DIY Furniture

The Repository->DIY->Furniture 

Furniture I have built

In reverse chronological order


Kitchen Garbage Can 

Do you have any idea how much a stupid garbage can costs nowadays?  Unless you want something totally cheap and plasticky, you'll be shelling out over $100 for a decent garbage can.  My ass I'm gonna pay that!  Out of spite, I whipped this up out of 1/2" MDF and a bit of cabinet hardware.  It was practically an experiment in "cut once, measure never," and the results are pretty sloppy to prove it.  Still, it holds garbage, and has a pleasant Bauhaus look.  Total cost: around $12.  Take that, Bed Bath and Beyond! 


Computer desk

This is probably my favorite furniture creation.  It's small, yet plenty big enough to accomplish all the tasks I need to do.  Necessity was the mother of invention for this one.  I was moving into a new apartment, and needed a computer desk.  I used only scrap plywood I had lying around.  About the only thing I actually purchased for the project was the pair of ball-bearing rails for the silky-smooth-sliding keyboard drawer.  Form perfectly follows function on this one; nothing more than what I needed, nothing less.  You can see a bit of a cool side-shot of this farther down the page, on the close-up of the speaker stands.




 This bookshelf is my least favorite thing I've ever built.  I tried to match the look of the entertainment center (farther down), and also other furniture around my place.  Sure, it does a great job of holding my stuff, but I dunno... something about it doesn't feel right.  (Well, it DOES bend to one side, but I seem to be the only person that notices this)  I felt so uninspired to complete this project that I never put the last pieces of trim on, nor did I stain it.  The odd part is that I seem to get the most compliments on this, out of all the furniture I've built.  And all I can think is, "It's just four pine boards with some plywood shelves between."  (notice the beautiful mildew damage on the bottoms of the legs, from when my furniture was stored in my grandmother's soggy basement for 6 months)






Entertainment Center

When I think about how complicated this thing is, I can't help but wonder how the hell I built it when I did.  It was born out of a desire to replace the very-70's-looking entertainment center I'd been using.  I checked out Ikea and all the other super-fine pre-fab furniture stores, but was not impressed with my choices.  So, I made a few mental notes of elements I saw and liked, and designed and built my own.  I built it over one weekend to burn off some stress from work.  I have to admit, I'm still sometimes surprised that this thing is able to hold up all the stuff that is on it.  I think its rigidity is largely due to the center beams.  They're sort of like keystones.  There is also a hidden beam along the back which gives the top platform some rigidity, and some hidden beams underneath the bottom platform.  Also, there is a 5th foot underneath the middle as a catch-all (dang, gave away all the secrets).

Points of interest:

  • The middle shelf was specifically designed to hold a Sega Dreamcast.
  • Even though there is a lot of "open air" in this design, my experience of moving it to various locations around the Chicagoland area has proven that it is by no means lightweight.
  • What's in it: Sharp 27" tv (featuring NTSC-quality, interlaced scan at 60 fields per second!); Playstation 2; Xbox (hardly ever gets played); Alesis RA-100 power amp; Sega Dreamcast; M-Audio Audiophile USB interface; Mitsubishi VCR; Apex AD-600 DVD player (no, not the one with all the cheats, sadly); Soundcraft Folio 14-channel mixer with a guitar cord coming out of it.
  • Required two sheets of 8x4 birch plywood, bunches of pine boards, and wood screws galore.
  • Yes, it is stained; just in a very half-assed manner. 

Super-Simple Studio Monitor Stands

I was SO EXCITED when I bought my first pair of genuine biamped nearfield monitors!  No more trying to mix my songs on a crappy shelf unit or a PA system (and there is nothing worse than trying to mix a song on satellite/sub PC speakers)!  However, finding something appropriate to put my new speakers on was a challenge.  The monitor stands they sold at Guitar Center were WAY overpriced (hey, I'd already blown my wad on the speakers!).  While browsing through a Crutchfield catalog I noticed a design I liked, and built something like it, at an appropriate height for nearfield listening.  (I also put cheesy little adjustable feet on the bottom, in case I felt they weren't level)

Yes, I still have left the barcode stickers on the wood , and never finished them or painted them or anything.  No one ever seemed to care.  One last thing I'll say: while I am quite proud of how simple and effective they are, pine boards was a bad choice for a building material.  At the time, however, that was all I knew how to use.  But if I had to do it again (which I probably will), I'm definitely using MDF or plywood, because the pine is just too flimsy for the job. 

Not pictured

Some tall CD shelves.  Very practical and useful, but not very interesting to look at.