baltic birch. If I could get hold of a CNC cutter it would make construction so much easier.

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I know a few people who have had things like this down but didn't take account of damp problems and ended up with the wardrobes becoming soaking wet inside.

This was because the rooms were either too well insulated, and hence not enough ventilation for the moist air to escape, such has having no air vent in the walls and/or double-glazed windows. Or the room was a room in the house where moisture naturally collected on a wall - every house has such a place - and building the wardrobes meant that the damp air that condensed inside the wardrobes as opposed to on the walls where it had previously gone unnoticed.

Or, because it was a bedroom, they were not aware that each night, whilst sleeping, they were pumping out loads of moisture that, again, condense inside the wardrobes.

So, knock a huge hole in one wall and you shoud be fine ;)

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I know a few people who have had things like this down but didn't take account of damp problems and ended up with the wardrobes becoming soaking wet inside.

This was because the rooms were either too well insulated, and hence not enough ventilation for the moist air to escape, such has having no air vent in the walls and/or double-glazed windows. Or the room was a room in the house where moisture naturally collected on a wall - every house has such a place - and building the wardrobes meant that the damp air that condensed inside the wardrobes as opposed to on the walls where it had previously gone unnoticed.

Or, because it was a bedroom, they were not aware that each night, whilst sleeping, they were pumping out loads of moisture that, again, condense inside the wardrobes.

So, knock a huge hole in one wall and you shoud be fine ;)

naturism is the obvious solution.

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When I was younger (Joe, you're 11 years younger) this is the sort of project that I would approach with enthusiasm. I'd think "How hard can it be to make that myself?"

Now, I look around and think "Do I know someone who could do that for me because I know that if I try, all that is going to happen is that I'll regret it after I end up with the wrong bits of wood, bloodied and/or injured fingers and hands, and wonder why I thought it a good idea, and I didn't simply go to Ikea. It would have been so much easier and the human cost would have been far easier to bear".

Actually, my Dad made me a unit in my bedroom not unlike that one, but then he was very practical and enjoyed a project. If Dad is going to be a "problem" then I think the key is going to be to get a "mate" to do it. Or, go to Ikea.

Saying that, the last time I went to Ikea and queued for fecking hours and almost reversed the hire van into a waiting VW Golf, I said "I'll never do this again" and I never have. These days I just abandon ideas at their infancy and just go without.

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You'll probably be able to get all the required bits in B&Q.

I've had a few pieces of furniture made now and I'll never go back to buying off the high street. Just had a fitted wardrobe and bed in my sons room, £700 made from MDF. Equivalent thing from a shop was touching 2k.

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Thanks for the replies everyone!

I know a few people who have had things like this down but didn't take account of damp problems and ended up with the wardrobes becoming soaking wet inside.

Thanks for the technical explanation TMT; I would never have thought of this until it had happened so you may have helped save me a lot of money!

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When I was younger (Joe, you're 11 years younger) this is the sort of project that I would approach with enthusiasm. I'd think "How hard can it be to make that myself?"

These days I just abandon ideas at their infancy and just go without.

Ha, yes that's understandable.

Basically the reason why I thought of it was my frustration with small room sizes, and I'd seen some example of people who were either living in really small homes (like one room - I'll try and find an example), and also I'd been reading about designers who are designing furniture to maximise space. So I'd come up with a simple design that could fit into a small footprint and had loads of storage, a desk/tv area (assuming a wall mounted flatscreen), and a wardrobe. So in one bedroom you could have almost a little miniature apartment, because the space was so well used.

It seemed like a good solution because it's often the case that you don't have room for a wardrobe, a desk, and significant amounts of other storage in most bedrooms.

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Obviously masturbation is no longer doing it for Joe

I can confirm that masturbation is indeed still doing it for me.

...a scene from Woody Allen's movie Manhattan, where a group of people is talking about sex at a cocktail party and one woman says that her doctor told her she had been having the wrong kind of orgasm. Woody Allen's character responds by saying, “Did you have the wrong kind? Really? I've never had the wrong kind. Never, ever. My worst one was right on the money.”...

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If you don`t want to go down the solid wood route (could be extremely expensive) there`s always birch ply ,it will take wood stains and dies well with very little more than a fine sanding ,you can also buy it in furniture grade ,its also very easy to work with and you can create some funky effects if thats your thing

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=birch+ply+furniture+images&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=643&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CCMQsARqFQoTCLS9p_Dj2McCFYY5FAodZNEKKA&dpr=1#imgrc=Q3FrxSumb1ttSM%3A

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Why not make HPC style furniture from old transport pallets. They make a great futon base.

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I like some IKEA furniture, but regard it as a starting point.

For example, is the IKEA bookcase a little to wide? Buy it, and shorten the width with a saw.

Custom fitted furniture with little effort and at IKEA prices.

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Using large everyday objects as furniture is much more fun. Engine coffee table. Car boot shelving. Tyre bedding.

Are you sure Joe is living in his car?

______

Assuming you're a practical sort, I would say, a decent table saw is the difference between turning out public display acceptable cabinetry type furniture or not. You'd get three Billy bookcases for the price of the one piece of wood you'll inevitably make a dog's breakfast of on the first attempt.

I've recently done a boat interior, and yes there's certainly a lot of satisfaction in making things yourself but, faced with the endless cutting, gluing and clamping to produce dozens of broadly identical cupboard doors, that look no better than bought mass produced, it just makes no sense to spend the time and, in many cases, more money on it.

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I`ve made similar things for my house ( 2 bedrooms ) both with sliding mirror doors on the front.
At the time money was pretty tight and I ended up using melamine, which is not great material but seems to have lasted okay. I kind of know what I`m doing though.
If I was doing it now and was prepared to spend maybe £200 to £300 on material I would consider something the local timber merchant calls furniture board. This is basically an engineered board made of pine glued together in long sections, planed all round and comes in about 3m x 600mm x 18mm and costs around £25 to £30 per board.
At least with this stuff you can get into making some reasonable joints.

I made a fair looking finger jointed guitar cab with it a while ago.
I much prefer it to plywood which is a bugger for splintering and is not as suitable for jointing. Although plywood is less likely to warp.

As for damp, I`ve never had much of an issue but I`m a bugger for having windows open all year round as I believe it`s all about ventilation.

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