Browse the Builder Showcase Articles

Jan
22
2015
The Design Confidential Builders Showcase // Michael's Variation on the Provence Beam Dining Table

I want to thank you for the plans on your site. The Provence beam table was exactly what I was looking for. I made a few modifications that you and your readers might be interested in for variety’s sake. The only good choice for outdoor wood here in Tucson was redwood, and 2x10s were not available, so I used 2x6s and did a mitered picture frame around the 10’ interior 2x6s (I used 12’ 2x6s for the outer pieces) giving a total length of 130”. I added a central post to give a bit more support to the middle of the span, and a better way to secure the table planks. I also built it to be 28” tall. I used biscuit joinery for all the base since I already had a biscuit joiner. I used Watco danish oil (natural) for the finish. The project took a weekend and a few evenings. The table will easily seat ten.

The main drawback to using the biscuit method is the necessity to clamp everything, but anyone who has a biscuit joiner probably already has an assortment of clamps. I ended up using a strap clamp made from two ratcheting tie-down straps ($20 from the local Ace Hardware) to clamp the table top parts. That would be easier with pocket screws.

Mitered Surround for The Design Confidential Builders Showcase // Michael's Variation on the Provence Beam Dining Table
Frame and Base for The Design Confidential Builders Showcase // Michael's Variation on the Provence Beam Dining Table
Profile View of Base for The Design Confidential Builders Showcase // Michael's Variation on the Provence Beam Dining Table
Table Profile for The Design Confidential Builders Showcase // Michael's Variation on the Provence Beam Dining Table
Table View from Top for The Design Confidential Builders Showcase // Michael's Variation on the Provence Beam Dining Table
Jan
15
2015
Free DIY Furniture Plans from The Design Confidential: Reef Outdoor Sofa Loveseat Chair Builders Showcase Justin Vaughn Outdoor Reef Collection Living Space

Alright - time for some pics! We spent a couple weekends on this. We used cedar for the wood and kreg jig for all joints. I only messed up the back rails a little bit by trying to get a cut to fit against the forward-facing edge of the back support instead of anchoring underneath. The cushions came from Lowes (Allen & Roth, $50 for bottom/back after a coupon). After building the sofa, which is HUGE (75" interior width, cushions are 25" ea) my wife asked that I size down the loveseat for her petite frame. I shortened the reclined portion of the seat by 5 or 6" and dropped the height of the arms so that it fit her. I built the single chair to the same specs as the sofa. We primed with SWilliams wood primer (horrible and slow to work with but will pay off) and painted with a green from Lowes since SW wouldn't make the color we wanted in an outdoor finish.

Thanks again for the great plans and guidance along the way. This is my first DIY woodworking project that isn't something to ride bikes on - those are much more forgiving given that they don't need to be aesthetically pleasing and the edges aren't as clean.

Free DIY Furniture Plans from The Design Confidential: Reef Outdoor Sofa Loveseat Chair Builders Showcase Justin Vaughn Outdoor Reef Collection Living Space
Length of Time 

Sofa: 10hrs - setup, learn the ins/outs of the miter saw and kreg jig which I've never used either of before. This also included time to re-proportion the plans for the cushions as well as a trip to lowes. Loveseat: 6 hrs - trip to lowes, reconfigure plans, build Chair: 4 hrs - I could do the sofa this fast now.

Prime/paint/sand/paint/sand... 8ish? with two of us working.

Jan
10
2015
The Design Confidential Builders Showcase // Emerson Bed Spin-Off

The whole bed project started out with the purchase of a new queen size latex mattress from a local company called Cozy Pure. They have a few locations on the east coast and their beds are simply amazing.

With that being said, we needed a bed frame that used slats instead of a box spring like our previous King Koil mattress. Also worth noting, our previous mattress and box spring was around 30" tall so we wanted to stick around the same height.

Lastly, we wanted to make a few subtle changes to the overall look. It was more of a last minute idea that popped in my head to make the build a little more manageable for an amateur woodworker like myself.

As stated above, we wanted the bed to be close to 30" tall like our previous setup. I made some adjustments to the overall height of the headboard and the footboard. I also raised the slat support as well to give additional height to the bed.

