furniture making, repair, and refinishing

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69
votes
18answers
47k views

How do I make a height adjustable desk?

Has anyone made their own height adjustable desk? I'm interested in making a computer desk that can easily be adjusted for either standing or sitting. The lift mechanism could be electric or ...
23
votes
13answers
80k views

What are cheap ways to build strong shelves with a large span?

I have removed several old and moisture damaged built in storage units from my house. I would like to replace them with shelving. There are a number of different sized gaps (width and depth to fill). ...
10
votes
4answers
21k views

Is there an ideal height for a workbench?

Is there a universal standard height that people try to go for when building workbenches? Should DIY tabletops be tailor made to the height of the user and how does the ideal height of the tabletop ...
10
votes
6answers
43k views

How do I stop a bed frame from squeaking?

I recently bought a second hand wooden bed frame. All is good except it squeaks quite a lot when I move around on it (ahem). Any advice on fixing the annoying squeak? EDIT :: photo of the joint
9
votes
2answers
370 views

How can I remove a moisture mark from a wooden table?

I have a white mark on my wooden dining table that was caused by a potted plant sitting there for too long without a saucer. Attempts to clean it off have been futile because it seems not to be a ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Table with 45 degree corner groove

I'm not a carpenter, so forgive me if this is obvious. Also, I'm Brazilian so forgive my English. I want to build a table with only 3 MDF plates, but I want the corners to have "45 degree grooves", ...
7
votes
3answers
14k views

How do you screw in double-ended screws?

I have a flat pack shelving unit to put together. It has double ended screws. According to the instructions you just screw them in using your hands. This is impossible: the pre-drilled holes seem way ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

When repairing a split table top, should I use dowels, biscuits, or something else?

We bought a 5' diameter table many years ago from a Macy's warehouse sale. It's a 1" thick wood table top screwed to a cast iron leg/ base. When we bought it, it had a slight warp about 2/3s from ...
7
votes
6answers
20k views

What is this soft, sticky wood finish and how do I remove it?

We have a second-hand table with a mysterious finish. The wood underneath is pale, possibly pine. With the finish, it's a slightly darker and "warmer" colour. The table is not antique; I'd guess only ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a more rugged finish than Polyurethane for a heavy use table?

A few years go I sanded a stained table we had. Upon doing so, we discovered that it had really nice wood underneath. So instead of restaining, I applied about 4 coats of satin polyurethane. It looked ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I fix stripped bolt holes in wood?

I have a wood futon that is assembled with threaded bolts screwing into holes in the wood that are threaded. Over time the threading in the wood has worn and the bolts just slide in and out. I've ...
7
votes
1answer
591 views

While building a bed frame, at what point should I start worring about cross beams?

So, I've made this bedframe that's rather tall, the frame is 32" off the ground, and the legs are each bolted on with two 3/8" bolts running perpendicular, and horizontally. Having not actually used ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How to connect wood to concrete

How can I attach wood to concrete in this bench?
6
votes
3answers
6k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of nails and dowel pins?

I'm planning to build some cubbies and drawers based on the design in the picture in a closet in my house. I'm planning to use plywood for most of it. I've seen some designs use glue and dowel ...
6
votes
4answers
941 views

Are small air bubbles on the surface while applying wood finish normal?

While finishing my door, I've noticed a lot of small air bubbles after applying the finish. I asked a painter about it and he told me it's normal, but it doesn't seem normal to me. Is this normal or ...
5
votes
5answers
10k views

What's the right way to sand/shave/reshape particleboard?

My second bedroom has low ceilings. I bought an IKEA closet, but somehow botched the measurements when I was seeing if it would fit. So, instead of having ~10cm of room for the top of the cabinet, I ...
5
votes
6answers
7k views

What is the best way to repair MDF furniture?

