Furniture making - what type of wood

Wood working questions and answers in here please

Moderator: Moderators

AndyBaldock
Senior Member
Posts: 289
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 7:30 pm
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 2 times

Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by AndyBaldock » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:56 am

I am looking at starting to build some furniture and I just wondered what would be the best type of wood and best place to source it?

Firstly, I was going to attempt a coffee tables but with multiple boards attached together to form a top (I was planning on biscuiting them/glueing them together - does that sound right?) What would you guys use to complete these project?

Next, I have a friend who is looking at using a router table to make a pair of raised panel doors. What would wood you use for the stiles, rails and centre section?

Many thanks,

Andy
User avatar
big-all
Pro Carpenter
Posts: 21238
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:11 pm
Location: redhill surrey an auld reekie laddie
Has thanked: 638 times
Been thanked: 1907 times

Re: Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by big-all » Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:21 am

you will need a 1/2" router and table to make raised panel doors i assume kitchen cupboard doors ??

you dont need to dowel or biscuit the top if you have a frame and the top can move in relation to the frame but they will locate the planks flat together easier when gluing

if you dont have a table saw to rip the planks down
2x1"[21x43mm]planed4x1"[96mm]and 6x1[143mm]will give you most sizes you need with perhaps some 3x1" [69mm]or 5x1"[119m]to allow you to make virtually any size within 20mm by gluing multiple boards together

in general i have 2x1-3x1-4x1-6x1-7x1 and 9x1 always in stock along with ex12x100mm tongue and groove cladding[9x88mm coverage]
i make chest off drawers book cases welsh dressers beds sideboards 90% country style with 6mmply for backs and basses and 12mm mdf for drawer boxes
we are all ------------------still learning
dewaltdisney
Senior Member
Posts: 9054
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Essex
Has thanked: 448 times
Been thanked: 1622 times

Re: Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by dewaltdisney » Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:28 am

It is more a style thing Andy. Oak, in a natural finish, is very much the fashion as is painted furniture or a combination of both. I have made a number of coffee tables using various methods and a bit of thought can lead to some pleasing designs that are simple to make. It is quite common to see framed table tops with the panels being made of veneered board sitting in solid frames. For painted finishes I always use poplar which is lovely to work with and paints really well.

A problem you will have is that you often have to buy rough sawn boards and then cut and machine your lengths using a table saw and a planer thicknesser. You can buy off the shelf prepared oak in a lot of wood yards now and you can mail order from here but it is pricey: http://www.slhardwoods.co.uk/ it is a good site to have a look through anyway :thumbright:

Sadly, you can often buy the tables cheaper than you can make them.

DWD
User avatar
Retired
Senior Member
Posts: 2578
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:47 pm
Location: Fenay Bridge; Huddersfield.
Has thanked: 1887 times
Been thanked: 575 times

Re: Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by Retired » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:33 am

Hi,

It sounds easy Andy to make a coffee table and of course nailing a few bits of timber together to make a rustic table is but I think you really want to design and make something worthy of getting the tools out.

You'll need a design to work from then you can establish sizes of timber; what type of timber and how it's all going to go together.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=coffe ... 20&bih=955

There are lots of designs at the above link and by browsing the web there are thousands more. Once you settle on a design which pleases you then you take it from there. I've used whatever timber I could lay my hands on for such furniture and like Meranti and oak. Your idea of joining top boards using biscuits is a good one in fact for joining boards a biscuit jointer is hard to beat although the joints will need to be perfectly flush from a surface planer? The frames can also be assembled using biscuit joints or mortice & tenon etc whichever pleases you. The size of the coffee table usually dictates frame; leg; stile and rail sections of timber in order to achieve a happy balance which is aesthetically pleasing; the styles; sizes and materials are endless so my starting point is always with a design. Do you own a woodturning lathe? A lathe opens up a lot of possibilities regarding turned legs and woodturning is something I like to do when I get the time.

Once the coffee table is made then comes more decisions as to finish. I can French polish but for general everyday use I don't think polyurethane varnish can be beaten for price and durabilty; my home made desk I'm now seated at is finished with polyurethane and still looks good even though it gets a lot of use.

Good luck because furniture making is a wonderful hobby and one I never tire of. :thumbleft:

Kind regards, Col.
SOME PEOPLE ARE SO POOR ALL THEY HAVE IS MONEY.
AndyBaldock
Senior Member
Posts: 289
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 7:30 pm
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by AndyBaldock » Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:34 pm

Thank you all for your replies - they have been excellent and I am starting to understand what I need to do.

The Coffee table is for my mum. I am making a bench for a table that I built and accidentally (ordered online after drinking) bought two steps of legs and she needs a table.

She would like something like this:

Image

But I didn't know what type of wood to go for or where from. I have two timber merchants int he local area but I don't know what to say to them other than dimensions.


big-all wrote: you dont need to dowel or biscuit the top if you have a frame and the top can move in relation to the frame but they will locate the planks flat together easier when gluing
Can I ask you to expand on this a bit? I didn't quite understand it. Also, I would love to see a picture of one of your welsh dressers.

