21 votes
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How can I attach a solid table top to perpendicular cross rails?

You can use screws, but in a slightly different manner. Instead of simply pre-drilling a hole and screwing the screw, you can use a router to create a slot with a countersink or counterbore bit. ...
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  • 2,390
18 votes
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What type of joint should I use for building a piece of furniture that will be assembled and disassembled?

What type of joint is most appropriate for portions of furniture that are likely to be screwed and unscrewed in order to move it around? There's an entire category of knock down hardware that's meant ...
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  • 7,413
18 votes

What type of joint should I use for building a piece of furniture that will be assembled and disassembled?

What type of joint is most appropriate for portions of furniture that are likely to be screwed and unscrewed in order to move it around? There are actually numerous options for this. The best choice(...
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17 votes
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Screws vs. Pocket Holes vs. Traditional Joinery

Good, fast, or cheap. Choose any two. Factory methods like pocket holes, screws, and even finger-joints are good enough for mass market construction without having to hire journeymen carpenters. This ...
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  • 6,194
15 votes

How can I attach a solid table top to perpendicular cross rails?

Tabletops are often attached to the frame and aprons using tabletop fasteners such as these, which allow for some wood movement: (Source) This is what they look like installed: (Source)
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15 votes
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Best sander for rustic wood

What sander should I use for something like this? You need tools that can sand contoured objects. There are a number of options, and given the varied nature of your work you'll probably use more than ...
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  • 7,413
14 votes

How do I ensure my drill is perfectly vertical before cutting a hole in my desk?

I saw a video online, that suggested a simple jig that will allow you to drill straight into a relatively flat surface. Take a piece of stock that is square. From the end of the stock, cut a wedge ...
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14 votes
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Type of wood glue-up used in some Ikea furniture?

This is called a butcher block. It comes in two types - edge grain (like in the Norden tables), where the surface shows the edge (long) grain of the pieces of wood: And end grain, where the surface ...
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  • 3,096
13 votes

How can I attach a solid table top to perpendicular cross rails?

The wood in your top will expand and contract in one direction, while the cross braces will expand and contract perpendicular to that. There are a couple of different products and techniques that ...
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  • 4,382
13 votes

What kind of finish should I use inside dresser drawers?

Major re-write as I missed that you were asking specifically about the drawers themselves. Seems it's pretty much 50/50 on whether people even finish them at all The traditional practice was for ...
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  • 59.2k
13 votes

Attaching Legs to a Table

Pocket hole joinery One of the simplest ideas I could think of to address this would be to flip up the boards vertically and use pocket holes and screws into the legs. Some good examples and picture ...
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  • 20.1k
12 votes
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What are some guidelines to consider when determining the thickness of boards to use?

The Sagulator is a good quick calculator you can use to work out the type and thickness of material for any shelf or tabletop spans. It also factors the type of material into the load-bearing capacity....
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11 votes
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At what stage of basic furniture making should I "finish" the wood?

I recommend you apply any finishing products before final assembly, but after any gluing or other permanent assembly. Surfaces that are going to be glued together don't need (and shouldn't have) ...
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10 votes

How do I ensure my drill is perfectly vertical before cutting a hole in my desk?

A drill guide will help you maintain the required angle, in your case, 90 degrees perpendicular to the desk. These are readily available at your local home improvement or tool store. Drill Guide http:...
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  • 4,796
10 votes

How do I ensure my drill is perfectly vertical before cutting a hole in my desk?

In two words: Pilot hole If you have a drill with the handy leveling bubble, this can be handy. Otherwise line up your drill bit using something akin to a speed square or carpenters square (checking ...
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  • 1,772
10 votes

Choosing wood and finish for outdoor furniture

The main concern for outdoor use is usually exposure to moisture and subsequent rot. Woods that are used outside should either have high decay resistance or be well protected from the elements by ...
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  • 2,396
10 votes
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How can I design a large cherry table with no aprons?

The apron on a four legged table serves a number of functions, and you may not have considered them all. The apron: stiffens the top, helping to keep it flat transfers the load to the legs connects ...
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  • 7,413
10 votes
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What are strong methods to secure a stripped wood screw in hardwood?

I'm working to repair the pictured round wooden table. It has a wood screw that's completely stripped out, in addition the center post has cracked: My suggestion is to use increasingly-larger drill ...
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  • 12.1k
10 votes

How can I create a wood-like pattern in white-painted furniture?

What you want is called a "wood graining tool": The basic idea is to use a darker color stain on top of a lighter color. You rock the tool back and forth to create the knot look of real wood grain. ...
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  • 381
9 votes
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Building A Table - Help With Wood Selection and Joints

First, I would avoid any pressure treated wood around anything having to do with food preparation - the chemicals that go into that wood are often poisonous. Redwood or cedar would be good choices ...
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  • 8,026
9 votes

What is the best way to install full extension drawer slides in a cabinet?

If you can't buy the jig; make it! Take a scrap of wood cut it to length and add a hook, then rip it in half. This means that you can clamp it on the drawer to serve as a spacer for one end of the ...
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9 votes

At what stage of basic furniture making should I "finish" the wood?

You can apply finish at whatever time is easiest to do so. Sometimes you will want to sand and finish one side of a board before final assembly, if it would be difficult to reach afterwards. The ...
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  • 8,026
9 votes

Is there a procedure or equation to calculate optimal height of a seat based on a given person?

As TX Turner said there may not be a particularly good formula for coming up with that height, but this should work as a procedure: Take an old chair and make a back rest adjuster to bring you to the ...
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  • 5,649
9 votes
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How do you use a 2D template with a lathe?

I can think of at least two options: use the template on a duplicator use the template to set calipers .... basically what keshlam said. The first if you have a duplicator you can use the template ...
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  • 15.1k
9 votes

Filling an old hole to offset it a few mm and put in a fastener, what is the best approach?

Use a hardwood dowel and PVA wood glue. I mean, you could use hide glue if you want, but don't use epoxy. We want something that is strong and workable like wood. Epoxy will be hard, but it won't be ...
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  • 6,194
8 votes
Accepted

What is the best way to install full extension drawer slides in a cabinet?

I use a spacer which is basically just a piece of scrap wood cut to width to make sure they are all the same. And with no face frame I would just add false fronts to the drawers to cover the slides ...
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8 votes

How do I ensure my drill is perfectly vertical before cutting a hole in my desk?

I saw an ad on a woodworking site and I was reminded of this question. These were touched on in other answers but I wanted to add something more concrete with a picture as an aid. The following is a ...
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  • 20.1k
8 votes

How to find out what kind of finish is on a piece of furniture

Since they are very old, they are most likely lacquer or shellac. As previously noted, test for shellac with DNA, lacquer with lacquer thinner. If those don't soften the finish, then it's probably a ...
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  • 1,176
8 votes
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How can I match a finish on furniture when re-finishing?

The water stain on the desk looks like it could be blush in the lacquer itself rather than damage to the wood. Blushing is caused by moisture trapped in the finish. There are a number of ways to ...
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  • 7,413
8 votes
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Is it a good idea to apply lacquer over shellac?

Yes, shellac is a great barrier coat and wash coat, lacquer works well over it. The flake mixed with DNA is better than the hardware store canned. That being said, the area could be spot repaired with ...
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