Our kitchen is made almost entirely from MDF. We have 1 closet where the hinges have pulled out and several drawers where the screws have pulled out. The MDF around the screws has just been eroded so ...
5
votes
3answers
219 views

Why is there open/deadspace under most wooden furniture

I am in the design phase of a chest of drawers project, and it occurred to me that nearly every piece of wooden furniture I have seen has a 2-4 inch gap under it. Often this has the furniture up on ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

How do I prevent doors on a media cabinet from sagging?

A friend and I have just built a floor to ceiling media shelf unit for DVDs. It has 9 shelves and is about 3' wide. The frame around it is made up of 2"x8" boards and the shelves (except for one in ...
5
votes
1answer
300 views

Am I doing something wrong with this sanding job?

I'm trying to finish a finishing job on a dresser; I abandoned the project (long story) a while ago after getting a few drawers done, and I've since lost the exact instructions I was following. After ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I reinforce a piece of furniture to put an aquarium on it?

I'm planning to build an aquarium - 50 gallons. I estimate that it'll weight 550 pounds. It would be in the top of a cabinet... but the top of that cabinet is a suspended glass. It's similiar to this ...
5
votes
1answer
12k views

How can I estimate the load capacity of a set of shelves?

I'm pricing and researching supplies for built-ins in my living room. The plan is cabinets on the bottom, a cubby for a TV and staggered shelves for several hundred HEAVY books above that. My ...
5
votes
1answer
10k views

How do I build a corner bench for my deck?

I am totally new to DIY and wanted to take my first steps with a simple project - a corner bench. I have decking outside already, and want to use the same decking wood for my bench. Something similar ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

How to get rid of spilled olive oil on teak table?

Yesterday a flask of olive oil accidentally dropped on our teak dining table. My spouse quickly used some paper towels to soak up most of the oil. The rest was evenly rubbed in to prevent spots. ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

How can I repair screws in furniture with stripped holes?

I'm trying to repair a piece of furniture from which several screws have pulled out, stripping the wood. It's a lift top coffee table, such as this. (This is NOT the model in question, this just ...
4
votes
1answer
924 views

Securing furniture to prevent tipping due to earthquakes and babies

I'm a new resident in the Bay Area, and with small children in the house, I'm looking at our furniture with some unease. What's the best and easiest way to secure and fasten tall bookshelves in case ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

How is a floating desk top supported against the wall?

Example of a floating desk top (courtesy of Phil Curtis): With increased height, it'd be one of simplest standing desk designs, and I am planning to do this at home. But, I am not sure how ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Repair gouges in a particle board desk?

A few years back, I bought a $500 studio producer desk. It's made of particle board and has been through more than a few moves and has received a proper beating over the years: Is there any way for ...
4
votes
5answers
14k views

How can I mount a desk on a wall with L-brackets?

I'm currently planning a new wall-mounted computer desk and intend to use something similar to this as the top: However, my end goal is for a wall-mounted desk, using L-Bracket mounts. I've never ...
4
votes
1answer
612 views

How can I stop wardrobe door from automatically closing?

Every time the right-hand door on my wardrobe gets opened, it slowly but surely accelerates shut again. As you can imagine, this is quite annoying as it blocks light and restricts view. Is there a ...
4
votes
3answers
164 views

Can I temporarily remove the bottom stairs on a staircase to help move furniture?

I just moved into a new place and really want to move my awesomely large (and somewhat expensive) sofa into the basement. The problem is that the stairs end in narrow hallway running perpendicular to ...
4
votes
2answers
13k views

How do I determine the ideal height stool for a given height surface (table, counter, bar, etc.)?

My immediate need is to ensure that I'm matching the right height stools to a kitchen island, but I assume there's a standard difference that's ideal for an eating seat to be from the eating surface? ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Why won't this bed's feet touch the floor?

My wife and I just got a hand-me-down Queen-size bed after our old one broke. It was disassembled and brought to us by people unfamiliar with its previous assembled state. You might be able to tell ...
4
votes
1answer
786 views

How do I create concrete or fiberglass outdoor seating that will last?

