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Building Your Own Furniture Save Money?

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  • #756279

    We are building a new house. So when we move in we’re going to need to get a flat panel for the TV console. After seeing Fred’s DIY Furniture https://www.auditpowertools.com/building-your-own-furniture/ my wife said to me, “Why don’t we just build one?” It doesn’t matter that it is probably above my skill level, but it got me wondering if it would really save money. I have not yet evaluated lumber hardwood, but I know it is expensive. How much do you think it will cost to build it in cherry or mahogany?

    #756287
    JimDaddyO
    Pro
    Wawa, ON

    Is Fred’s what Ted’s use to be? Ted’s woodworking plans is a pretty famous site. Famous for stealing other peoples work and posting it as their own, then scamming customers. Any site that advertises thousands of plans I would avoid like the plague. Stealing someones elses hard work for money is just theft to start with.

    That being said, a TV console shouldn’t be that hard to build. Make it fit the space and figure out what you want as far as doors and drawers and shelves. For inspiration you can check out several You Tube videos like Frank Howarth ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3_VCOJMaivgcGqPCTePLBA ) and the like. He has some great cabinets he put in his kitchen and basement. There are also many good books on cabinetry. Cabinets aren’t rocket surgury. They are just a bunch of boxes when you come down to it.

    As far as expenense? It depends. Local pricing varies for wood. One thing for sure though is if you DIY it, you will have a custom piece of furniture that is not made from MDF and held together with screws, and that is worth a lot. The other option would be to find someone local who builds with solid wood and see what they can do for you. Again, look at their work and make sure you know what you’re getting. Some shops still use inferior materials and construction to maximize profit. That is not a bad thing if that’s what you want. You get what you pay for. A custom piece, in solid wood, is going to cost way more than an off the shelf item.

    If you can source the materials I would encourage going the DIY route. Even if you use less expensive wood, it will be better than something from a big box store. Even if you use pine, spruce, or poplar. It’s only making boxes, and the material literally grows on trees. If you make a mistake, you can make another piece, or the whole item over again. It’s the way I learned to do hand cut joinery.

    My You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5AretE3xPoVDV61AxUdUA

    I don't do a fast job. I don't do a slow job. I do a half fast job.

    #756295
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    We are building a new house. So when we move in we’re going to need to get a flat panel for the TV console. After seeing Fred’s DIY Furniture. My wife said to me, “Why don’t we just build one?” It doesn’t matter that it is probably above my skill level, but it got me wondering if it would really save money. I have not yet evaluated lumber hardwood, but I know it is expensive. How much do you think it will cost to build it in cherry or mahogany?

    Welcome to the forum.

    You raise a good question will it save you money. My answer is most likely no. If lumber of choice is expensive and if you don’t have the tools to build the TV console you won’t be long spending some money.
    If your skill level with making furniture isn’t all that great. Maybe start off with cheaper price lumber and stain the project to look similar to what you want.
    I am not sure what it will cost you. You have know how much lumber you need and what it will cost. Plus if you make a mistake then you will need more lumber.
    Do you have plans or a picture of what you want to build?

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

    #756310
    roninohio
    Pro
    New Franklin, OH

    I’m sure we could help you design your project here. Would it be cheaper ? no
    Like Greg said it will fit exactly where you want it and be what you want. It does take quite a few tools and a place to build it.

    #756315
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    Another way to look at it. If you have buy tools for this project. You will have them for other projects. If you decide to build more. Depending on what tools you need to get. You buy them used which will help with the cost. Over half of my woodworking bigger tools I bought used. I save alot of money this way.

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

    #756320

    Another consideration is finishing. You can build a nice piece and have a major issue with the quality of the finish. If you really want to do this, find a woodworking mentor if possible. I lucked out having 2 great mentors to teach me about wood and woodworking. It is always a learning experience but such a worthy hobby. You will gain skills for the rest of your life.

    #756322

    Yeah I’ll say like some of the other members , it will definitely be nice to build your own furniture , something to be proud of ,
    Also can be built to your measurements for spacing ,
    But starting up with tools depending if you buy more hand tools or machines , either way , it could be expensive , you want to buy decent quality of tools , doesn’t have to be the most expensive , but should be good quality that you won’t have to buy them again after a few uses.
    Plus you will need a work area also , and like Lon mentioned PL_Woodworker mentioned , also depends on what type of finishing you decide on ,
    Good luck with that , looking forward to hearing back from you , and welcome to BTP

    #756325
    DesertDeuces
    Pro
    Indio, CA

    A couple of thoughts:
    First: build a template first. I’d build one of cardboard or thin wallboard.
    Second: A long time ago an old mechanic friend of mine told me something that guided the rest of my life. He said: Take your time, study it for a while, and it will come to you. After that I was able to learn a heck of a lot of things. Really helped me. Hope it helps you.

    Third: Keep it simple. Once you can get a simple model, you can then easily dress it up nicely however you’d like.

    Pat

    #756562
    Clev08
    Pro

    As mentioned the biggest perk is you can make it the perfect size for your house. I made this dog bowl holder so each of our dogs have their bowls at the perfect height and the bowls fit perfectly. I also made this hallway table to match the style and again, it fits perfectly and hides the outlet.

