making furniture


hey everyone, i just moved again and need some furniture. i want to make it. does anyone know how to make some sweet, cheap, crazy modern bar stools? or, do you know of any websites related to making furn. i've made drafting tables before, but thats all. oh and a table. and shelves. but no chairs yet. i also wanna make a sweet table and chairs. please help. i am a poor student, so i am making them (needs to be cheap if possible). i also want it to be very minimal

Feb 27, 09 6:18 pm

whats your budget and what is your access to tools?

Feb 27, 09 6:29 pm

i have a circular saw and electric hand drill, but i can use many tools at the architecture shop any time. my budget is a couple hundred. i have all black red and white furniture everywhere else. i'm thinking some sort of wood, stained black, or maybe raw materials.

Feb 27, 09 7:02 pm

id probably suggest grabbin some chipboard and doin some scaled models, base it off half inch or 3/4 inch plywood. think of doing it as scores/folds in the chipboard and translating it over with some dovetails of something (time/skill pending)

another strategy would be to break it down into parts and adapt from there. i.e. bar stool = 4 legs + brace + seat, then develop from there (still prolly use plywood, pretty good bang for the buck, either get a cheaper one and stain or paint it, or some cabinet grade and leave them bare or clear coat

Feb 27, 09 7:09 pm

is there an easy way to curve the wood?

Feb 27, 09 7:21 pm

Curve wood for what purpose? a stool? a table? There's wiggle wood that can bend. That's what I used when I made a coffee table that had circular holes in the middle.

Or for solid wood you'd have to steam it. not wet it, but steam it. put it in a fairly airtight box where steam from a regular teapot can go up into. steam for several minutes i think like 1/2 hour. The wood should be suspended in the middle of the box so that the steam can go all around it. then wrap the wood to the form you want then clamp overnight.

Feb 27, 09 7:40 pm

If you have a Lowe's near you, they usually carry brackets and screw on legs to quickly make furniture. They will also have near that area, a collection of tabletops, boards and moulding all made our of engineered hardwood.

When I made a credenza, it costed me about 4 dollars for each leg and a dollar fifty for the brackets. The engineered hardwood is extreme durable, sturdy and almost perfectly straight. The pre-made legs that are table/barstool height I think are about 8-12 a pop. They have little mini circular 8-12" precut table tops for around 8ish?

I believe the legs are made out of ash. If you use this method, make sure to pack the back side of the brackets with a lot of glue and wood filler so you don't need cross beams.

This will save you so much time and money that you can use the left over to put some really nice upholstery on it.

Feb 27, 09 7:48 pm

for the curve, im thinking maybe a slight curve for a low rounded back on the stool. that's a cool idea to use a tea pot.

do you guys have any pictures of furniture you've made?

another question: for the scale, would the fibonacci numbers or golden mean be a nice way to proportion the height and width?

i haven't thought about upholstery, but maybe red or white leather would look good with black stained legs.

also, building a model of various designs is a very good idea

thanks for the support

Feb 27, 09 8:55 pm

gerrit reitveld designed some furniture made from wood essentially salvaged from crates and/or pallets

google image search "reitveld crate furniture" for examples.

Feb 27, 09 11:17 pm

if you have access to a cnc then your golden..

wiggle ply comes in 3/8"

stick to ply wood if you plan on screwing in on the side/end grain of the sheet.... mdf and particle board isnt worth shit in that situation.

go to thrift store and find a few things you can strip down or paint/etc...maybe take apart and swap pieces...

or just go to ikea and get some cheap particle boardsystems

Feb 28, 09 12:17 am

you can make interesting chairs from the most mundane materials...


w/ access to tools and a budget of a few hundred, you could make a really decent chair...

Feb 28, 09 1:37 am

And by the way, fibonacci numbers approach the golden mean...within the tolerance of a circular saw, the proportion is going to be about the same. The golden section is simple to construct geometrically, while the number ratios might be easier to work with when if you are putting dimensions into CAD. If you are serious about this pursuit you should check out Corb's Modulor

A better source for the proportion of height to width is you, who are going to be sitting on the thing. Trace yourself onto some big paper and see what works.

Feb 28, 09 1:41 am

Feb 28, 09 1:43 am

i vote for the pallet chair

Feb 28, 09 2:05 am

Although I like many of the above chairs, for me the term "minimal" also refers to the amount of time spent building the chair.

So far I'm also voting for the pallet chair. That one's like two hours...including coffee and input from the neighbors.

Feb 28, 09 1:13 pm

if you're after cheap, recycled, unique chairs:


Feb 28, 09 1:37 pm

hell yea. these are all good ideas. i didn't know i could do it so cheap. are there any cheap ways to make a place more hardcore? like a raw approach... i think im going to paint a giant gestalt theory on my walls

Feb 28, 09 9:36 pm

cmu and tires

Feb 28, 09 9:53 pm

maybe cheap was the wrong word. did you mean cmt? cmt tires and busch

Feb 28, 09 9:57 pm

David Grass :

Mar 1, 09 5:24 am

haha, i love the packing one

Mar 1, 09 12:50 pm

Of Gerrit Reitveld, mentioned above, master of black white red blue furniture (see the best collection I have seen at the Museum Insel Hombroich), there is a book with instructions on how to make his furniture

Mar 2, 09 12:42 pm

wow, Per actually posted something i like, good on ya.

Mar 2, 09 1:43 pm

psy arch - thanks, man. the rietveld book is something i just ordered. looks great.