The raised panel cabinet is for a friend who wants to create a piece of inbuilt. They have chimney alcoves and they want a cabinet (with raised panels) underneath some floating shelves like this Image
dewaltdisney
Senior Member
Posts: 9054
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Essex
Has thanked: 448 times
Been thanked: 1622 times

Re: Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by dewaltdisney » Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:08 pm

You do not need to make raised panels for a job like that. 12mm MDF with strips of 6mm MDF stuck on to form the Shaker style is cheap and easy to do. A raised panel is where a thicker central panel is machined down at the edges to fit the 6mm housing in rails and stiles.

Those legs in you picture would need a good size lathe to turn down but did you say you bought a set of legs?

DWD
AndyBaldock
Senior Member
Posts: 289
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 7:30 pm
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by AndyBaldock » Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:59 pm

Yeah the legs are currently sitting in my loft. I tried to send them back but the P&P wasn't worth it.

If I made them using mdf strips, should I miter them or butt joint? Also is it a glue, or a glue and a brad job?

Cheers,

Andy
AndyBaldock
Senior Member
Posts: 289
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 7:30 pm
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by AndyBaldock » Sun Jun 28, 2015 5:02 pm

Sorry to throw another question into the mix, but if I wanted to invest in a couple of clamps for larger pieces (such as table tops) would pipe clamps be the way to go?
User avatar
big-all
Pro Carpenter
Posts: 21238
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:11 pm
Location: redhill surrey an auld reekie laddie
Has thanked: 638 times
Been thanked: 1907 times

Re: Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by big-all » Sun Jun 28, 2015 7:02 pm

i would go for around 1 clamp per 16=20" i use bar clamps and have around 12 different ones
you will also need some g clamps and clamping batons to prevent the clamps marking the wood

wood expands across the grain but not along it length it can expand and contract by around 3% more if its moisture content was too high when built
if you have a say 600mm wide board thats up to 18mm if you dont have slots for the screw shank to move along you risk splitting off the board even with dowels or biscuits
we are all ------------------still learning
dewaltdisney
Senior Member
Posts: 9054
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Essex
Has thanked: 448 times
Been thanked: 1622 times

Re: Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by dewaltdisney » Sun Jun 28, 2015 7:04 pm

I use PVA to glue the strips where I have the long stile pieces going top to bottom of the door with the cross rails butted into the side of the stiles. I do not use pins as it is difficult to make the holes unnoticeable when finished. During the glue up I stack the doors and put a couple of buckets of water on to give some compression weight.

With clamps I have a number of the cheap ally clamps and some mofo heavy sash cramps. Keep your eyes peeled in the small ads for bargains. I got two 6 foot sash cramps for £20 :thumbright:

DWD
AndyBaldock
Senior Member
Posts: 289
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 7:30 pm
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by AndyBaldock » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:32 pm

Ive soo much to learn.

So for example, if I was going to make a tabke top out of four scaf boards - which is how I made my kitchen table - would these by the ones to use http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000LFRVOC/r ... B000X2AW4O

It was tricky to join the boards.without clamps.

As a furthet side note, do you think if I asked a local furniture maker if I could work with them and so sanding or whatever for a week, would they would allow it?
User avatar
big-all
Pro Carpenter
Posts: 21238
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:11 pm
Location: redhill surrey an auld reekie laddie
Has thanked: 638 times
Been thanked: 1907 times

Re: Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by big-all » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:34 pm

the clamps from tool station are cheap and cheerful wont take to much ratcheting
we are all ------------------still learning
User avatar
big-all
Pro Carpenter
Posts: 21238
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:11 pm
Location: redhill surrey an auld reekie laddie
Has thanked: 638 times
Been thanked: 1907 times

Re: Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by big-all » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:40 pm

get 6 off these file off the nipple to release the sliding head
place the sliding head on back to front and remove the other one
2 bolts 2 clamps back to back
and increase the clamping width about 70%
http://www.rutlands.co.uk/sp+woodworkin ... ta+m_dk135
we are all ------------------still learning
User avatar
big-all
Pro Carpenter
Posts: 21238
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:11 pm
Location: redhill surrey an auld reekie laddie
Has thanked: 638 times
Been thanked: 1907 times

Re: Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by big-all » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:10 pm

as an aside
i have left 2 as 4ft+ clamps
reduced 2 to 37" clamps
the other 2 to 28" capacity
this allows you to double up to get different length combination
it also leave 2x24" and 2x16" inch of useable bar which you can use between 2 clamps or extend a single clamp
we are all ------------------still learning
AndyBaldock
Senior Member
Posts: 289
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 7:30 pm
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Furniture making - what type of wood

Post by AndyBaldock » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:43 pm

Thanks again for all the info. So to clarify, sash clamps perhaps over bar clamps?
Post Reply

Return to “Carpentry/Joinery Forum”