Mar
04
2015
The Design Confidential Getting Started How to Choose the Right Type of Wood for Your Projects via @thedesconf

The single most frequently asked question that I get from you guys is all about the wood. Which is best for the project you plan to tackle? How do you know what to buy at the lumber supply store, when my plans only mention the size? For me, there are 3 things I take into consider when choosing wood for a project. You will need to weigh all 3 of these things and make choices along the way for your particular purposes so don't be surprised if you feel like the info below gets a bit circular at times. It does, this is a bit of a circular process, so just keep on keeping on and know that once you work your way through these tidbits you will go through this decision making process without hesitation. Choosing your wood will soon be as second nature, as it seems for me, which is probably why it has taken me 3 days to figure out how to explain this to another human... It's funny how the process of thinking about something can begin to feel more like you hardly give it a thought. Hopefully you can make sense of all the crazy that floats around in this head of mine.

Before I load you with info, just know that there really isn't an exacting answer to this question and that while choosing the best products for your projects is a great starting point, it is almost never the make or break of those projects. A great many things determine the longevity of your project, but I can promise you that if you have children, how they use and abuse your projects will weigh far greater on how long that something lasts than anything else. I know the process of choosing lumber and wood for building can feel very overwhelming when you are presented with meellions of options. But truly, there isn't one absolute and correct answer to this, so have no fear of making some sort of fatal mistake here, it's nearly impossible to do so.

DEFINITIONS // How I will refer to the various wood products below

- Sheet Goods // Plywood, MDF, Melamine, Particle Board

- Lumber // 2x's + 4x's - 2x2's, 2x3's, 2x4's, 4x4's - often stud grade dimensional lumber

- Boards // 1x's - 1x2's, 1x3's, 1x4's all the way up to 1x12's - also technically dimensional lumber, but it's helpful to separate them in this way

WOOD SPECIES // I will get into the complexity of these next time, but this generalized guide will help for now

- Soft Wood // Generally any cone producing tree - Pine, Fir, Spruce, Redwood, Cedar

     - Typically less expensive

     - Easier to build with

     - Often of lesser quality in your big box stores

     - Generally what you will find for stud grade lumber (all 2x's and 4x's) at big box stores

     - Requires more work to finish - difficult to stain with

- Hard Wood // Generally any leaf producing tree - Poplar, Oak, Maple, Birch, Walnut, Mahogany

     - Typically more expensive

     - More durable

     - Slightly harder to build with

     - Often of greater quality in your big box stores

     - Easier to finish - requiring less work - better for stained finishes

     - Generally found as boards (1x's) and plywood in your big box stores

Now that we have those things out of the way, let's dive right in for the remaining decision making ingredients - there are three.

The first of these is the project type and while all three factors are important, this one will dictate your options and limitations for the remaining two.

PROJECT TYPE // There are 3 different project types you will find plans for, here on The Design Confidential and these will directly affect your available choices for finish and cost.

- Sheet Goods Only // Projects built entirely of sheet goods

     - Interior and hidden pieces can be lesser quality - purchase partial sheets for these pieces when possible

     - Quality of visible and exterior pieces should be determined by your desired finish.

          - Stain - Avoid pine but otherwise simply choose a grain pattern you like that is of a slightly higher grade

          - Paint - For smoothest finish choose MDF or a light grain species like birch. For rustic painted finish choose moderate quality, grain pattern of preference

          - Washable - Melamine which is typically white is often used for cabinet interiors and children's furniture

- Dimensional Lumber // Projects built entirely of lumber and / or boards

    - Lumber + Board Combo - Projects that require 2x's and 1x's, maybe even 4x's.

          - If choosing the best boards for your budget and not all are pine, paint or go with a natural or wax finish to avoid mismatched stain absorption.

- Lumber Only - likely limited to soft wood studs if you are shopping a big box store

          - beginners should avoid the pine and stain combo. Despite what DIY blogger pictures might make you think, pine can be a nightmare to stain evenly or even well.

 - Boards Only - Choose according to budget and / or desired finish.

