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Author Topic: First Attempt at Making Furniture  (Read 1046 times)
aladdinboy
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« on: June 21, 2016, 01:32:49 am »

Greetings!

For the past few years, I've been slowly teaching myself woodworking. Most of the work I've done has been small projects (boxes, cutting boards, etc.), but I recently got commissioned to build a pair of dressers with a steampunk theme. I'm not quite as proficient as I'd like to be with carpentry, so they're far from perfect, but I thought I'd share them since I haven't seen much in the way of steampunk-themed large furniture, particularly furniture made from scratch (as opposed to IKEA mods or salvage projects).



Both dressers (or chest-of-drawers, depending on your semantics) are roughly the same, although the dimensions are a little different. The fronts of the drawers are covered in CNC cut gears, many of which are based on actual gears I found here (http://geararium.org/). The drawer pulls are soldered copper pipes attached using bell pipe hangers.



On the sides of the dressers are more copper pipes, which have been distressed with heat, as if they contain steam or boiling water.


The dressers themselves are made from african mahogany, stained and sealed with lacquer and assembled using pocket-hole construction. The design is my own, but I loosely based it on a pine dresser made by Jay Bates on Youtube.



The tops of the two dressers are the other major differences. One has a barometer on the back riser and a compass rose on the top...



...And the other has a lightbulb! I used one of those new-fangled LED reproductions of early Edison bulbs.



There's a lot more photos here: aladdinboy.com/steampunk-dresser.

I had a lot of fun building these, and I would really love any feedback you all have to offer. I know that they suffer a little from the 'cog-on-a-stick' syndrome in that neither the gears nor the pipes appear to be functional or useful in any way, but overall I think I did a moderately decent job. What do you think? Would you want something like these for yourself?
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Hez
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aka Miss Primrose C Leigh


« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 03:39:54 am »

Gears used well as decoration don't count as "glue on a gear" and I think you used them well here.  And I love the vertical drawer pulls.
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selectedgrub
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2016, 07:57:24 am »

Beautiful work.
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Cmdr. Storm
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2016, 08:19:56 am »

This is Grade AAA Cool Cool Cool Cool You did a Top Notch Job on those Dressers! You could Make some Big Furniture Companies Very Jealous of Such Top rate Work!
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walking stick
Zeppelin Admiral
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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2016, 11:46:18 am »

I like it all. The shapes, colour scheme, detailing and finish.  I don't have the money or the room for pieces like this but if I did you would be getting a commission.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2016, 11:52:35 am »

Greetings!

For the past few years, I've been slowly teaching myself woodworking. Most of the work I've done has been small projects (boxes, cutting boards, etc.), but I recently got commissioned to build a pair of dressers with a steampunk theme. I'm not quite as proficient as I'd like to be with carpentry, so they're far from perfect, but I thought I'd share them since I haven't seen much in the way of steampunk-themed large furniture, particularly furniture made from scratch (as opposed to IKEA mods or salvage projects).



Both dressers (or chest-of-drawers, depending on your semantics) are roughly the same, although the dimensions are a little different. The fronts of the drawers are covered in CNC cut gears, many of which are based on actual gears I found here (http://geararium.org/). The drawer pulls are soldered copper pipes attached using bell pipe hangers.



On the sides of the dressers are more copper pipes, which have been distressed with heat, as if they contain steam or boiling water.


The dressers themselves are made from african mahogany, stained and sealed with lacquer and assembled using pocket-hole construction. The design is my own, but I loosely based it on a pine dresser made by Jay Bates on Youtube.



The tops of the two dressers are the other major differences. One has a barometer on the back riser and a compass rose on the top...



...And the other has a lightbulb! I used one of those new-fangled LED reproductions of early Edison bulbs.



There's a lot more photos here: aladdinboy.com/steampunk-dresser.

I had a lot of fun building these, and I would really love any feedback you all have to offer. I know that they suffer a little from the 'cog-on-a-stick' syndrome in that neither the gears nor the pipes appear to be functional or useful in any way, but overall I think I did a moderately decent job. What do you think? Would you want something like these for yourself?


Great job! Also, if you're making furniture with mahogany, you're my friend  Grin Many moons ago, in the 1980s I got into woodworking and I had access to ungodly amounts of mahogany, which was used to build the interior of our house over the space of 8 years.  It is so rare to see mahogany nowadays.
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SeVeNeVeS
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2016, 11:56:29 am »

Big thumbs up from me, you have taught yourself well and produce top quality design and execution.

Really good and many thanks for sharing.
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Banfili
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Australia Australia



« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2016, 01:26:44 pm »

Love those handles! Very nice job, aladdinboy Grin
I need a decent chest of drawers!
« Last Edit: June 21, 2016, 01:28:30 pm by Banfili » Logged
Miranda.T
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2016, 05:35:52 pm »

Those are lovely pieces with a sharp execution; mahogany is a tough wood to work too. And, ditto, I also really like the handles.

