Ana White's Free Step-By-Step Woodworking Plans Make Building Patio Chairs,a Sofa and a Table, Cheap
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA - Ana White, a self-taught wood worker, says DIY wood workers of all skill levels can make six complementary pieces of patio furniture for $150 or less, using her free, step-by-step project plans.
This includes the solid wood frames for a full-size sofa, two end tables, two lounge chairs and a coffee table. Cheap does not mean cheap-looking, though, White says.
The original plans for what she refers to as the Simple White Outdoor collection are available on her website ana-white.com. Besides illustrated instructions, the plan includes exact dimensions of the finished product, an itemized shopping list and a list of every cut for every board in the project. Armed with the information presented in the plan and a little bit of confidence, DIY furniture makers can build a table in two different sizes, a sofa and lounge chairs.
Solid wood, handmade furniture provides durability, functionality and designer furniture aesthetics. In fact, these plans were inspired by a designer collection that White saw while browsing through Restoration Hardware, an American furniture chain that offers home furnishings.
"You could buy furniture online or off the warehouse floor like that and spend thousands," White says. "Or you could make it yourself for $150, plus your time and a few cushions."
In addition to the Simple White Outdoor collection, White's website has thousands of free furniture plans, and she posts new projects on her blog each week. She picked up wood working in 2005 when she and her husband decided to build their own home in Alaska to save money on building costs.
White discovered blogging in 2009 as a way to share her detailed project plans with readers, who are predominantly women interested in wood working. Part of the site is full of advice and encouragement from fellow wood workers on the forums, which can help keep the project from stalling out. The brag blog features reader-submitted photos of completed projects, many of which might inspire new modifications to the original project plan.
The community is a good resource for finding out the basics of getting started in wood working, learning how to choose good quality lumber for projects and how to be safe when using power tools.
None of White's furniture plans call for expensive, specialized power tools. Many of the basics are probably already on hand, such as a measuring tape, square, pencil, safety glasses and hearing protection. A few things you might not already own that you’ll need, or at least want, are these eight tools: Kreg Jig, drill, circular saw, jigsaw, nailer, sander, level and countersink drill bit.
"Even if the project you choose requires you to buy a few of those tools, the bottom line is still less than retail-priced furniture, plus the tools are versatile and can be used for future projects," White says.
With so many project ideas in White's plan catalog to choose from, readers will probably find additional projects they want to try. One popular project is this solid wood bed plan. It was White's first wood working project.
She says, "The finished product is so gratifying. It also makes for a terrific talking point when visitors ask where the furniture is from. You can shock them and say, 'I made it."'
About Ana White
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