          - Buying the best boards for your budget will save you time on the back end for sanding and finishing.

          - Hard wood boards will be easier to stain

- Mixed Bag // Projects built with sheet goods and lumber or boards (or both)

          - It is possible to match wood type all the way through if desired, but likely limited to pine or fir if lumber is required.

The Design Confidential Getting Started How to Choose the Right Type of Wood for Your Projects via @thedesconf

// Aside from your project type and the materials required by that, you will ultimately arrive at your perfect product choice based on one of two remaining things: budget or finish. Deciding on one of these as being more important will dictate your options for the other so these two factors remain intertwined throughout, just as the project type does.

- If you decide to purchase product that suits your budget, then that will likely dictate how you can best finish your piece.

- Conversely, if you have a particular finish in mind, then you should choose the products that will best help you arrive at your desired finish.

Easy peasy, friends. The project type is determined by... well, the project, so that is done for you to a certain extent. Now you need to simply decide which to favor - price or finish - or a lovely compromise between both and call it a day.

BUDGET //

- Limited Budget // Soft woods like Pine and Fir are going to be the least expensive

     - Purchasing furring strips or standard 8 foot boards will often be cheaper than 6 foot boards

     - Quality can be substandard and will require greater effort on the back end, but will offer a great savings in cost

             - Will likely dictate a painted finish for a beginner as pine is frequently difficult to stain evenly or even well

    - Since Pine can be found in sheet goods, lumber, and boards it is possible to match your wood type all the way through

          - While this may appear to provide a decent situation for stain - proceed with caution there and consider paint or a natural waxed finish instead

- Moderate Budget // Looking to build a standout piece, buy the best boards you can afford - at the big box stores this is most likely a hard wood type like poplar or oak.

     - If you are working on a dimensional lumber project type with both lumber and boards needed, this will likely result in a piece with mixed wood types since big box stores don't tend to carry quality lumber like they do for boards.

            - Mixing wood types likely dictates a painted finish, but that finish will be easier to achieve on the good stuff.

     - For prominent boards, choosing a slightly more expensive board will make building easier and will save you considerable time on the back end.

          - This might include select boards or hard wood boards such as poplar or oak. 

          - These will be straighter and have less defect making joints easier to accomplish and your overall build better looking without hours of sanding

- Decent Budget // Quality boards and specialty wood types

     - At a big box store this is not entirely possible if you require sheet goods, lumber and boards, at least not without a bit of effort, sooooo...

            - If lumber is the odd man out, consider purchasing boards to face glue together to get you to the required lumber size in a wood type you prefer (2 - 1x4's equal a 2x4)

     - If you want a stained finish, consider venturing into the world of veneer

     - Consider purchasing larger timber such as 4x4's or 4x6's in something other than pine (cedar or redwood perhaps), then cut them down on a table saw to create your 2x4's

     - If you just can't match lumber and board wood types given availability, then paint or a natural waxed finish may be your friend here

     - Consider heading to your local lumber supplier to get matching products for lumber, sheet goods, and boards

            - Stain or paint as you see fit. Lighter grain pattern equals a smoother finish for paint.

FINISH //

- Painted Finish // The good news here is that if you want a painted finish you can purchase virtually any wood type necessary and no one will know the better, but if you are looking for a smooth modern finish the tips below should help.

     - Smooth Modern Finish //

           - MDF or lightly grained plywood - spackle or edge band the exposed edges

          - Hard wood boards require less effort on the back end

- Stained Finish // This will limit your options I'm afraid and may result in the need for more expensive materials

     - Best to match wood type all the way through - at a big box store you are either limited to pine or must get creative with the use of boards for creating the lumber sizes needed

     - Hard woods are generally easier to stain with good result.

     - Use edge banding (a type of veneer) on exposed edges for sheet goods

That my friends is just about all she wrote. When you are getting ready to build you will run through the project, determine the type, then choose the specific wood type and products that are possible or preferable for your specific purposes.

