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Building my own bedroom furniture

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lion74

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Hi,

New to the board and a novice when it comes to woodworking, but I have to learn.

I'm looking for some advice on building my own bedroom furniture. I have a double bedroom (not very big) and want to generate as much space as possible.

I want to use the biggest wall in the room as the others have door, window and radiator. The problem I have is one end of the big wall is at the window side, and the distance between the wall and window ledge is not big enough to occupy a clothes hanger. As a result I can't put a wardrobe there.

So looking from right (radiator side) to left I'm looking to maybe build a corner type wardrobe unit, then overbed cabinets and finish with drawers. The drawer unit top would just sit under the window ledge facing.

I'm thinking of using 18mm MDF and woodchip screws for builing units. The construction will be on site, so I thought builing as separate units then attaching together.

In relation to the unit construction, would builing a MDF plinth for the wardrobe unit be a good starting point?

Any advice would be most appreciated, thanks.
 

Benchwayze

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If you are a novice, on a budget and with few tools, then I would recommend finding a supplier of sheet materials who will cut sheets to your own sizes.

Then you can sit down and work out how you are going to fix your pieces together, and what size they are going to be. Work out the best way to cut an 8 x 4 sheet, and draw up a plan for the supplier to cut to. That way all your pieces will fit into your motor, and you won't need a roof rack.

The best way I have found to make cabinets from MDF is to build them around a softwood frame. (For this 'quick-construction, I use a Kreg Pocket-hole jig TBH! But don't tell anyone please! :mrgreen: )

If you are using MDF then essentially you could get away with a 2 x 1 timber frame at the top and bottom. A 6 mm thick back panel screwed to a lighter frame at the back to add rigidity and hold the box square.

That's the basic unit. You could fit 'lay-on' doors to the cabinets, or use face-frames and hang the doors inside the frames. Try to afford some kind of metal drawer slides. The manufacturers of the slides usually state how much room these slides take up, so you can work out the size of drawers needed. You can make acceptable drawers out of 10mm thick plywood, with plenty of sanding the edges clean up reasonably well. But softwood would be better. Plant drawer fronts onto the drawers, is the easiest way I think.

You can decide what kind of tops and doors you want. Obviously if you're buying doors, you will need to size the cabinets to suit. Don't forget to have a 'kicking space' at the bottom, (Set the plinth back about 5 inches.) so your toes have room when you sit or stand at a cabinet that reaches the floor.

If you want face-frames on your cupboard, make those after you assemble the cabinets. If you are finishing with paint, you will need to seal the MDF and maybe the moisture resistant MDF would be best.

Painting the units means you can pin and glue your face-frames on, sinking the nails and filling the holes.

PS..Side-fix metal drawer slides will mean you have to have the opening clear, so face frames are going to be in the way, unless they are just lippings. !

HTH :)
 

Digit

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The construction will be on site, so I thought builing as separate units then attaching together.
Did that! Then remembered that the unit that passes above the bed will have a longer diagonal than left right length so that after passing through the doorway turning was difficult.
I got away with it by turning it inside the window frame where the glass was recessed.
Personally I loathe MDF and am currently building new kitchen units using 18mm ply. Much better structurally and more pleasant to work with and finish.

Roy.
 

Benchwayze

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I am not a great fan of MDF either, (Except for garage shelves on short spans), but kneads-mustard when I was skint! :mrgreen:

I am likely to use waterproof ply for my kitchen cabinets too Roy. :D
 

Digit

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They're bloody heavy though John, I can't build them in the kitchen, I can't build them in the workshop either so I'm building them in the car port.
Large garden, car port one end, workshop 'tother!
I'm walking miles.

Roy.
 

Benchwayze

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Digit":3hwd89py said:
They're bloody heavy though John, I can't build them in the kitchen, I can't build them in the workshop either so I'm building them in the car port.
Large garden, car port one end, workshop 'tother!
I'm walking miles.

Roy.
I thought about the weight Roy.

I reckon with the ply, I could go down a couple of mill, on thickness. Use softwood for strengthening, where necessary. That might help... I have yet to start, so I will keep mulling this over.

Perhaps even make a proper M&T softwood cube-frame. Bearing-rout the rebates, and then panel in with 8mm ply. It might create a problem with drawer-slides, but as I am not a great fan of those, maybe a more trad kicker system would do. (I have to work on a sloping drive. So bad I will knock-up a decking-ramp to give me a level surface to work on!)
:D
 

Digit

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I made myself a pocket hole jig John, bought some sheets of cabinet quality 18mm ply, got 'em cheap, made the base and dividers of the 18mm, softwood face frames and 3 mm ply backs. Thinner ply and frames would lighten them but 18mm and pocket hole screws has produced nice clean lines. And Missus is happy!

Roy.
 

Benchwayze

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Roy,

I got myself a p/h jig for the kitchen job, but it's useful in the workshop re-fit too. I think I will dovetail the drawers mind! I'll press the Keller Jig back into service. Nice, quick and easy, and after all, for a kitchen, a dovetail is a dovetail, however it's cut. Just so long as it's well-cut! I will probably need a service on the router afterwards though! :D
 

Digit

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I chickened out on the drawers and purchased comercial draw kits. The speed I work at the wife wants this job completed sometime during this lifetime!

Roy.
 

Benchwayze

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Digit":1mi4cahj said:
I chickened out on the drawers and purchased comercial draw kits. The speed I work at the wife wants this job completed sometime during this lifetime!

Roy.
Sounds familiar Roy! :oops:
 

Shultzy

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Hi lion74, I had the same problem with the window in the way, so I built a small cupboard underneath to fill the gap (pic 1). The other end in in pic 2. They are face framed veneered chipboard with sliding doors. I made it in the 70's (can't you tell :lol: ). It was the first project I tackled and has no backs and covers the chimney brest.



 

Benchwayze

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Schultzy,

For the cabinets I am using Pocket-hole (Kreg Jig) and the pocket hole screws. I believe I could get away with round head screws with small washers under the heads, but I'd have to buy the washers anyhow, so I might as well use the proper screws. They are square drive screws, and are very positive. No slipping out of the screw. They pull up tight as a drum, and with a spot of glue, I don't think there's any worry. No need for cramps either.
For the drawers I will be dovetailing with a jig. I don't yet know about slides... Have to think about that one!

HTH :)
 

Digit

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The point on my Kreg drill sheared off, so rather than pay £18 pound and have the same happen again, I extended a suitable pilot drill then sharpened the kreg and use conventional counterunk screws.

Roy.
 

Shultzy

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Benchwayze, I have a Kreg Jig too but I thought it might be more expensive in terms of the price of screws. 1000 1 3/4 carcass screws @£7.50 as opposed to 1000 1 1/4 p/h @ £24

Roy, great idea. I never understood why they used those flat heads, I suppose it make it propriety and so cost more.
 
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