Classing up my Living Room

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About This Project

This was my very first build! I am very happy with the results and I am so proud to have made such classy yet practical pieces of furniture. My living room has gone from being overrun by children to a comfortable, organized space for all.

I certainly learned alot on my first build. I learned that I hate gel stain, that I will now pledge my undying love to the mighty Kreg Jig, and that building furniture is addictive. I will be making so many more projects, I have at LEAST 5 more pieces planned. I think I will never buy furniture again (except maybe upholstered furniture).

Oak plywood, pine trim
Required Skill Level: 
Estimated Time Investment: 
Day Project (6-9 Hours)
Finish Used: 
Minwax Gel Stain
Estimated Cost: 
$100 per pair


Very nice! I really like those, and may have to bite the bullet and build some for my bedroom. I am so leery of the drawers though. Any tips?
Totally off-topic-my kids and I just checked out the Edible Front Yard book out of our library and love it. LOL.

Drawers aren't terrible. The biggest thing is that you have to get the sizes of the sides to exactly match. A table saw with a cross-cut sled would be ideal, but a stop block on a miter saw can work.

I did it with hand saws, a cheap plane and a tool called a shooting board (which you have to build yourself unless you want to spend too much money). The shooting board and hand plane let you make microscopic but fast adjustments to a board's length.

Joining the drawers is a little trickier. You could just use butt-joints held together with pocket screws, but that isn't very strong. If you were to cut a rabbet in the front and back pieces to hold the sides in place, the joint becomes a lot stronger. If you absolutely must have a power tool to do the work, a router with a rabbeting bit is a good choice. I use a rabbeting plane, which is cheaper and less likely to eat fingers. You can pick up one for under $40 if you look on ebay for a No. 78 rabbeting plane. Stanley still sells this plane new as well, but it will probably be harder to find than a used one.

I totally agree with you .... building furniture is addictive!! I had never built anything before, and now I'm on my 9th project, and I have a mile-long list of all the projects I plan on building!! You did an excellent job on the end table - I love how it turned out. It's very "classy" looking!! Keep on building!

We did have some problems with the drawers and getting them to not have a gap, but, being our first build, I am happy with them. I am not a pro by any stretch, but hope to get better with time. Working with limited tools is a problem, but as we move along, we will get more and more. Practice makes perfect, and as of right now, we are planning lots of practice.

There is some good stuff out there on the Internet and in the library about fitting drawers. The long and short of it is that pros don't get it 100% perfect the first time either, so there are little tricks which you can use to fix the problems. I think I used almost all of them when I built the drawers for my bathroom vanity.

I am in awe of your work. I cannot believe this is your first project! I would love to make this, but I'm a bit nervous - I have not built anything yet, nor do I have the tools!

When i shop at Menards, all the have it 1x2 prime pine, or 2x2 furring strips of very low quality pine with rounded edges. Where did you get your pine trim pieces from? Thanks, and your cabinet looks great!

By the way, what stain did you use? I used the minwax dark walnut, and it left all the grains very light. thanks!

Most of the 2x2 stock sold in stores is going to be pretty low quality. A good source that I'm taking advantage of is 2x12s. They're much more stable wood. I then rip them to the width I want. The real beauty is that one 2x12 can make a lot of projects. Which is good, because I've got a lot of desks to build.

Thanks for the reply. Sorry about my grammer above, I was typing fast and didnt reread the wife said it looked like a 12 year old typed it!

That's a great idea about the 2x12 stock. I still dont know if I can get that around here (in pine), but when I do some oak projects, that will be a good way to go.

Where are you getting the 2x12s at (what store)? Thanks!

You can buy a 2x12 almost anywhere that sells lumber. It's what you have to use for floor joists. Try hunting them down at a proper lumber yard (whatever is close to you) rather than the big box stores. The big box stores sell terrible lumber that's going to warp on you. There are ways to correct it using a hand plane, and I've done plenty of that, but it isn't something you want to do if you're just starting out.

As for oak, it's very expensive to buy as dimensional lumber. It's usually purchased as rough lumber that you need to surface on your own. This link has some good advice on doing it with power tools: I do it with hand tools, which tends to be more labor intensive but a lot cheaper to get started (plus, the more I learn, the less labor it requires).

This is beautiful!!

What color stain did you use? Also, why did you hate gel stain (and are there still advantages to using it)?