From what I can remember off the top of my head:

  • 23 - 1x6 tongue and groove boards (4.98/ea) - $115
  • 2 - untreated 4x4x8 (9.94/ea) - $20
  • 2 - 1x8x8 ($6.64/ea) - $13
  • 2 - 1x6x6 (7.25/ea) - $14.50
  • 15 - 1x3x6 ($4.21/ea) - $63.50
  • 1 - no mortise bed rail - $12.50
  • 2 - 1x6x6 (headboard/footboard tops)($7.25/ea) - $14.50

So I'm right under $300 for this bed. I could have saved even more money had I not used the select pine from HD/Lowes but it's so much nicer to not have to deal with the knots in certain areas. Plus most of the time you have better luck at finding straighter pieces. The major downside is each piece is about twice as much.

Reader Project in Master Bedroom for The Design Confidential Builders Showcase // Emerson Bed Spin-Off
Estimated Cost 

As stated from above, it was around $300 after the paint, primer and materials. I also purchased the kreg jig which added another $100 to the build but that is a tool that I have fallen in love with.

Needless to say, this bed still cost a fraction of what it would have if I purchased it through a retailer.

Length of Time 

Total time was about 2-3 days. The longest part was waiting for the paint and poly to dry. Cutting and setting everything up was straight forward and simple.

Modifications 

The bed height was increased, the headboard/footboard material was changed as well. This was simply for aesthetic reasons.

The clearance between the floor and the bed rail is 10". This will allow for a future build of under bed storage.

I also added a middle slat support under the bed with an additional leg mid-way. This made the bed feel way more rigid and added extra support for the slats. I highly recommend doing this. It's going to help eliminate any sag in the future.

To add the mid-rail support, just buy (2) 2x4 hurricane ties (at least that is what I have called them) from Lowes or Home Depot ($.97/ea) and a untreated 2x4 ($3/ea) and put it in the middle of the bed rails. Make the mid-rail barely touch the slats. To add the mid-rail leg I just simply used some scrape 1x6 I had and did two offset legs screwed into the 2x4. Nothing fancy but works like a dream.

Lumber Used 

This build was all pine. The headboard and footboard is tongue and groove 1x6x8 boards. The posts are untreated 4x4x8 I found from Lowes.

Finishing Technique 

I'll be honest, I'm impatient and finishing is something I need to slow down on as well as become more advanced. We originally thought about doing a stain but quickly changed the idea to paint for simplicity reasons. My fear with the stain was the different types/looks of pine. Some of the wood had knots while some of it did not.

We ended up going with basic latex paint and a poly coat. We really couldn't find anything online that said whether or not latex was ok to use for this type of project. I guess only time will tell.

Word of advice, if you use the tongue and groove boards, don't sand mid-way through painting or putting on poly UNLESS you has sanded all of the boards smooth once assembled. I ran into the issue of sanding down the high spots (on accident) after applying multiple coats of paint and poly. It was bound to happen and it was just something I didn't think about until after I sanded.

I was also using 80 grit on the rough boards, then jumped to 120 grit and finished off with 220. When sanding the poly I used 220 as well but found it kind of worthless in the end. The finished didn't need to be perfect and I ended up saving time by not sanding the last coat of poly. I would assume this would be more important over a stain but over latex paint it's fine.

Oh and I used a water based latex. The bed sees a good amount of sun during the day through double windows and oil-based latex turns yellow over time. So thanks to Google, it was advised to use water-based poly.

Additional Project Details 

Only thing I "dislike" or need to address with the bed is the no mortise bed rails. I really dislike them because they aren't the tightest fit and allow for play (aka the bed can rock a little). I also ended up shimming beside the bed rail hardware (on the inside so you can't see it) and that helps a little. It could be better but it's not a deal breaker.

Jan
03
2015
Free DIY Furniture Plans from The Design Confidential: Rustic Outdoor Table // Builders Showcase // An Outdoor Party Table with Built In Drink Cooler

This gorgeous party picnic table was sent over to me from Spencer and it makes me wish spring was already here! Doesn't this seem like the ultimate party setup with the built-in cooling trough and of course perfect for watching football... It doesn't get any better than this my friends!

