If you’re relatively new at furniture making, the idea of creating something “heirloom quality” can be intimidating. While the kind of expertise that leads to sturdy, beautiful and long-lasting furniture comes with time and practice, there are some projects that make it easy to produce these results.
From Eidolon House, a shop and book restoration service located in Texas, comes a lovely DIY pine wood table you can pull off without owning an entire suite of expensive woodworking tools. You’ll need a couple hand saws, a chisel, a drill gun with drill bits, a mallet, sandpaper and sanding block, brushes and rags for varnish.
The table has a silhouette that would make an early Colonial furniture maker proud. It’s rustic and unfussy, but has a simple elegance to it that works with many interior design styles. What’s great about the use of Eastern White Pine here is the fact that it’ll only get more beautiful with time; weathering, softened edges and small dents will give it character and a sense of history that most new furniture just doesn’t have in its short lifetime.
Plus, using mostly hand tools for this project will give you an intimate sense of what it’s like to work with Eastern White Pine, and boost your skills for your next DIY.
“We built this pretty table in 48 hours, literally. We gave ourselves only a couple of days to make this table and we did it! It’s a simple plan, and really anyone can build it with minimal woodworking skills, so we thought we’d share with you guys how we built it! The sketch above is a simple layout of how the table goes together and the pieces of wood you’ll need. (The finished table measures 2.5’Wx30″Hx8’L.)”
Few minor renovations can make such a dramatic difference in a small, relatively enclosed room as creating a new pass-through. Whether you choose to cut through an interior wall between the living room and kitchen to open up the space or go bigger with a new pass-through to the yard, this makeover brightens up your home, enhances social gatherings and keeps the cook from feeling too isolated. You can frame out pass-throughs in all sorts of ways, but pine is perfect for this project. Keep it simple with just a little bit of lumber and some tools, or add on a bar for more fun and functionality.
The biggest considerations when planning a pass-through window are determining whether the wall is load bearing and checking for any plumbing, electrical lines or other utilities running through it. You can determine whether it’s load bearing either through the attic or the basement, or consult a structural engineer. There are just a couple extra steps to take to support the weight of the floors above if necessary, like providing temporary support for the load and modifying the wall to make sure it can still support the weight when you’re done.
If you’re handy, this project can be completed over a weekend. If not, take notes of the materials you’ll need in these videos and the tutorials linked below, and find a qualified craftsperson in your area to complete the task.
Here’s a fun Eastern White Pine woodworking project you can complete in a weekend: a rustic farmhouse dining table. The site ‘DIY Projects with Pete’ will guide you through the whole process of building this gorgeous wooden table out of 4×4, 2×4 and 2z10 lumber. As Pete says, “The large beams give this table a bold look and make the table as solid as a tank.” Modified from a plan found on Ana-White.com, a source for hundreds of free woodworking plans, the table is long and wide enough to accommodate the whole family.
Like traditional tables, this one is built to last, so you can hand it down to subsequent generations of your family. The project takes about a day to assemble and finish, and calls for a power drill, miter saw, Kreg jig, orbital sander and clamps along with the screws and wood. Every single step is meticulously photographed and documented, including the addition of two benches finished with steel wool and vinegar for a weathered appearance.
Spring is officially here, according to the calendar – but in most parts of the United States, it’s still a bit too cold to plant many crops directly into the ground. If you need a sunny, insulated space to start some seedlings, a greenhouse is ideal, but you don’t have to build anything complicated or purchase an expensive kit from the hardware store. If you’re relatively handy, you can build a simple, affordable greenhouse out of pine lumber and plastic sheeting.
Rob of Bepa’s Garden came up with a nice looking, sturdy design for a pine greenhouse project made of untreated 2”x3” pine lumber and 6ml greenhouse plastic. The structure measures 6’10” by 8’ and cost less than $150 to build, including hardware.
The pine is protected by the plastic, and the structure is large enough for for lots of plants on its two interior shelves, with storage space underneath for tools, soil and other items. A full-sized door is built into the side, and there’s a window opening on the opposite wall to help regulate the interior temperature as it gets warmer.
Rob reports that his greenhouse has held up remarkably well for its low cost, still doing great after three years of exposure to bitterly cold, snowy Northeast winters. The full plans are available as a download on Etsy for $17.99.
Want to try your hand at making your own classic Shaker-style furniture? Popular Woodworking Magazinehas published a book called ‘Shaker Furniture Projects’ that’s packed full of 33 projects varying from small projects like traditional hanging shelves to larger projects like a Press Cupboard.
Shaker furniture, often made using Eastern White Pine, is an American tradition that was refined by our nation’s early craftsmen. Consisting of clean, minimalist lines and making use of innovative joinery and peg systems, Shaker furniture is known for a high level of quality and a look that fits into nearly any interior design style.
Prefer to check out projects one by one, and purchase plans a la carte? Peruse the options at Wood Magazine and Fine Woodworking, both of which offer plans for items like clocks, dining tables, chests of drawers and bed frames.
Whether it’s a hunting shelter, vacation getaway or a full-time residence, a log cabin is a beautiful option for rustic lodging. Pre-cut log cabin kits make it fairly easy and affordable to build your own. Often made of Eastern White Pine, these kits include coded or tagged logs, screws, insulation, floor joists, windows, decking and virtually everything else you need to construct a cabin ranging from the most simple shed-sized structures to larger, multi-story homes.
Modular cabin kits allow aspiring cabin owners with a D-I-Y spirit to play a role in every step of building their own structure, from the ground up, while sticking to a budget and following expert instructions. Generally, you just need some basic tools like a ladder, power drill, circular saw, hammer and caulking gun.
Log cabins made from kits are different from handcrafted log homes, in that the latter are produced from whole logs by artisans who hand-peel and notch the logs individually. Because handcrafted log homes are made one at a time, using traditional techniques, they have a different feel from cabins produced using logs milled to be uniform in shape so they fit together like puzzle pieces.
There are many log cabin companies offering kits that they will ship anywhere within the continental United States, but you can also find a provider in your area. Once you choose the model you prefer, you can often make small changes to the design to customize it to your preferences.