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The Brag Blog - Built and Written by You

Welcome to the most awesome blog on earth, one about real people building real furniture! Come get inspired, learn, and be amazed! Special thanks to our readers who post to our brag blog!

posted by Jilljb
Additional Photos
Simple Potting Bench, customized!
About This Project

These potting benches were so fun to make! The plans are well-written and easy to follow. My friend and I had a blast!

From Plan (new): 
Estimated Cost: 
$75
Estimated Time Investment: 
Afternoon Project (3-6 Hours)
Required Skill Level: 
Intermediate
Type of Wood: 
Pressure treated 2X4's and pine 1X's
Finish Used: 
No finish plied as of yet, but probably will use a chalk paint in a bright fun color!
posted by PinnSB
Additional Photos
Extended Nightstands
About This Project

These nightstands span the entire wall of our master bedroom. My husband's side features a mini-fridge, whereas mine has a space for an ottoman that I have yet to buy (or make?). It is a combination of the "Modern Nightstand" and the "Parsons Desk".

Estimated Cost: 
$80
Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Required Skill Level: 
Beginner
Type of Wood: 
Particle board, spruce-pine furring strips
Finish Used: 
Behr ultra white gloss paint and polycrylic
posted by Mgros483
Additional Photos
Fillman platform bed full size
Fillman platform bed full size
About This Project

Modified the plans for a full size mattress, also used 2x6 lumber for the main frame. Installed LED strip lighting around the perimeter for a night light. Also built my own headboard, modified for the full size. I used laminate flooring for the center inlay.

Fun project, about 6 hours to build, total cost around $200 with the lighting.

Estimated Cost: 
200
Estimated Time Investment: 
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Required Skill Level: 
Intermediate
Type of Wood: 
Pine
Finish Used: 
Dark walnut stain brushed on, let soak for 5 minutes then wipe off with a rag.
posted by rojohn
Additional Photos
Double Twin Lift Bed.
Double Twin Lift Bed.
About This Project

My sister asked me to look into building a double loft bed for my two nieces, since the younger was outgrowing her bed and found a plan for one from "The Hand Made Home". http://www.thehandmadehome.net/2011/08/how-to-build-a-loft/
I didn't love how their plan had a rope ladder and no center support in back, so I changed that up. Took around 50 hours work time total, but was a lot of fun and both of my nieces totally loved it, so it was well worth the time and energy! :-)

Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Required Skill Level: 
Intermediate
Type of Wood: 
Pine and MDF
Finish Used: 
4 coats of Minwax Satin Polyutethane
posted by rojohn
Additional Photos
Simple Changing Table
Simple Changing Table
About This Project

Decided build this simple cahnging table for my wife and I. I used the "Simple Changing Table" plan, but used 1/4" Hardboard instead of 3/4" ply or MDF. To keep the 1/4" hardbaord in place I cut a groove in each of the 6 end pieces and glued it in, then I put 2 supports (1x2) under the middle of each shelf. I didn't make the top try insert and made it a little narrower. I notched out the legs to help support the cross beams.

From Plan (new): 
Estimated Cost: 
$90
Estimated Time Investment: 
Afternoon Project (3-6 Hours)
Required Skill Level: 
Beginner
Type of Wood: 
Hickory and Hardboard
Finish Used: 
4 coats of Minwax Satin Polyurethane.
posted by rojohn
Additional Photos
Simple Changing Table
Simple Changing Table
About This Project

Decided build this simple cahnging table for my wife and I. I used the "Simple Changing Table" plan, but used 1/4" Hardboard instead of 3/4" ply or MDF. To keep the 1/4" hardbaord in place I cut a groove in each of the 6 end pieces and glued it in, then I put 2 supports (1x2) under the middle of each shelf. I didn't make the top try insert and made it a little narrower. I notched out the legs to help support the cross beams.

From Plan (new): 
Estimated Cost: 
$90
Estimated Time Investment: 
Afternoon Project (3-6 Hours)
Required Skill Level: 
Beginner
Type of Wood: 
Hickory and Hardboard
Finish Used: 
4 coats of Minwax Satin Polyurethane.
posted by TLinskey
Additional Photos
Outdoor Moderrn Sectional
Outdoor Moderrn Sectional
Outdoor Moderrn Sectional
About This Project

This was a simple project with lots of steps. One recommendation is to prime and paint/stain prior to assembling. The cushions posed a challenge due to the cost of purchasing but I buckled down and learned how to sew!! If anyone has any questions please feel free to message me and I will try to help the best I can. Thank you, Tammy

Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Required Skill Level: 
Beginner
Type of Wood: 
Cedar
Finish Used: 
Behr Exterior Chocolate Co-Co
posted by pattyitaly
Additional Photos
adirondack chair of Ana
adirondack chair of Ana
About This Project

Hi
I am still working on my portico furnitures..but as we have changed the colour of our Home, I have decided to change the colour of sofa ( terrible decision) and than to build the adirondack chair for Home depot of Ana to be part of the ensemble.
Thanks Ana. I love it.
I used the same project just changing two small things ( a small support under the arms and making the arms more similar to the original adirondack chair. I used the oxydizing solution to paint and it is a great stuff!
ciao patty
p.s. I already posted the sofa is always Ana's project.

