Building Childrens Furnitures

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Building Childrens Furnitures

Although there are many ways to  build good furniture, some requiring skills and equipment well beyond the reach of the average home workshop hobbyist, advanced techniques are not absolute musts in the construction of sturdy and attractive furniture.

Here are the basic considerations in home projects, and some special tips to make your job easy and inexpensive.

Why Plywood?

To build a piece of furniture of solid hardwood throughout would be an expensive deal. However, you can get much the same effect without sacrificing strength by using plywood or lumber core having an outside veneer of the wood you want your piece to be.

Plywood is a laminated product consisting of 5 or more plys of thin wood bonded together with glue and pressure to form a panel of uniform thickness and considerable strength. The strength is due to the plys being laid with the grain patterns alternately set at right angles to each other. 

The top ply is a veneer of select wood and this is the surface that will show in the finished piece of furniture. Lumber core differs from plywood in that it has a thick center core of butt-joined strips of solid wood sandwiched between four thin plys of veneer, two on each side. 

The top plys consist of the finish veneers which can be of any type of fine furniture wood while the plys directly underneath are laid with their grains running at right angles to the core and top plys. Lumber core is much lighter than plywood and is highly resistant to warping.

The glass-hard glue that bonds plywood and lumber core tends to dull tools, and since less glue is used in bonding lumber core, that material will be found to be easier on tools than plywood. For the same reason, it is easier to work with and is less inclined to splinter.

Screws driven into the end grain of ply-wood should be long enough to take a 3/4-inch bite into the wood. Longer screws will not add materially to the strength of the joint and may split the wood. 

Screws driven into core stock or solid wood should take a 1-inch bite—but to prevent splitting, a pilot hole, half the diameter of the screw, should be drilled first in the solid wood.

Screws driven into exposed surfaces of the project should be concealed with long-grain wood plugs as shown in the photos. These plugs are cut as needed from the sides of scrap wood with a special 1/2-inch plug cutter. They differ from dowels in that their ends have the grain pattern running across the surface, while dowels have an end grain.

The advantages of long-grain plugs are many. They can be cut from wood that matches in color and grain pattern the surface being plugged, and when properly matched and fitted they be-come almost invisible in the finished piece. Plugs take stain finishes in the same shade as the surrounding wood, while dowels, with their end grains, soak up the stain and appear considerably darker than the surrounding wood.

Dowels used as plugs may in time distort due to their failure to shrink and expand in the same direction as the wood which holds them. Plugs, however, will expand and contract in the same way as the wood. Finally, if for any reason a plug must be removed later, it can be chipped out easily with a 1/4-inch chisel, while the only way a dowel can be removed is to drill it out.




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Building Childrens Furnitures