My husband and I have a design for outdoor seating we would like to create that is organic (curvy) in shape and surfaced in mosaic designs. Think of a dragon undulating in and out of the water, the ...
3
votes
5answers
18k views

How to loosen a nut when bolt and nut move together?

I have a sofabed whose back is fixed to the bed by bolt and nut. When I try to loosen the nut by wrench, the bolt and nut move together. There are no rust. How shall I loosen the nut? Update: the ...
3
votes
3answers
957 views

How should I paint pine furniture?

I built a bed for my son out of Pine (from plans on the internet.) I am going to paint it white. What kinds of preparation do I need to do to the wood, especially considering the 4 posts are from ...
3
votes
1answer
474 views

How do I build a headboard for a bed?

I need to build a headboard in the next couple of days. My requirements: can be attached to the wall, I read something somewhere about French cleat needs to be attached to the bed, to stop the bed ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I drill holes for “cam nuts”?

The manuals I've seen for (cheaper) furniture refers to a cam nut and a cam bolt. Examples of them can be seen for purchase on Amazon. I've recently decided I'd like to build my own desk and believe ...
3
votes
2answers
789 views

What is type of screw is this?

This cylinder-like screw is screwed into an opening on the inside of a table. It basically "locks" into the screw that is facing down from the top. Kind of like this: I'm trying to get them out, ...
3
votes
3answers
113 views

Biscuit, dowel or simple braces for making unit top with inset lid and slim sides?

I've had 5 pieces of iroko machined for creating a top to my DIY TV lift, complete with a lid for the TV to pop up through: The dimensions are based on the pre-existing cabinet, and the lid size ...
3
votes
1answer
207 views

Stuck building craftsman style coffee table

I'm attempting to build (and learn at the same time) a craftsman / arts and crafts style coffee table. It's a smaller project to learn on, before I start taking on more complex projects. I've made ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Can you put a matte polyurethane over a semi-gloss polyurethane to make it a matte finish?

I have a piece of furniture that my mom has painted and she put on a semi-gloss polyurethane finish. It is way too shiny for the type of painting. Can we put a matte polyurethane finish over the ...
3
votes
2answers
611 views

What type of wood should I use to resurface my table?

A club at uni has this great big old table. (about 1220mm by 2420mm). The club in question is the gaming club, so pen and paper RPGs, card games, boardgames, warhammer. fairly rarely models are ...
3
votes
1answer
993 views

How do I refinish a tabletop?

I have an old Ethan Allen dining room table with a couple leaves. It has a pretty dark finish with a thick coat of varnish on top. It's also got various scratches, water stains, etc. What is the ...
3
votes
1answer
288 views

What is an appropriate cut radius for a semi-circle bench for a 36" round table?

I'm designing a dining room space, a 36" round pedestal table is ideal for this space, but I'd like to add a semi-circular bench on one side (like a booth at a bistro). I'm wondering what the ideal ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

Can I use two 2x4's to replace 4x4 posts in a loft bed?

I'm building a loft bed for a queen size bed. I planned to build a platform and support it with 4x4s, but I'm having trouble finding untreated 4x4s. I plan to loft the bed 5' or so. The platform will ...
3
votes
1answer
141 views

How do I fix a stick spot on furniture made by a rubber ball?

A large rubber ball for exercise rested against our cherry cabinet for some months. When removed we found an eight inch circle where the furniture finish had become sticky. We hoped it would return ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a good wood to use to build a base for a heavy antique table top?

So my gf has a really sweet antique baker's table top. It has what I believe is a porcelain but may be ceramic finish. I've never tried lifting it (it was here before I was) but she tells me it ...
2
votes
1answer
334 views

How can I cover the unfinished edge of particle board?

I am new to this forum so please excuse if this is off topic. I am having trouble figuring out how to fix my entertainment center / TV stand. I recently bought it from Amazon and assembled it at home. ...
2
votes
1answer
171 views

What kind of joints are best used for a loft bed?

I'm specifically referring to the design seen here. It's quite hard to view how the corners are joined together. I found a couple of other designs that are similar, it kind of looks like a butt ...