Estimated Time Investment: 
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Required Skill Level: 
Starter Project
Type of Wood: 
pinewood
Finish Used: 
oxydizing solution
posted by ted1735
Additional Photos
Corona Coffee Table From Cedar Posts Hand Turned
Corona Coffee Table From Cedar Posts Hand Turned
Corona Coffee Table From Cedar Posts Hand Turned
Corona Coffee Table From Cedar Posts Hand Turned
Corona Coffee Table From Cedar Posts Hand Turned
About This Project

-This is a gorgeous table and I am very happy with how it turned out. I could not possible pay for the turned legs at $40 each! Even if I did, it would be worth it, as this is a piece of furniture that will last several life-times.
-I used very rough 2x6s for the project, so I had to do a lot of work to get them square and smooth
-I did not purchase the legs, I purchased a 8ft piece of the best cedar Home Depot had, which actual dimensions are only 3.5x3.5, so the legs are not quite as chunky as I would have liked.
-I turned the 18" legs on a brand new mini-lathe I purchased from Harbor Freight, $150 after coupon. For the price of the legs, I chose to buy the machine and make them myself!
-I also used 1x4s for the lower shelf rather than a sheet of plywood, I felt the smooth bottom did not match the planked top. (The bottom is not done yet)
-The assemble was very straight forward and easy
-This is the first project I made it a point to stain completely PRIOR to assembly! It turned out so much better, I also glued and screwed all joints with my Kreg Jig.

It's quite a massive heavy table that will last generations, my children dance, climb, sit etc all over it and its been in use about a month now. Two coats of the poly have held up very nicely so far, and the matte finish does NOT show dirt or fingerprints, where a glossy finish would!

From Plan (new): 
Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Required Skill Level: 
Intermediate
Type of Wood: 
Cedar and Structural Pine (2x6)
Finish Used: 
***Varathane Wood Stain Dark Walnut - This stuff is amazing! ***Minwax pre-stain conditioner. ***Rust-Oleum ULTIMATE POLYURETHANE WITH SOFT TOUCH -Very strong word of caution, as a previous builder mentioned this can get very dark quick, that's ok if that's the look you are after. I actually did that and then resanded and hand planed back to nearly plane pine and re-sanded and re-stained. -Step sand from 120, 180, 220, 320 (optional). Sand entire surface evenly with each grit sandpaper, this will leave a baby's butt smooth surface! This also closes the pores in the wood so they don't soak up as much stain! -I usually don't use the pre-conditioner but since this was my second attempt I did not want too much color, I like the natural wood grain to show through. And beside dark is not what Shant2Chic had going anyway. -Dont let it sit more than 5 minutes! I have found this stain nearly applies best like a rubbing compound, like waxing a car, in a circular motion at first and then with the grain as it dries. -The polyurethane dries VERY quickly also and be sure to go in the direction of the grain
posted by Cubdriver
Additional Photos
Reclaimed Wood Outdoor Storage Shed
Reclaimed Wood Outdoor Storage Shed
Reclaimed Wood Outdoor Storage Shed
About This Project

Most of the “Lessons Learned” and “Building Tips” are in the last paragraph

I used to hate woodworking. I majored in engineering in college and my job as a pilot requires me to be a perfectionist, and I could never build anything "right," which frustrated me. Recently, my wife and I found a house that we really liked, but it had not been updated since it was built in 1978, so….it was going to need some work. We bought the house in December 2103 and have been slowly remodeling it. This was our first house that was not new. I realized at some point in this journey that there is absolutely no reason why I could not do much of this myself. I “allowed” myself to mess things knowing that I could mess them up quite a few times vice the cost of hiring a professional. So my DIY journey began. I started by actually getting some of the right tools - aka a Miter Saw (I bought a Hitachi dual bevel compound miter saw off of Craig's list for $100) and suddenly realized that accurate cuts were easy to make using the miter saw vice my circular saw (sans a saw guide – I did not know about that concept until recently). I have watched hundreds of youtube videos and read numerous books over the past few months, gained a ton of knowledge and am actually becoming quite proficient, even to my perfectionist eyes, at fixing things around the house – i.e. patching drywall, refinishing doors, building raised garden beds, etc.

