That one time I got a table saw and built my own furniture.

Oh, heyyyyyyyyy.

Are you sick of me yet?

Too bad. I wrote another post.

The post is a story about me. I’m very self involved.

So, a long time ago, I picked up a credenza from craigslist and modified it to make it a media console. Then, during the one room challenge when I did my living room, I made a different media console. I put some longer legs on the craigslist credenza and moved it into my dining room.

And that was fine, but that’s all. It was too deep and not long enough.

Then, one day, it wasn’t fine any longer.

I wrote down some scribbles for measurements, and went to Home Depot.

What felt like a very long time later, I left with:

  • Two 4′ x 8′ x 3/4″ Birch plywood boards (I would get maple – next time)
  • One 4′ x 8′ x 1/4″ sanded plywood board
  • One 4′ x 8′ x 3/4″ sanded plywood board (go ahead and get two now, save yourself a trip. My math is questionable.)
  • A table saw and a ginormous container of cabinet screws. And a slew of miscellaneous stuff. Naturally.

I ended up renting a Home Depot truck, because no way was I getting all that in the little Honda Civic.

Once I got everything loaded into the truck, drove home, unloaded, drove back to Home Depot to return the truck, drove home and THEN assembled the table saw: I took a nap.

Alternate post title: How did I go this long in life without a table saw?

The next day I decided to make some simple cabinet boxes. I used the sanded plywood for these, and made the cuts on my newly assembled table saw.

Let’s talk maths. I hate math. I don’t know why I keep bringing it into my own life.

I wanted my credenza to be 79 1/2″ long and a total height of 29 3/4″ (the legs are 8 1/4″ tall.) and total depth with doors and back to be 15 1/2″. I wanted to make 3 boxes for 6 doors.

Since I was going to frame them in with 3/4″ thick birch plywood, I took 79 1/2″ minus 1 1/2″ for the sides frame and divided by 3 = 26″ wide boxes. For the height, I used the same formula and it ended up being 20″ and the back brace piece 24 1/2″. The width was 14 1/2″ (15 1/2″ minus 1/4″ plywood back and 3/4″ doors.)

These 3 cabinet boxes become the credenza carcass.

I don’t know if I make any sense right now.

  • 6 pieces 20″ x 14 1/2″ (sides)
  • 6 pieces 26″ x 14 1/2″ (tops)
  • 3 pieces 24 1/2″ x 4″ (back brace)

Since I knew that I was going to layer 3/4″ plywood on top and 1/4″ plywood on the back, and wouldn’t have to worry about them showing, I used cabinet screws and wood glue to make the boxes and just a simple 1″x 4″ pine back.

When those were put together, I used my little makeshift jig and drilled the holes for the hinges, and shelf pins.

At this point, the work got too big for my porch and I had to move everything outside. My neighbors love me, I’m just sure of it.

I lined them up next to each other, leveled them as best as I could, slathered them with wood glue and then used cabinet screws from inside the boxes to attach them.

For all of these cuts, I used spare pieces of lumber cut to the desired width and labeled (i.e. door width, cabinet height, etc) so that I could easily change the guide on the table saw. Shrugs, I am lazy. I make jigs/guides basically any time that I can.

In my front yard I had a table saw, an air compressor and nail gun, orbital sander and drill.

Let’s not judge my yard. Until I’m done with the inside of the house, I can’t be bothered to care about landscaping.

Then I made the overlaying wood cuts, and doors with the birch plywood. These cuts are the final dimensions that I mentioned earlier.

For mine, it was:

  • 2 @ 79 1/2″ x 15 1/2″ (top and bottom)
  • 2 @ 21 1/2″ x 15 1/2″ (sides)
  • 1 @ 20 1/4″ x 20″ (back)

I then again, used cabinet screws from inside the boxes. All the holes, front edges and birch plywood got filled with ready patch and sanded smooth. omg. patch, sand, patch, sand and sand and sand.

So. That whole bit was the easy part.

Now, the doors.

The doors are the width of cabinet box, divided by 2, minus 1/8″ and the height minus 1/8″. I made 6 doors at 19 7/8″ tall and 12 7/8″ wide.

I used my handy little cabinet hinge jig from a spare $4 ikea door, drill bit and my forstner bit on the doors for the hinge holes.

In my head, I had this idea of circle discs on all the seams, including where the cabinets meet – not just the door opening seams. Easy in theory, right?

I stacked the discs onto spare lumber (which I clearly have an abundance of) and used my nail gun to attach them. Then I made one single cut through on the table saw. I did this twice, 3 discs per cut.

Check me out. Cruising right along.

And thennnnnnnn. Whomp whomp.

The thickness of the discs was too much, it hit the other door on the cabinet frame seams when opening and couldn’t open all the way.

I was pissssssssssed. I had been covered in saw dust for the better part of a week and I was not about to give up on my motherfucking vision.

I used my orbital saw and sanded them down until my arms went numb.

Hallelujah.The frames are simple screen moulding, the same on the dining room walls. To make all the middle pieces equal, I nailed them onto a board and then cut through once on the table saw. I used simple Blum cabinet hinges. It took some finagling to get things lined up, and honestly, it’s never going to be perfect and I am kind of ok with that. It looks less obvious in real life than the pictures?

Now the paint.

Did I mention that I’m a crazy bitch with a vision?

I had this idea of a deep wine/burgundy color? It was inspired by a popsicle that was a summer favorite.

I literally went to the hardware store with a box of them to try to find a close color.

All the Benjamin Moore colors were too bright/light/etc. So I chose a color that I liked the tones of, Benjamin Moore Magenta, had them remove all white from the formula and bought a quart of that in the Advance formula. Then I took it home, brought out my teaspoons and starting mixing with black and sampling. I eventually landed on an 11:1 ratio with Benjamin Moore Advance premixed Black and mixed it into a spare quart container.

Two coats of dark tinted primer first, because that wood was thirsty.

I then painted the credenza body with the Popsicle color before attaching the doors, and then painted the doors after they were attached.

I really like the Advance formula, but, it requires 16 hours in between coats. AND THIS THING NEEDED 6 COATS. Painting it nearly destroyed my soul. And it still isn’t super solid, but, WHATEVER. 

Can we talk about these amazing furniture legs? Heart eyes.

I ordered them from Ferrous Hardware, they are the Dunbar in polished brass.

You guys! It was a lot easier to build than I thought it was going to be. I am so, so pleased with how it turned out. I think my family are pretty sick of me exclaiming: “I MADE THAT!”


Art/Small planter/Cactus/Pink vase/Overview/Anatomy in black/Rug/Cement planter/Curtains


4 thoughts on “That one time I got a table saw and built my own furniture.”

  1. WOW! You did a great job! I am so impressed and also, magenta is my all time favorite color in the Crayola crayon box! Woo Hoo!

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