Furniture Making Videos

Make a Wooden Dog Bed

Sometimes things that seem simple, turn out to be more of a challenge that we expected, and such was the case with Dash's new bed. Dash is  an 8 week old beagle puppy who is growing up in an urban environment and his owners are doing their utmost to provide him with all the things a puppy needs to have and learn as they grow, and one important item is a bed, a place that a dog knows is secure. A place they can go and retreat to.

I checked out sizing for Beagles and settled on a size that looked suitable. I checked the internet for designs and was completely awestruck by the numbers and varieties of dog beds. Check it out for a moment, it's crazy. What I did not see was a design that I had in my head ... many similar but nothing the same, so this would be another "scratch build". It needed to have an upper frame to hold a cushion or some sort of bedding, and I wanted the whole bed to be off the floor to make it easier to clean around. It also needed to sturdy enough for an adult to sand on because I just know, someone ... somewhere well end up using it as step to get something out of reach, or change a light bulb, so it needs to be sturdy, strong and safe.

I started off making the base which is not unlike what you would have in your kitchen with a toe kick under the cabinets. The purpose of this was, to help make cleaning easier, but also to give the bed at least some elements of design without going overboard. I also wanted to have a place where the dog could enter and leave, like a doorway, but it would need to have rounded corners to help discourage any gnawing the puppies often do, and to make it a bit safer with no sharp upper corners.

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Make a Peekaboo Shelf Unit

peekaboo shelf unitShelving units are very popular, and for good reason, they are a great place to display special items that we have and in so doing they also add a lot to the decor of a room. Many shelving units have backs that make them appear stronger, and perhaps some are, but in most cases they are only holding smaller items so strength is not always needed.

In this build we are build something called a peekaboo shelf unit, probably so named because it is "backless".  A very nice design that makes it appear a bit lighter and some even say "airey". What I particularly liked about this shelving unit is the cleat system that not only has a solid locking mechanism to keep it hanging firmly on the wall, the unit is easy to take down and the clean helps to add to the strength of the shelving unit.


For this unit I used standard 3/4" wide wood for everything except the partition between the drawers. I felt that 1/2 inch wide spacers looked better and fit the project a bit better.

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How to Make an Antique Style Ice Box

I'm not sure why it happens, but sometimes I get involved in building something that turns out to be one my favorite builds ever ... this is one of those projects.
Not long ago I made a video on some of the elements that go into "distressing wood" in an effort to make wood look old and well used. In this article we take that information and apply it to the making of an antique style Ice Box, something that would have been built and used between the 1880s and 1920s. This piece of furniture was crudely made, probably by people with few tools and little knowledge of woodworking. There are very few of these pieces around anymore, most have long since been scraped so in order to have something like this means recreating it.

I don't know why this piece of furniture caught my eye, something about it was appealing. I love old and antique furniture and this little ice box seemed like a nice piece to replicate. Anyone looking very closely at it would not be fooled, and certainly any furniture expert would not be deceived by the replication of a piece of furniture like this but in a room full of furniture, this piece stands out by giving the illusion that it has been around for many decades and could likely have been rescued from an old barn or disused cottage in many parts of the world.

Because this piece was to appear old I worked hard at finding rough cut lumber that had nasty knots, cracks saw marks, chips and gouges in it because this would all add to the finished affect.

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Making Distressed Wood for an Antique Look

distressing wood for antique lookI don't know who coined the phrase "what's old is new and what's new is old" but it certainly fits well in the entire furniture making industry. There are many companies that work hard making new furniture look old. It's not that they are trying to fool anyone, they are filling a market need. There is lots of old furniture around in various states of condition but sometimes it's quicker and easier to replicate the furniture than it is to go out an find it, then to carefully restore it specific condition.

The elements that go in to making new wood look old are as varied as you can imagine and basically there is no right or wrong way of doing it, you just do what ever works. All that really counts in the end is how the finished piece looks and if it lives up to your expectations.

Of course the first thing to choose is the type of wood you want to use and if you want to stay true to replicating a specific piece of furniture you would want to use the same wood, but, as I said, there are no rules, if you want to use a different kind of wood, you need to experiment with how the finished wood will look and this means working with different finishes, like dyes, stains and top coats ...

Read more: Making Distressed Wood for an Antique Look