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Make your own furniture

Today, it's easy to make your own furniture. Tools are easy to use, materials are readily available, and you can hone your skills at a DIY Divas workshop. Janice Anderssen offers some tips on what you'll need and how to start out.

15/07/2017

Over the years I have made hundreds of different furniture and decor items. What stated out as a way to save money has become a passion that I thoroughly enjoy, and the increasing trend for women to get involved in all aspects of DIY definitely shows it's not just me.

I have often said that you only need 3 basic tools to get started: a drill / driver to assemble, a jigsaw to cut, and a sander to smooth. With these three tools in your workshop, there are lots of projects you can do. However, if you want to move up to the next level and make furniture that is professionally finished, you're going to need to invest in some tools to add to your collection.

Router

There are all types of different routers on the market and prices range from around R1600 for a basic Bosch POF 1400 ACE 28,000 rpm Router, to just over R2700 for a Bosch (blue) GKP Palm Router with 33,000 rpm. The difference between an entry level model (for a novice) and one for an expert is the rpm speed.

Since most models in the Bosch range have variable speed (important if you want to use large diameter router bits on slow speed, or are working with expensive hardwoods), a higher rpm rating allows you to work faster and smoother.

Investing in a router allows you to apply a professional-looking edge to all your furniture and decor projects. When you're making your own furniture, this edging can be the difference between your finished projects looking like 'something you made' or 'something you bought' and let's be honest, we all want our homemade stuff to look as though we bought it - preferably from a high-end store!

When you make the decision to invest in a router - think before you buy. I have previously posted on how easy I find it to use a router table for the majority of projects I do, and while you may consider a professional router table way out of your price range, there are plenty of DIY router plans on the Internet (some free - some not) for making your own router table. Family Handyman magazine have a simple router table that is ideal and reasonably easy to make, and won't cost a fortune.

Spray Gun

Another tool you'll want to consider adding to your arsenal is a spray painting gun. I have used quite a few different systems since I first started. Some were so noisy and clumsy, and some applied more spatters than paint. With the introduction of the Bosch PFS Spray System, I was finally able to apply a professional finish to painted projects.

There are 3 models in the Bosch PFS range, all easy to use and affordable. I've been using the PFS 2000 for about 3 years for all my painted furniture projects - both indoor and outdoor furniture. It might be the entry level model, but at a cost of around R1400, it's definitely a good investment if you plan to make lots of furniture, or make furniture to sell.

Using a Bosch PFS spray gun is very easy: simply fill the paint pot up, fit the gun onto the air pipe, and switch on. The PFS 2000 has a variable setting for low and high paint dispersal, as well as an adjustable nozzle for wide or directed flow. When using my Bosch PFS 2000 I use a matt paint and apply two primer coats, sand with 240-grit and then apply a further 2 to 3 coats (if I'm using white). Once dry the final coat of paint is sanded with 400-grit sandpaper and wiped clean before applying 2 sealer coats using Prominent Paints Clear Acrylic Sealer.

GOOD TO KNOW: Using a matt paint allows the painted coats to be sanded ultra smooth.

 

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