Looking for a book about furniture designing


I recently decided that I'm outgrowing my costume closet and I want to build a wardrobe. I want to build it, instead of buy it, because I want it to my specifications without paying an arm and a leg to a cabinetry shop. (Besides which, I'd probably drive them buggy about how specific I want things. *s*) Unfortunately, all my previous woodworking experience has been with crafts, props, and a few home improvement projects that were pretty straight forward. I'm still in the planning stages, but I do know that I want to a) build it in two pieces so that I have plenty of storage but still can move the piece if need be [the top would be for hanging clothes, the bottom a short chest of drawers] and b) I do not want to use plywood [although I know it would make the piece lighter.] I haven't decided if I want to use pine or some harder wood. My problem is that I know with a solid wood and the addition of all my costumes, the top piece will weigh heavily on the bottom piece. What I need is a book that helps one estimate how much weight one's finished piece will be able to hold. Or, ways to strengthen a piece of furniture to allow it to hold more weight.
Any book suggestions would be appreciated. :) Thank you, Jen
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

support almost any other conceivable piece of furniture you could put on top of it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Several good books:
"Furniture-Making from the Inside Out", J.D. Lawrence, ISBN 0-8069-8566-6 "Measure Twice, Cut Once", Jim Tolpin, ISBN, 1-55870-305-5 "The Woodworker's Guide to Furniture Design", Garth Graves, ISBN 1-55870-437X
Actually, using solid wood will most likely be lighter than if you use 3/4" plywood.
Finally, if you think you are going to save money doing this, you will most likely be disappointed, particularly if you take your time into account. However, the design will be yours (thus the books I recommended above), as will the quality.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Cabinetmaking and Millwork" by John Feirer, Bennett Co. is an excellent woodworking and cabinetry resource.
This book has been used to teach college and tech-school cabinet making for decades. You will want a recent version. The one I have is 30 years old but most of the jointry info is timeless. Some sections on glues, machines, etc are a little dated. I have seen it on Amazon in recent months in a more current edition. This book won't provide information on stress analysis. However, a well constructed solid wood or veneer plywood cabinet will hold a LOT of weight.
The book does provide a lot of information regarding cabinet construction and jointry. This includes many cross section and perspective drawings, cut-aways, joint details and detailed information regarding doors, drawers, etc. Many local libraries probably have a copy because it is considered one of the bibles of cabinetry. I acquired my copy for a college-level cabinet class during the late 30's and still use it a lot.
(BTW @ 900 pages - it won't be cheap but it is useful).
RonB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jen,
I recently borrowed a book from the libaray. It was a compilation of essays from Fine woodworking:
http://www.taunton.com/store/pages/070767_tcpg.asp
That said. Start smaller and work up to it. That is, there are a couple of skills that you want to make sure that you can execute well before taking on a project of this scope. Frame & panel construction, Making drawers, Mortise & tennon joinery
Sart with a coffee table or a bedside table with a drawer would good projects as they are a bit less ambitious yet will allow you to develop the required skills.
Cheers,
Steve

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I don't want to damper your enthusiasm, but do you have access to a decent tablesaw, a biscuit jointer, a sander, and clamps to make this project? If you have to buy the tools and this is just a one time thing, you aren't going to save money. I don't want to discourage you if you want to start the hobby, but I got the impression that this was just a one time build, and you were primarily motivated to save money.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for all your replies. I'm definitely going to look into all the books suggested. :) I realized after I sent this message that I made it sound like I wanted to build this wardrobe just to save money. I actually have been buying tools and such for all my various woodworking projects. I enjoy working with wood. My prop building has included making signs, crates, tables, benches and various unique items. (I've also helped to make additional walls in a home, built a deck, etc...) With a prop, however, there isn't as much of a concern about how much weight it can hold (except the benches, of course.) Having never built a true piece of furniture I was concerned that the top piece might weigh too heavily on the bottom piece (as it will be taller.) You've all allayed my concerns, so now back to my plans. :)
Thanks again! ~Jen

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Saving money by building yourself is hard (at least if you could use a wardrobe which some furniture seller has in stock).
[...]

Think "knock down". If you dissaseble the piece for transport that's probably even easier to handle.

Au contraire! Solid wood is about as light as you can be, if you don't consider hollow boxes of very thin plywood with corrugated cardboard filling (aka "interior doors").

Pine is less heavy than a harder wood, and easier to work (in some aspects, in others more difficult)
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Basically an Armoire. BTW I built an armoire for my bathroom His/Hers hampers on the bottom and towel storage up top.
It was built as two pieces, precisely for the same reason that you suggest... it is *much* easier to move two 65 lb 3-foot objects and a 130lb 6-foot object. It's also much easier to manipulate when assembling and finishing.
I think that you are on the right track.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How about "Design Your Own Furnitre" by Jim Stack? Here's a review: http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com/reviews/designfurniture.htm
-- Regards,
Dean Bielanowski Editor, Online Tool Reviews http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com Complete our tool survey, Win $200! ------------------------------------------------------------ Latest 6 Reviews: - Sherwood OS-100 Oscillating Spindle Sander - Porter Cable NS150A Narrow Crown Stapler - Book: Popular Mechanics Shelving & Storage - Betterley Tru-Cut Insert System - Digital Calipers & Height Gauge - Delta SS250 Scroll Saw (Review Updated) ------------------------------------------------------------
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jennifer Juniper wrote:

Lee Valley has a good selection of books -- many furniture styles.
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=46105&cat=1,46096
And you can try http://chapters.ca and http://amazon.com for books and just use he words woodwork or furniture etc.
If you are looking for a first principles design method... That's a little tougher. Look up some of the posts on the golden mean and the golden ratio for proportions.
This book has little on proportions. One of the few I have seen.
Box-Making Basics     Box-Making Basics - Woodworking by David M. Freedman
If you want to make beautiful boxes, but need help to begin, here are the fundamentals of design, stock preparation, construction and finishing as well as the sophisticated techniques of the expert in a single source.
etc.
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=32858&cat=1,46096,46098&ap=1
-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.