Plywood furniture can be an inexpensive way to furnish a dorm room or a first apartment. The furniture's sleek lines can blend with almost any other style of furniture. You can display plywood furniture in its natural wood state, or you can paint it to suit your decor. With basic carpentry skills, you can create unique pieces of furniture from furniture plans you draw yourself.
Look at Finished Pieces for Inspiration
Visit shops and online businesses that sell plywood furniture to get ideas of what you want to create. (See Reference 1.) Take note of the types of joints that you may need to create to put your plywood furniture together. Consider the amount of weight you expect the furniture to bear. Decide what you want to build for your first piece of plywood furniture.
Draw Up Your Plans
Sketch on paper the pieces of cut plywood that you need to create your plywood furniture. Determine what dimensions you want your finished piece of furniture to have. Keep in mind that a standard piece of plywood is 4 feet by 8 feet or 48 inches by 96 inches. (See Reference 2.) Since plywood occasionally has dings and blemishes along the edges, allow 1 inch less for the longest length of any piece.
Draw your furniture plans to scale within the standard size of a piece of plywood. Careful placement of pattern pieces allows for less waste of wood. Do remember to draw the pattern pieces so that you get the greatest benefit from the grain of the wood. Use a computer-assisted-drawing (CAD) program if you have one for this step or you can draw the plans by hand.
Transfer the Furniture Plans to the Wood
Enlarge the scale drawing of your plans to the exact size you plan to use. Mark the pattern on butcher paper or some other paper large enough to accommodate the pattern.
Purchase your plywood in a wood type that suits your needs. Look for pieces that have few blemishes, especially knot holes, on the surface. While you want plywood that has an interesting wood grain, blemishes can cause weak spots in your furniture.
Lay the pattern pieces on the wood as you planned in your scale drawing. Make sure the grain runs the way you want it to. Also make sure tops and outer edges of the plywood pieces are blemish-free.
Cut your plywood furniture pieces. Assemble them. Finish the furniture according to your plans.
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