Feb
27
2015
The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf

Oh adorable little (not that little) director's chair, I have my eye on you for some bonafide fabulous outdoor seating. Perfect for indoor use or the great outdoors if you use an appropriate specie of wood; I love that this plan can be made to suit your own personal decor. 

Showcase: Built From These PlansI am so honored each and every time one of you fine friends builds from these very plans! If you have built this piece, please take a moment and showcase your build! We are dying to see your fabulous hard work!

Estimated Cost
$25-$50
Dimensions
Dimensions for The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf
Tools
Lumber
  • 3 – 2x2 at 8’
  • 2 – 1x2 at 8’
Materials
  • 1-1/4” Pocket Screws
  • 1-1/4” Wood Screws
  • Safety Gear
  •  Wood Filler
  • Wood Glue
  • Sanding Supplies
  • Finishing Supplies
  • Canvas or other durable cloth material at 11” x 39” – Fabric Backrest
  • Canvas or other durable cloth material at 19” x 34-1/2” – Fabric Seat
  • Thread, iron-on fabric adhesive, or fabric glue
  • Staples
Cut List
  • 2 – 2x2 at 22-1/2” - Fronts
  • 2 – 2x2 at 34-1/2” –Backs
  • 2 – 2x2 at 18-1/2” –Arm Rests
  • 2 – 2x2 at 17” – Outer Seat
  • 2 – 2x2 at 17” – Bottoms
  • 2 – 1x2 at 17” – Inner Seat
  • 4 – 1x2 at 26-11/16” – Cross Supports
Instructions

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Note: *If you plan to paint or stain the wood pieces, please do so before attaching the fabric.

Step 1
Backrest for The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf

Cut the pieces for the Backs. Next, cut the Fabric Backrest.

Step 2
Backrest for The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf

Turn under long edges of the Backrest 1/2”, iron, and then turn them under another 1/2” and iron again. There will be no need to do this to the short edges of the Backrest, since they will not be visible.

To secure the edges of the fabric, you can use iron-on adhesive, fabric glue, or sew the edges.

Step 3
Backrest for The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf

Place the Backs on the Fabric Backrest as shown and secure into place with staples. “Roll” the fabric onto each Back. To do this, you can roll the Backs toward the center of the fabric so that a total of 9” of fabric is rolled onto each Back. For extra strength, you can staple the fabric-covered Backs, or use decorative upholstery nails.

Step 4
Backrest for The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf

You should be left with approximately 21” of fabric between the two Backs after “rolling.” When assembled, the Backs will be 20” from each other, with 1” of “slack” in the Fabric Backrest.

Step 5
Chair Sides for The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf

Cut the pieces for the Fronts, Arm Rests, Outer Seat Pieces, and Bottoms. With the Kreg jig set for 1-1/2” material, drill pocket holes in the top ends of the Fronts, the back ends of the Arm Rests, and both ends of the Outer Seat Pieces and Bottoms. Assemble as shown with glue and 2-1/2” pocket screws. You may want to set up some type of support on the sides of the Chair since it may be floppy until the Cross Supports are assembled.

Step 6
Chair Sides for The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf

Next, cut the piece for the Fabric Seat. 

Step 7
Seat for The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf

Turn under long edges of the Seat 1/2”, iron, and then turn them under another 1/2” and iron again. There will be no need to do this to the short edges of the Seat, since they will not be visible.

To secure the edges of the fabric, you can use iron-on adhesive, fabric glue, or sew the edges.

Step 8
Seat for The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf
Cross Supports for The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf

Next, cut the pieces for the Inner Seat Pieces and Cross Supports. With the Kreg jig set for 3/4”, drill pocket holes in both ends of the Cross Supports. Refer to graphics to see which direction your pocket holes should face. Don’t attach anything just yet!

Step 9
Seat for The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf

Place the Inner Seat Pieces on the Fabric Seat as shown and secure into place with staples. “Roll” the fabric onto each Inner Seat piece. To do this, you can roll the Inner Seat Pieces toward the center of the fabric so that a total of 6-3/4” of fabric is rolled onto each Inner Seat Piece. For extra strength, you can staple the fabric-covered Inner Seat Pieces, or use decorative upholstery nails.