Yours,
Miranda.
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Lord Pentecost
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2016, 07:54:40 pm »

Wow... I'm jealous  Grin
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Kevin C Cooper Esq
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2016, 08:33:18 pm »

Fine work indeed. Very nicely executed.
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frances
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2016, 09:18:46 pm »

I look forward to seeing other things you are making/have made.
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aladdinboy
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« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2016, 09:29:19 pm »

Thank you everyone for your great feedback! I wasn't expecting to get such a positive response to these.

I had originally thought of using cherry for these, but I didn't really want to subject myself to the torture of sanding all the burn marks out. I'm happy I went with the mahogany, and I think it works well with the brass and copper. The downside was that mahogany is heavy, so it was hard moving these things around while I was working on them. The upside is that those things are solid. No racking, shifting, creaking, or splitting at all.

I wish I could take total credit for the handles, but the idea of using bell pipe hangers came from something I saw online once and haven't been able to find since. Those were horizontal handles, though. The vertical handles are actually much more comfortable to hold when opening the drawers.

If anyone is interested in putting gears like that on their own projects, I found a nifty tool: http://geargenerator.com lets you design series of interlocking gears, and if you print the page to PDF then import it into illustrator, the gears all come in as vectors, perfect for CNC cutting.

I don't think I would make something this... massive (the biggest one is 45" x 35" x 19") again, but I am definitely looking forward to building more (smaller) steampunk furniture. Something that I can lift on my own.
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Maets
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« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2016, 12:27:27 am »

Very nice work. No doubt you where going for steampunk.
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SeVeNeVeS
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« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2016, 12:03:05 pm »

I've been studying the pictures again and this is not criticism, merely a suggestion maybe more routing for the tops and rear cornice, I personally hate hard square edges, a routed edge can look so much more period and adds a little more detailing.

As I said before cracking job (slightly jealous of your abilities TBH) and if you decide to make more please do show us.
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silkfabric
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« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2016, 12:59:50 pm »

Gosh wow, that’s a lot of information !! I have to admit…most of it I have never even thought about before. That is what makes you a pro aladdinboy.
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Hektor Plasm
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« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2016, 09:23:15 pm »

That is a cracking build, I must say! The gears look great too- no need to worry about that.

I would also go for a decorative edge, but I'm quite attracted to the fussy convolutions that must have taken ages by hand, now that we can do it in seconds with a fancy router bit. But not everything needs it, and your approach does leave nice clean edges. Please make more, and don't worry about the weight- you can always get someone to lift things...  Cheesy

Jealous of the mahogany.

HP
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aladdinboy
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« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2016, 09:42:50 pm »

...a routed edge can look so much more period and adds a little more detailing.

I would have loved to put a nice roman ogee profile on the top, but to keep weight and cost down, the top is birch plywood with a mahogany veneer and edge-banding, so unfortunately putting a profile around the edges would have shown the plywood layers beneath. But I'll definitely take that into consideration on my next build! Thanks for the feedback, I love hearing suggestions for things I could do differently / better in the future!

...don't worry about the weight- you can always get someone to lift things...  Cheesy

I wish! When I built these, I was living alone, and most of my friends live too far away to warrant bringing them over for 30 seconds of manual labor. My dad drove out to help me man-handle them into the trunk of his minivan so we could get them to the client.

Also, I forgot to give some credit: Everything I know about woodworking I learned from Youtube (my high school didn't have a shop class Sad and I didn't get much experience with carpentry growing up), particularly Woodworking for Mere Mortals, Woodworking with the Wood Whisperer, DiResta, I Like To Make Stuff, and Make Something (previously The Drunken Woodworker). I don't remember what channel I learned to solder copper pipes from, but it should be pretty easy to find with a quick search.  Grin
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Hektor Plasm
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« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2016, 05:42:45 pm »

Mr DiResta is indeed an inspiration!

Quote
most of my friends live too far away to warrant bringing them over for 30 seconds of manual labor.

You need an orangutan.   Grin

HP
« Last Edit: June 24, 2016, 05:44:50 pm by Hektor Plasm » Logged
Mme. Ratchet
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« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2016, 04:37:00 am »

Wow! This is most impressive!
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keithjones
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« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2016, 02:16:00 am »

Great job!
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VampirateMace
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« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2016, 06:06:07 am »

Awesome. I think I'm jealous too. I like the color of the wood and that the details go well beyond the gearwheels on the front (as the sides look pretty cool too).
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James Harrison
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« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2016, 05:21:46 pm »

Very nice indeed.  I especially like the copper tube handles. 
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