Furniture builds

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I thought I would start off with mine but also encourage everyone to share theirs.  Share tips, techniques and what worked and didn’t work.  Upholstery tips would be most welcome as well.

All my furniture up to this point has been made with what I call scrap wood.  Most of it coming from pallets because that is what is available to me at no cost. I did get some different wood from a crate some imported cheese came in :cheezy:

Recently my brother in law gave me some leftover trim pieces made from oak.  They measure about 4” by 15” and about 3/4 inch thick.  My plan is to do my take on a mission style farmhouse table. 

 

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One of the best upholstery tutorials I've seen is here:  http://1inchminisbykris.blogspot.com/search/label/Make%20and%20upholster%20a%201%20inch%20scale%20chair  Maybe even try making that specific chair, as a practice run, to get comfortable with the techniques.  Wrapping the fabric around card stock to get neat, clean edges and smooth surfaces works very well.

Things I've learned when doing upholstery:

Fabric is key.  You don't want too thick a fabric.  For example, you're not going to want to do a heavy tweed fabric in miniature.  It's never going to wrap cleanly.  Try to find something with a similar look in a cotton fabric.  Those fibers are going to look thicker in miniature anyway.  :)  I am, of course, a huge fan of using men's ties (particularly the silk ones) to get fabric that has a good pattern and is easy to work with.

Keep a damp wash cloth in a dish at all times.  You really need to keep your fingers clean of glue.

Glue stick.  I smear it on the back of fabric before placing it in its intended place.  It doesn't hurt anything, and it keeps the fabric in place as I'm wrapping it.  Otherwise,the fabric tends to move around, and my pattern can get skewed.

I am interested in learning about finishing techniques for wood.  I have a hard time getting the finish I want.  I tend to use basswood strips (from our local hardware store or Blick Art Supply) for building my furniture.

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1 hour ago, Debsrand56 said:

 I am, of course, a huge fan of using men's ties (particularly the silk ones) to get fabric that has a good pattern and is easy to work with.

 

Right on! Lots of great tips but the tie thing is genius. I have quite a few old ties and I almost threw them out 6 months ago, of course I wasn’t into minis then but now I’m psyched. 

I will definitely check out that blog later.  I hear ya about the glue on the fingers getting on the fabric, I had some magic words when I was working on my chair.  

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I am a huge fan of the old polyester neckties because so many of the patterns look like tapestry upholstery patterns.  Thrift stores are my main source for these, after I used up all of the hubs' old ties.

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This is the table I made from the piece of oak in the photo at the beginning of this post. I really liked how it looked with the dark stain.  I am still working on the chairs to go with the table.

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Love the intarsia, what did you use for the blond element?

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Wonderful work! Love the texture on the wood, this is going to look fab in a house :) 

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9 hours ago, havanaholly said:

what did you use for the blond element?

I'm guessing unstained oak.

This design is da bomb! I love the crisp design of the inlay in combo with the slightly curved elements of the base. Can't wait to see the chairs. 

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14 hours ago, havanaholly said:

Love the intarsia, what did you use for the blond element?

Thank you Holly.  The lighter colored wood is sugar pine.  I really love the color variations, it has such a warmth to it in person.  large.89FACFD9-14B2-47E7-AED4-37AD3F91C1

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4 hours ago, KathieB said:

I'm guessing unstained oak.

This design is da bomb! I love the crisp design of the inlay in combo with the slightly curved elements of the base. Can't wait to see the chairs. 

Thank you so much, I’m glad you like my design.  I feel a little pressure with the chairs now. 

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Just now, Keifer said:

Thank you so much, I’m glad you like my design.  I feel a little pressure with the chairs now. 

You'll make great chairs to suit this wonderful Table I am sure!

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12 hours ago, wormwoodz said:

Wonderful work! Love the texture on the wood, this is going to look fab in a house :) 

Thank you.  It was interesting to work with the oak.  I would love to see it in a house setting.  

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3 hours ago, Keifer said:

Thank you.  It was interesting to work with the oak.  I would love to see it in a house setting.  

So would we, especially with coordinating chairs and buffet/ china cabinet.  I guess you'll have to build a full house now.  I love how that piece of sugar pine's grain is in scale; is it quarter sawn?

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Beautiful table Keith. 

As for glue with upholstery, I've had good luck using quilt basting spray glue during some stages of the upholstery process. Aerosol can. Sold in sewing sections of craft stores or quilt shops. Allows you to be able to reposition the fabric. 

A Facebook friend had recently shared a picture of a farm style table she made and then paired the table with handmade upholstered parson chairs in a delicate floral pattern. It was a really nice contrast between the more masculine rustic vibe of the table and the soft chairs. 

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1 hour ago, WyckedWood said:

Beautiful table Keith. 

As for glue with upholstery, I've had good luck using quilt basting spray glue during some stages of the upholstery process. Aerosol can. Sold in sewing sections of craft stores or quilt shops. Allows you to be able to reposition the fabric. 

Thank you.  I had never heard about that spray, so I will have to look into that.  Another good tip!

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4 hours ago, havanaholly said:

 I love how that piece of sugar pine's grain is in scale; is it quarter sawn?

I did hand choose which sections I was going to use from the board I had (benefits of making small furniture) because some sections did have a larger grain.  As far as being quarter sawn...I couldn’t tell ya.  I’ve heard of the term before but not real familiar with it. 

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9 minutes ago, Keifer said:

I did hand choose which sections I was going to use from the board I had (benefits of making small furniture) because some sections did have a larger grain.  As far as being quarter sawn...I couldn’t tell ya.  I’ve heard of the term before but not real familiar with it. 

The illustration shows why the grain seems finer on quarter sawn wood:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarter_sawing

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The first chair to go with the table.  Not sure if this is the final design but close.  I just noticed some design flaws after I took pics that I had not before, funny how our mind works that way. 

 

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I'm a sucker for mixed wood pieces, and the design goes well with the table. I don't see the flaws that you see, but it's a well known phenomenon that the camera picks up details that our eyes miss.

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Ooo, pretty!  Being me, I would have tried to use that lozenge shape on the chair back that's on the table top. One quick question, why does the sugar pine on the chair not seem to match its table top counterpart?  Or is it just the angle the light hits it?

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18 hours ago, KathieB said:

 I don't see the flaws that you see

On my next version I would have the front legs run all the way to the seat.  I think it would flow better and I wouldn’t have the end grain showing underneath the seat. I can’t believe I didn’t notice that from the get go. 

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11 hours ago, Mid-life madness said:

very n ice work,

Thank you!

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