Step 10
Seat for The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf

You should be left with approximately 21” of fabric between the two Inner Seat Pieces, with 1” of “slack” in the Fabric Seat.

Step 11

Attach the Inner Seat Pieces to the Outer Seat Pieces as shown with 1-1/4” wood screws. 

Inner Seat Pieces for The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf
Step 12
Cross Supports for The Design Confidential Free DIY Furniture Plans How to Build an Indoor Outdoor Director's Chair via @thedesconf

Next, attach the Cross Supports as shown with 1-1/4” pocket screws. You may have to play a little with the exact position of the Cross Supports (use the graphic as a starting point). Use 1-1/4” wood screws at the point where the Cross Supports cross one another.

Finishing Instructions

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

Disclaimer

// Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you ONLY use 1 image and provide an ADEQUATE link back to the original source and appropriate plan! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential. By accessing or using any part of the web site, you agree to become bound by the terms and conditions of this website as outlined under Terms of Use. If you do not agree to all the terms and conditions of this agreement, then you may not access the Website or use any services. The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by The Design Confidential.com and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, personal injury or death, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of information or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website. I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it. The Design Confidential.com is inspired by but does not replicate exact designs, any similarities between these plans and items sold at specialty retailers is coincidential and not endorsed by or related to any said retailers. // Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Feb
25
2015
The Design Confidential Boys Plus Bathrooms Equal Trash Basket Baggu Solution

Boys plus bathrooms equal trash basket Baggu - trust me on this one. You see, I am a mama to two boys, which some of you may already know... and as the only female in the house, it has been an eye opening experience to see first hand what goes on in the mind of a boy. My oldest babe is now 7, and we are well past many of those lovely first stages of life learning every kiddo goes through - like potty training. At least with him, we are. When we were deep in the trenches of ridding our world of diapers, everyone had plenty of advice to spare. Which was welcome, to be sure, especially as a first time mom and as a mom of a boy which of course I have nothing in common with where it concerns bodily functions - if you know what I mean. Stand up, sit down, so many things to consider... eek. Everyone has a different method that worked for them and sorting through it all to find the gems was a bit overwhelming at times. Somehow we managed to survive the experience, picking and choosing the pieces of advice that seemed most likely to work for us (and him). What I found, once I was on the other side of that stage, is that there is a whole host of 'things' that little boys do and that no one seems to have mentioned anything about. Perhaps it is because they simply suffered through these 'things'... or perhaps their children are angelic and never dared to find the sort of adventure and fun in the bathroom that I will dare to speak about today... I couldn't say.

Baggu Bag / Sailor Stripe

The Design Confidential Boys Plus Bathrooms Equal Trash Basket Baggu Solution

All I know for certain is that when you find yourself wondering why the bathroom smells weird even after you clean, you might think twice about where you place your trash basket... just sayin'. After flipping my lid over this recurring issue in our house, I finally took drastic measures and took the trash basket out of the bathroom altogether. Until of course I realized that it's really me who uses that sucker and that it is utterly inconvenient not to have one in there. That is right about the time my creative tendencies kicked in and I decided to put a trash bag hanging from the inside door handle. Problem Solved! Except then it wasn't pretty when guests would come over. I suppose a little ugly is definitely better than smelly, but I always prefer to have my cake and eat it too, don't you? And then it occurred to me that my Baggu totes are super cute, completely affordable, and very, very washable! Light bulb moment... Any washable tote of this variety will work, I just happened to have these cute guys already.

So for those of you who have boys that are young, this simple little solution is for you, and you're welcome. You will save yourself a lot of hassle and even more frustration if you nip this problem in the bud, before it even begins! Of course if your door is too far away from the toilet, perhaps place a cute hook that hangs well out of ... range?! Not sure how to politely phrase that one, but I hope you know what I mean.

Baggu Bag / Llama Black + White (Dog Pattern is Similar)

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