Well all of this remodeling has taken up a significant portion of our garage, the homemade paint tent walls are one of the major culprits….so, we needed some more space. I would love to build a detached workshop, but do not have the budget and may not have the space for it. So we looked at sheds at the big box stores and they looked horrible and there was no way that was going to be an option. Then I looked at the garage again, and my wife and I were almost on the verge of buying one, accepting its ugliness for 2 years and then trying to sell it on the internet since we needed some more space and wanted to get our garden tools on the same side of the fence as our raised garden beds A couple of weeks prior this though, I had found Ana’s site and liked some of the furniture she had on it, but had regulated it to the “later” pile since we already had a ton of furniture and I was more worried about closet shelves then a new bookcase. Fortunately, I had the foresight to send it to my wife and told her to view it, because it looked cool. Well, while she was killing some time on a hold one day, she stumbled upon the outdoor shed design and sent it to me on a Wednesday night. We talked about it and even though we had “other” remodeling plans that weekend, I dropped everything a decided to build it.

Cedar fence pickets are virtually impossible to find in Florida. Finding Cedar 2x6s and 4x4s for our raised garden was difficult and the fence pickets proved to be impossible in 2 days. The big box stores (Orange and Blue) do not sell them in Fl, but Cypress seems to be the wood of choice (for natural rot resistance, etc). New Cypress fence pickets are difficult to find (I actually did not find any), but reclaimed ones are easy. So off to the fencing store I went on my way home from work the next day. I bought 7 panels of reclaimed fencing for $35 and took them home. Once I looked at them, I started to wonder if I had lost my mind, because they were going to require a ton of work and sorting to make them usable. I felt pot committed though, since I had them and no real idea what to do with them if I did not use them. Thus, I began to strip the pickets off. I sorted through them - long ones for the front and back vice short ones for the sides – and began sizing them. It turned out to take forever to utilize the reclaimed wood – since I had to strip them off the fence panels, sort them, remove the staples and nails, cut them, and finally pressure wash them before I could use them. I finally Pac Man-ed my way through it though. When I build my next shed, I am just going to use treated pine or find new cypress pickets. I literally spent 6-9 hours of time getting the fence pickets ready for use, and have a ton of junk ones leftover (that were cracked, split, rotted, etc) that I need to get rid of and have no idea how.

From there, the build was pretty simple, I ended up using treated pine pickets for the back (since I did not have enough good cypress) and was not willing to drive across town to get 150 more pickets (about 1 in 10 were good enough to use for the door) that I would have spend hours sorting and eventually have to get rid of. I was very hesitant to make all the cuts at once, because I did not trust myself and the plan, but that was never an issue. Overall, I felt the framing was pretty simple. The roof turned out to be a bit of bear to do by myself. I managed to wrangle the plywood on top without help, but the pitch was such that it would not stay up by itself. So if you find yourself doing it by yourself, a hammer will make a decent makeshift stopgap (see picture). I could not have gotten the roof on alone without the use of a friend of mine’s cordless framing nailer, however, the true moral of this story is – GET HELP WHEN YOU ARE ATTACHING THE PLYWOOD TO THE ROOF. Help would have saved me about an hour, but my wife was working and I was alone and unafraid. From there, the roof was pretty easy. I put drip edge all the way around. I put it under the shingles on the front and the sides and over the shingles in the back based on the research that did. Two great youtube videos to help are the “Lowes” one on how to shingle a shed and the “Ask This Old House” one on roofing. I used 3 pieces of 10’ drip edge (actually 4, because I messed one up) and 2 packs of shingles. From there, the doors were easy but tedious and I was done. We mounted ours on top of ¾ in piece of severe weather plywood (aka treated pine) since it was going to be on top of dirt and not concrete. That required some finessing on the doors with the jigsaw since the plywood was not exactly flat. Also, when doing the roof, I was specifically told not to use severe weather plywood. None of the roofing nails were galvanized that I could find so I used just a normal piece of plywood, just like they use on the roof of your house, and it worked great. If you use non-galvanized nails with treated pine, them chemicals will cause the nails to rot. Lastly I used silicone caulk around the aft drip edge to ensure that it did not leak. I used the same latch that Lady Goats and Ana recommended, however, my doors remain open approximately 2-3 inches, despite the fact that the latch is so tight it is difficult to open. I am going to replace the latch with two swing down levers from the top piece of trim when I get back in town. I will post pictures if I remember. I had planned to wait and post this until I stained it, however, that has been delayed by multiple trips out of town over the past two weekends due to work and I was afraid if I did not post I would forget some of the salient points that I learned.

Good luck and Cheers,
Cubdriver

Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Required Skill Level: 
Intermediate
Type of Wood: 
Reclaimed Cypress and White Pine

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