There is a scene in the movie The Patriot that is probably familiar to anyone who has attempted building their own furniture. In it, Mel Gibson has completed a rocking chair, has weighed it on his scale, and sits down to test its strength. The chair bears his weight, but after a couple of back and forth motions it disintegrates into pieces. Enraged, he throws the remains onto a pile of skeletal rocking chairs, the aftermath of several more projects gone wrong.
Building furniture on your own is a task that will yield something you can be truly proud of, but it also means a significant output of both time and energy. No matter how handy you have proven with past woodworking projects, furniture building takes things to the next level. If you look through the rooms of average Toronto homes, or even posh Queen West condos, you'll notice that some furniture building tasks are fairly straightforward; desks, for example, consist of a few cut boards and then some assembly. Of course, the complexity of the project will be determined by what you want as the final outcome; a really fancy desk could be a difficult task indeed.
When it comes to furniture with varying shapes and sizes of components, and pieces that we or others will be sitting or standing on, the project gets very complex indeed. If you see that real estate agents are showing you homes that don't offer the built-in corner cabinet you dream of, don't think that it's going to be a breeze to build one yourself. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering building your own furniture.
It WILL take practice: Be prepared to start over again several times before you get a model right. It might mean more money in terms of material, but once you do find the perfect formula the sky is the limit. While that first perfect chair will take time, once you get it you could be filling Liberty Village condos with your original creations much more quickly. It's worth the effort and time if you're thinking of trading that job working with home inspection reports for a career making beautiful original furniture.
Don't think it's easier than buying: We know that putting those pre-fabricated desks and tables together can be frustrating, and the temptation is to think that if you had only built the pieces yourself you would know where they go. Well, building everything from scratch can get just as confusing. Really, it's like rejecting all of the options for a home for sale agents could show you and deciding that making your dream house plans a reality will be simple. Take on the task, but don't think it will be easier!
Get some practice first: One great way to get some practice without spending too much money when it comes to building your own furniture is to re-furbish old furniture. There are always pieces available at garage sales and second hand; you can make them into something new and get some understanding of the principles while you are at it.