    #756569

    As mentioned the biggest perk is you can make it the perfect size for your house. I made this dog bowl holder so each of our dogs have their bowls at the perfect height and the bowls fit perfectly. I also made this hallway table to match the style and again, it fits perfectly and hides the outlet.

    Those are both very nice , I like the easy design , I assume that you screwed the hallway table to the wall , I like the idea of the 2 level dog bowls 👍

    By the way , I really like the door knob on the door in the hallway 👌

    #756647
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    Building you own furniture can be very rewarding. A lot of the end tables, in our house were built by my father or myself. Our bedroom set was my high school shop class project and each of my daughters has a bedroom set made by my father.

    I also have several other furniture pieces that were built by either my father or myself.

    #756655

    Building you own furniture can be very rewarding. A lot of the end tables, in our house were built by my father or myself. Our bedroom set was my high school shop class project and each of my daughters has a bedroom set made by my father.

    I also have several other furniture pieces that were built by either my father or myself.

    Wow that’s amazing , to still have lots of furniture from your father , and even from shop class , that’s pretty darn cool

    #756674
    roninohio
    Pro
    New Franklin, OH

    I believe all the furniture I ever made is still in use. They become airlooms .

    #756684
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    Building you own furniture can be very rewarding. A lot of the end tables, in our house were built by my father or myself. Our bedroom set was my high school shop class project and each of my daughters has a bedroom set made by my father.

    I also have several other furniture pieces that were built by either my father or myself.

    I am sure that is very nice to have.
    I don’t have any furniture that any family member of mine made. But we do have old dresser my wife’s grandfather made. It believe some of the wood if not all the wood was from old ice crate. We salvaged from the inlaws basement several years ago. My youngest daughter uses it daily.

    I have only made doll furniture for my girl’s & nieces. I am presently working on Console table.

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

    #756716
    jzmtl
    Pro
    Montreal, QC

    I’ve done some woodworking as a hobby and I would say unless it’s for easy stuff like shelves with construction lumber as starting material, no.

    Hardwood in quantity/size you need for any sort of larger furniture is just too expensive for individual consumer, and there’s also the problem of equipment. If you have a well equipped shop already, sure, but if you don’t, you’ll run into a lot of situations of spending a lot of time on a problem because you don’t have that specific piece of equipment/jig, and if you spent the money to buy it/time to build it, it would quickly blow your money/time budget out of water.

    #757825
    JagM98
    Pro

    The problem I’ve encountered so far from making my own furniture back then was choosing the right materials and the layout of my furniture. It’s best that you prepare a sketch or some available furniture you could use for your base.

    #757908

    I agree with most all of the above comments:
    -Is it cheaper
    – not much if any if you cost your time
    Is it better
    – generally yes, the materials go from the same , to better, way better, to exquisite – your choice

    Downsides:
    -time
    -mistakes, we all make them will it bother you
    – quality depends on skill, but well made, mistakes included will out last the vast majority of purchased pieces

    Challenges:
    – Wood – finding what you want
    – Finishing is a whole other skillset challenge
    – making your own plans – while awesome means a lot of decisions and tricky thinking, why go for standard dimensions when you have choice, joinery is up to you
    -tools, do you have the tools to do what you want
    – are you using sheet goods or solid wood, sheet goods are fine in the correct areas
    – wood movement

    I do dabble at building my own and have built pieces I could not afford to buy, and also have built sheet good pieces at about the same price as retail. For example my birch plywood with maple trim book shelf / storage unit will survive my grandson’s abuse safely while the comparably priced pressboard retail unit might last 5 years and likely collapse with him wracking and climbing it …

    Will

    #757913
    GTokley
    Pro
    Belleville, ON

    We are building a new house. So when we move in we’re going to need to get a flat panel for the TV console. After seeing Fred’s DIY Furniture https://www.auditpowertools.com/building-your-own-furniture/ my wife said to me, “Why don’t we just build one?” It doesn’t matter that it is probably above my skill level, but it got me wondering if it would really save money. I have not yet evaluated lumber hardwood, but I know it is expensive. How much do you think it will cost to build it in cherry or mahogany?

    It has been awhile since you posted this question about building your own furniture. Just wondering what you have decided to do?
    There has been some good feedback posted. Look forward hearing what you ended up doing.

    Greg
    Do More of What Makes You Happy

    #760118

    My personal opinion:
    It feels like it will save money, but what you have to spend is double or even 3 times more time to design, installation and purchase a lot of other materials, it costs your experience and time, it feels more expensive than you spend Get tired! And what you install yourself may not be easy to use and practical, unless you are an expert in this area or something……

    #762339

    Depends on how ornate a piece and if you have the tools and time. I have built nearly every piece of furniture in my house…all except the sofas and desk chairs and an antique table and hutch. oh, and a guest bed that I will replace. But everything else I have made and use daily. But, I have a complete shop and years of experience. It has been fun and rewarding and that is what I like. I doubt I saved money, but I have custom pieces and a sense of accomplishment building my own.

    Orange County, CA

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