Mar 2, 09 3:15 pm

blackharp, enjoy!

Mar 4, 09 4:48 am

you can get some pretty good stuff off of craigslist for cheap...I know you havent made it, but still a good place to look if broke

Nov 8, 10 12:40 am

Back to the takes about an hour per inch of thickness and the box should not be totally airtight so the steam can circulate around the piece. Green wood is easier to bend. Many times wood is left soaking in water until it is ready to bend - keep your lumber limber. It takes heat and moisture to make this work well for larger pieces and a teapot just won't cut it for big thick stuff.

Another possibility is to get very thin pieces of wood and just bend it. Or and make your own plywood. You can buy a thicker piece of wood and cut your own ply's (1/16") on a table saw or a good band saw that will bend easy. Plain wood glue will not be sufficient in the long term to keep it all together for years of changing moisture and temperatures but there are good resin glues that will do the job. But if you have a thick piece of wood and just want a subtle curve a mill - manual or cnc would do the trick.

Last idea is to use plywood or solid planks and cut kerfs in the back at close intervals - but this will leave visible grooves on one side which if you are putting fabric or leather over won't be a big deal.

Other things to try, pvc, conduit, copper, etc could make legs simple. I am playing with felt and fiberglass for a while myself - good luck.

Nov 10, 10 4:13 pm

When we had to bend wood (8 foot long 1x3's) for a school project we just used a metal HVAC duct and taped/clamped the far end, and made some sort of door held on by clamps for the front end to pull the wood in and out. Donno what they used to make the steam, maybe it was some kind of steam cleaner with just water in it or something...

Nov 10, 10 8:48 pm

Go to a wood working shop and ask if you can dig through their scrap bin, sometimes you can find some really nice wood that could certainly be appropriately sized for a bar stool top, and if your nice they might let you walk out with it for free...

Nov 11, 10 5:49 pm

You might wana check the link below !

If you are interested the i can supply with more !

they all are very cheap !

Hope it helps!

furniture bar stools

Jan 16, 11 10:32 am

I meant to post here back when I finished it but forgot too.

Built this with a friend of mine's help over the summer last year,

More pics available here

Jan 16, 11 3:21 pm
Justin Ather Maud

nam - that doesn't look like a very secure system for what looks to be a very valuable vinyl collection.

Jan 16, 11 4:03 pm

it beats milk crates though...

Jan 16, 11 4:12 pm

well it doesn't have a lock or doors, if that is what you mean. on the other hand it was built strongly to the point where it can be sat on. that was actually one of my main concerns when designing.

it isn't my ideal set up but it is at least custom (albeit DIY) specs.

Jan 16, 11 10:01 pm

Nice, nam. Logical, functional, straightforward. I see it's on casters, too.

Jan 17, 11 12:10 am
Sarah Hamilton

I like this website, although it's not exactly modern.

Jan 17, 11 3:33 pm

SDR yeah casters were a must in my mind.

Jan 17, 11 7:11 pm

Last year or maybe the year before there was a project by some Swiss(Austrian, German, Dutch, I am really not sure of the nationality but I thought European for some reason) architects/designers where they built an inflatable bubble shaped temporary conference space and filled it with pallet chairs.  Can anyone point me to the project or designers?  I remember part of the project included documentation of the making of the pallet chairs and friends of the designers building their own customized pallet chairs.Thank you for your help.

May 4, 11 6:19 pm
le bossman

anyone have any ideas or images for a bed?  it's going to be a project for me this summer.   assume i have all the tools i need and i know what i'm doing.  

May 6, 11 3:43 pm

le bossman:


I dont know what you are going for, but here is what I plan on doing for my bed. the nightstand is a gypsum block.

May 6, 11 7:13 pm
wood_ is worth looking into as well.

Jun 25, 13 9:04 am

Bending: easiest way is lamination. No steam required, just forms, clamps and glue. Here's one I did a bazilion years ago.

Jun 25, 13 10:38 pm

You’ve written nice post, I am gonna bookmark this page, thanks for info. But it is not possible that everyone can make these furniture successfully. So if anyone facing problems in making them can buy it on .

Mar 28, 18 2:08 am

I find website with good equipment

Maybe you will interesting in it.

Jul 2, 18 12:42 pm

WOW! Chair made with cardboard is really gorgeous! Whole my life I'm into furniture, making this kind of items:) But now I decided to make something different and I believe modern. Thanks for sharing! 

Woody Furntirure taken by living room advisor

I love this kind of furniture
Oct 27, 18 5:33 am

does your shop at school have a CNC? if so, you should absolutely consider using that resource. some nice plywood would be well within your budget, and some items only require a sheet or two of 4'x8' plywood. my boyfriend and I have made a few of these pieces and we love them. well designed and sturdy, and will last until we decide to design and build our own or invest in nicer furniture. 

if you're looking to hone your woodworking craft more manually, disregard. :)

Dec 18, 18 10:17 am

Click here to get more information on:
Design and Construct Furniture
Detailed Joinery
Cabinet Making
Custom Kitchen
Commercial Detailed Joinery
Built-in Furniture
Residential Custom Joinery
Wall Paneling
Reception Desks and Counters
Office Joinery and Fit-outs
School and Library Fit-outs

We work closely with designers and clients to transform their design intent into practical. We can provide realistic budgets for future projects and designs for efficient use of materials, transport, and installation.

May 20, 19 11:24 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: