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Star Make your own wooden furniture.

Ground rules and building blocks

Furniture heights

It is good to establish some standard furniture heights so things look more planned.  Also tables, shelve units, and chest of draws will form a continuous useable flat area when placed against the window sill.  I decided to standardize on the heights given by the tops of the window sills.  There are three window sill heights used and thus three furniture heights that I tend to go for.  The finished floor is 3" above slab reference height.  Above finished floor height the height of the top of the furniture is one of the following...

     1' 7-1/2"

     2' 7-1/2"

     3' 7-1/2"


Being able to easily move furniture around is nice and allows for more flexible living.  It can be done with low cost 3" casters.

Caster With Brake 3in

It is best if you hide the casters and just have a half inch gap between the furniture and the floor.

Cabinet draw handles

Cabinet Draw Handle Ufaucet  Handles

Cabinet doors and draw fronts

Kitchen Caninet Door Barker      Cabinet doors

Cabinet hinges

Cabinet Door Hinges Blum  Cabinet door hinges

It is good to fit soft close devices to cabinet doors to stop them banging shut.

Plastic boxes

Available in various sizes.  Use removable plastic storage boxes in a frame as the draws.

Storage Box Sterilite   Plastic Storage Boxes

Tray liners

Tray Liner Ikea  Tray liners

20" x 14"

Draw slides

Draw Slide Promark 
Draw Slides

Want soft closing.

For furniture chest of draws use 20".  (In the kitchen a 24" slider is needed.)




It is best to avoid seeing screw heads.  The wood is glued together using PL-Premium.  Use lots of clamps to hold it while gluing.  It is ok to use screws in places where they are not visible.


Adult mattresses

Note that when implementing a bed frame it is good to make it high off the ground.  This gives storage underneath and looks good.

Mattress Sizes 

Spring + foam


California King has been as low as $153.96 .



Cot sizes

These are intended for things like RVs, trucks, and day beds.  They are all 74" long with widths of 2'6", 2'9", or 3'  (called COT30, COT33, or COT36).

https://smile.amazon.com/Customize-Bed-Mattress-CertiPUR-US-Certified/dp/B00KGLX6G8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1492111175&sr=8-2&keywords=Narrow%2Bmattress&th=1   $123

Crib mattresses

Small mattresses designed for baby cribs can be used as cushions to make a sofa.  It is important to design to one of the two standard sizes (when constrained with a wood frame), either 27"x51"x5" or less commonly 23.5"x37.5"x5".  Examples are below.  You can get a range of standard size covers to make the coach the color you want.

27" x 51" x 5"  "Standard Crib"

Baby Mattress 51in 

51 x 27 x 5 inches   https://smile.amazon.com/Dream-Me-Toddler-Mattress-Twilight/dp/B00F18FMZ4/ref=pd_sbs_75_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00F18FMZ4&pd_rd_r=8QQ8QSJDBPYDD3PCFXXD&pd_rd_w=g83ic&pd_rd_wg=fjGgT&psc=1&refRID=8QQ8QSJDBPYDD3PCFXXD  $35.18 Spring  Best bet.  $30 when on sale

51.6 x 27.2 x 5 inches  https://smile.amazon.com/Kolcraft-Pure-Sleep-Therapeutic-Mattress/dp/B004HKK5TK/ref=sr_1_20_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1489595884&sr=1-20&keywords=baby+mattress   $49.99  Spring

52 x 27.6 x 5 inches  https://smile.amazon.com/Graco-Premium-Toddler-Mattress-Standard/dp/B010S7VZI0/ref=sr_1_8_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1489595884&sr=1-8&keywords=baby+mattress  $34.49  Foam

52.5 x 27.5 x 5.5 inches  https://smile.amazon.com/Safety-1st-Heavenly-Dreams-Mattress/dp/B004044LD4/ref=sr_1_4_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1489595884&sr=1-4&keywords=baby+mattress  $58.99  Foam

52"x27.5"x5.5"    https://smile.amazon.com/Milliard-Hypoallergenic-Mattress-Waterproof-Encasement/dp/B00EV79VRQ/ref=pd_cp_75_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00EV79VRQ&pd_rd_r=8QQ8QSJDBPYDD3PCFXXD&pd_rd_w=z2dLo&pd_rd_wg=fjGgT&psc=1&refRID=8QQ8QSJDBPYDD3PCFXXD   $55.99  Foam

52 x 27.5 x 5 inches   https://smile.amazon.com/Safety-1st-Transitions-Toddler-Mattress/dp/B0054HSVGE/ref=sr_1_21_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1489595884&sr=1-21&keywords=baby+mattress   $74.99

51.63"L x 27.25"W x 5.25"H    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sealy-Ortho-Rest-Premium-Firm-150-Coils-Crib-and-Toddler-Mattress-Neutral/10391793   $54

Cover (Red)

Baby Mattress 51in Red Cover 

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GX8DI2/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_2?ie=UTF8&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&th=1    $12.59

23.5" x 37.5" x 5"  "Mini portable crib"

38 x 24 x 5 inches   https://smile.amazon.com/Dream-Spring-Portable-Mattress-White/dp/B00BLY1L7A/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1489599935&sr=1-1&keywords=mini+mattress  $39  Spring

38 x 24 x 3"   https://mile.amazon.com/Dream-Me-Spring-Portable-Mattress/dp/B004JU0H5U/ref=sr_1_53_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1489598966&sr=1-53&keywords=baby+mattress&  $36  Spring

Upholstery foam

You can get general purpose foam, but it is still best to stick to standard mattresses sizes or it will be hard to get an off-the-shelf cover.




Dining table

Large Wooden Table Drawing 

The height of the top surface is 2' 7-1/2".

Having casters gives mobility.

It is important to provide as much knee room as possible.  The chunky legs are as close to the center as possible without there being a danger of toppling over even when two people sit on the edge.  The weight of the chunky table top and chunky legs allows the legs to be well inset.  Need to do some tests to find the safe leg position.

Top made from two wide 3" thick planks (each 6' long) to give an overall width of 3'6".

When a larger dining table is required, two tables can be positioned together.  Can even use bungee straps between the inner legs.

Chunky coffee table

Coffee Table Chunky 

The height of the top surface is 1' 7-1/2".  It is 3' x 3'.

Mobility is important so casters on the bottom.

The chunky legs are as close to the center as possible without there being a danger of toppling over even when two people sit on the edge.  Need to do some tests to find the leg position.

Top made from two wide 3" thick planks to give an overall width of 3'.

Flimsy side table

This is a 2' long, 1'6" wide thin wood table.  The height of the top surface is 1' 7-1/2"  Instead of casters it has felt pads on the end of the legs.  It is light weight and flimsy and cannot take much side force.  It is useful for use in a corner next to a sofa or padded chair or can be used as a bed-side table.

Coffee Table Flimsey 

Side round table

It is a round tree trunk with casters on the bottom. 

Round Log Side Table 

This only needs to have a top that is 1'6" x 1'6".  Just enough to rest your coffee cup.

The height of the top surface is 1' 7-1/2".

Hollow out the bottom so the casters are hidden.  Use a drill press with a set depth and a forstner bit.

Use a 2-by flat platform with the casters and then glue that into the cut away area inside.  This takes out the unevenness of the chiseled inlet.


Chest of draws / shelves / chest

Shallow book shelves

These are only a small depth.  They sit on top of the wainscoting shelf.

Shallow Book Shelves

The depth is the same as the top of the wainscoting, minus 1/4" because of the bevel.  The depth of the shelf unit is 6-3/4".  Also screwed into the wall at the top so they don't topple.  The standardized height is 4'3" (outside dimension).

Chest of draws

Chest Of Draws Drawing Low 

Chest Of Draws Various Heights 

Make the height of the top surface the same as the window/wainscoting sill height against which the chest will be placed.  The sill heights are standardized for the distance from the design height of the concrete slab.  The from concrete heights are: 3' 10-1/2", 2' 10-1/2", and 1' 10-1/2".  This equates to heights from finished floor of: 3' 7-1/2", 2' 7-1/2", and 1' 7-1/2".

If possible use a continuous piece of wide tree trunk cut to 1.5" thickness as the top, or two pieces glued together.

Use 20" soft closing draw slides...

Draw Slide Promark 
Draw Slides are not too expensive (about $5 each, $10 for pair) so it is ok to use them liberally.

The main difference between a shelf unit and a chest of draws is whether draws have been fitted.  Initially the carcass can just be shelves until more time is available to make the draws.  Fit the draw slides and then temporarily rest a wood shelf on the top of the slides.

No casters on the bottom.  Just use felt pads on the bottom.

Deep shelves

These are the same as "Chest of draws" but without any draws fitted.  Use temporary shelf wood.


Chest Drawing Medium 

This is 2' 7-1/2" high with the top hinged.

Because of the weight of a loaded chest, use casters on the bottom to provide mobility.

Corner chest

Here's a brought one without a door, but I will do one that is 1.5" lumber and has a door and back.  The back needs to allow for the wainscot so the top extends beyond the back.

Corner Unit Purchased 


Wardrobe Drawing Plan

Uses a 30" x 72" cabinet door.

Computer desk

The focus is on ergonomics above all else.

My Computer Desk 

Can also provide a fold down shelf for eating meals without having to rest plates on the keyboard and mouse.

It is intended to be used with the standard sofa design.



Note that when implementing a bed frame it is good to make it high off the ground.  This gives storage underneath and looks good.

Making nice looking sturdy beds from sanded and varnished 2x4s is easy.  They take one of the following sizes of mattress, with the actual outside dimension of the wood bed being 3" wider and longer.

Smallest:  39 x 74  (3'3" x 6'2")
Queen:  60 x 80  (5' x 6'8")
King:  76 x 80  (6'4" x 6'8")
Cal King:  72 x 84  (6' x 7')


Good to use a big slab of cut wide tree as the head board.

King bed

This is the best choice for the master bedroom.  A King is not as long as a California King but it is 4" wider.

Queen bed

This is typically what's used in primary guest bedrooms.

Small bed

This is the smallest one adult bed.

Futon bed

It uses the smallest adult mattress, but has a back rest so can also be used as a sofa.

Futton Bed

Use foam mattresses for the sides and a spring mattress for the bed area.  The side and end mattresses can be folded into the base to use up the extra width and to hold them securely in place.



They only have one end with a padded back rest.  There are right hand and left hand versions.

Sofa Right Hand Drawing

Sitting room chair

Lounge Sitting Chair

Deck chair

Designed to be waterproof and comfortable for reading.  One can be used in bedroom for lounging on to dry off after a bath.  Can be easily wheeled out onto the deck/balcony.  Some people call it a day bed.

Lounger Deck Chair

Uses a 39 x 74  (3'3" x 6'2") adult mattress.  Back is adjustable between 0 - 60 degrees.  Thy area adjustable between 0 - 30 degrees.  Uses big hinges.

Can be set to a totally flat configuration so it can be used as an extra bed.

Could provide a separate small overhang table for a book, snack, or drink.


This is an easy way of providing lots of seating at eg a dining room table, but it's not comfortable for long sitting sessions.  They can be easily built from a wide wood plank and some 2x4s.  Might be ok for use in the mudroom.

Dining room chair

Dining Room Chairs Winsome   Dining room chairs

The standard height (finished floor to top of seat) for brought chairs is about 1'6" (18").

It is probably best to just buy mass produced wooden chairs.  Wood colored varnished with turned spindles.

Bar stool

Bar Stool Swivel Chair  Bar stool swivel chair

The standard height (finished floor to top of seat) for brought stools is about 2' (24"), but for the raised kitchen counter it is best to choose the 30" version.  It is also more comfortable to have a back rest.  A swivel version is also nice.

Just buy mass produced wooden stools.  Wood colored varnished.

Lounge extras


This is essentially a padded coffee table.  It is expected that people will put their feet on it.  Use a 23.5"x37.5" portable crib mattress on the top (with washable cover), constrained by a 2-by outer ring.  Assume the mattress is 4.5" (even though it is actually 5").  The top of the mattress is at 1' 7-1/2" so it can be used up against the living room window sills.  They have casters.  The top lifts up to allow things like board games to be stored inside.

Window sill extension

This is a moveable platform that is at the same height as the window sill (1' 7-1/2") for use in the living room to allow sitting in the window.  There are multiple versions because they need to be window sill specific.

Window Sill Extension East

A removable back rest (with a 3" foam crib mattress) can be fitted connected with two vertical round steel rods.  In addition to allow looking out of the window you can also see the TV, but leaning on the arm rest is necessary to see the full TV screen..

Felt pads are used to stop damage to the window sill and window surround.  There are two or more versions to fit specific window sills.  They do not have casters (felt pads instead).

It is not fixed to the window sill or any other house structure.  Might need to put concrete bricks in the bottom of the extension to give enough mass to hold it in place.

Under the shelf can function as a book shelf.

Media center shelving

This is a long low shelf unit.  It does not need to be as wide as the flat screen TV that goes on top.

Media Center Shelves Angled 

If required, a stalk at the back can hold a VESA mount.  Open back to let wires out.  Only 1' deep as it typically will go across a wall corner.  Angle the top surface using an angle that corresponds to the expected TV viewing angle.  This allows it to butt up to the window sills at each end.  The height is 1' 7-1/2" so the flat surface extends to the window sills.



See here .


Work trolley

This is built early to test out whether the casters can stand up to punishment.  It has one shelf just above the casters and a lipped tray on top.  On top is a three piece removable flat surface that is at 2' 7-1/2" and sits into the rim to hide the junk.

Work Trolley 

Build a low tray with casters.  Then add two 2x4s in each of the 4 corners.  Build the top tray and add to the 2x4 corners.


Random ideas

Wood plant pots

Use for interior house plants.  A box made from 2-by lumber.  Make the dimensions to hold a square plastic pot inside with a plastic tray under the plastic pot.

Stump table

With a sawmill you can take any interesting tree stump and cut a uniform top surface.  The picture below shows a glass top, but it is probably best to use a live edge 1.5" wood slab.  If possible it would be good to hollow out the bottom and add casters.

Furniture Table Idea Stump 

Light table

Wood table with a light well in the center.  Like sitting round a camp fire.  Use yellow bulbs and a dimmer.  Well needs to be deep enough to avoid seeing the actual bulbs.  Glass top.

Sliding bookcase

Skateboard wheels at bottom on floor.  Subtle wood lip on floor that edges the carpet or wood floor covering keeps bottom in right place.  Could use a router to make a semi-circle groove in the floor wood planks - makes a nice ornamental feature around the entire room.  Horizontal wheels on back at top against the concrete wall.