Psst... If you have built from our plans here at The Design Confidential, please post a showcase, send me your photos or share pictures on your social channels and be sure to tag @thdesignconfidential on instagram and facebook or @thedesconf on twitter and pinterest and hashtag with #builtTDCtuff I will be featuring some standout builds here on the site and on social as well! If you want to join the group pinterest board and pin directly to the group for the entire world to see, send me an email with PINTEREST as the subject line and I will send you an invite! I will be going back through our existing showcase posts and adding them in a bit at a time! Xx...Rayan

To Read More About This Build, Visit This Blog Post 
Estimated Cost 
Length of Time 
Modifications 
Lumber Used 
Finishing Technique 
Additional Project Details 
Building the Frame Base for Free DIY Furniture Plans from The Design Confidential: Rustic Outdoor Table // Builders Showcase // An Outdoor Party Table with Built In Drink Cooler
Building the Table Top for Free DIY Furniture Plans from The Design Confidential: Rustic Outdoor Table // Builders Showcase // An Outdoor Party Table with Built In Drink Cooler
Attaching the Base to the Top for Free DIY Furniture Plans from The Design Confidential: Rustic Outdoor Table // Builders Showcase // An Outdoor Party Table with Built In Drink Cooler
Finishing the Top for Free DIY Furniture Plans from The Design Confidential: Rustic Outdoor Table // Builders Showcase // An Outdoor Party Table with Built In Drink Cooler
Note
Dec
30
2014
The Design Confidential Builder Showcase // A Mid Century Modern Credenza for Christmas

I hope you are all enjoying the holiday break! I will be checking in here and there for the next week or so, but I am trying my best to slow down a bit and detach the electronics from my hot little hands. Wish me luck...

It has been a while since we have shared a Builder Showcase and I have a long (crazy long, eek) line of projects to share with you all! This beauty was shared with me on Twitter and made me instantly jealous of the gorgeous gift this special gal would get for Christmas! The wood is stunning and the craftsmanship is just phenomenal.

In Dee's words: Just finished my wife's early XMas present! Thanks @thedesconf for the plans! Now to hide those wires...

And I'm sorry but could you just die over the adorable look on that doggie's face. Equal parts curious and perhaps like he is about to get into some crazy trouble.

Thanks for sharing Dee! We are so insanely in love with your build! Xx... Rayan

Note

If you have completed a build from our plans here at The Design Confidential, we would love to see you post a showcase and share on InstagramFacebookPinterest, or Twitter using the hashtag #BuiltTDCTuff and be sure to tag me with @thedesignconfidential or @thedesconf so I am sure to see it! I will do my best to get your crazy good work published for all of our fellow sawdust chasers to enjoy!

Psst... If you are on Pinterest you can now join me on the TDC Builders Showcase pinterest board and post images of your amazing hard work or drool over the work of others. If you are interested in joining the group board, send me an email to rayanturner (at) gmail (dot) com with PINTEREST as the subject line and your email address and username and I will send you an invitation to join me!

Oct
28
2014
The Design Confidential Real Reader Showcase // The Pursuit of Handyness Campaign Dresser

I chose to build a Campaign Style Dresser for the hubs side of the bed. For my side of the bed, you might remember that I built the Parquetry Dresser that can be seen as a Builders Showcase here.

Finished Cut and Sanded Plywood and Boards for The Design Confidential Real Reader Showcase // The Pursuit of Handyness Campaign Dresser
To Read More About This Build, Visit This Blog Post 
Estimated Cost 

$160

Modifications 

I chose to replace the top drawer with an open shelf and modified the dimensions to suit my space.

Finishing Technique 

American Walnut Stain and Polyurethane

Modified Top Drawer to be a Shelf for The Design Confidential Real Reader Showcase // The Pursuit of Handyness Campaign Dresser
Profile View of Finished Campaign Dresser for The Design Confidential Real Reader Showcase // The Pursuit of Handyness Campaign Dresser

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