How to Make a Sofa from Rough Wood | DIY Woodworking


I’m Brad Rodriguez from Fix This Build That and today we’re building a modern sofa Hi I’m Brad and I’m a wood hoarder now I don’t need this much random wood in my shop but today my wood hoarding is gonna be coming in handy last year I made a modern outdoor chair for the front porch and ever since then I’ve been wanting to make this a loveseat so I’m gonna do it now and I’m using these big cedar beams that I got from a guy for some leftover material you can build this out of two by fours but I’m gonna use these big beams but that means I got to do a lot of milling so let’s get going and these suckers are massive it felt like an imperial star destroyer cruising through my planer but after I had the faces smooth I needed to check the moisture level of the beams if the boards are too wet my project is gonna be warping over time I grabbed my Araya 950 pinless moisture meter from Wagner meters and I calibrated it for cedar to take the readings but I was reading around 12 and a half percent which is good but I needed to check the center after I cut up the beams I took the lumber over to my jointer to finish prepping for the Reese on the jointer uses the flat face that I made over on the planer as a reference and it cuts the side running across the table at a perfect 90 degrees to the face I’ve always been partial to 90-degree angles and just always seem like I don’t know the right angle I guess milling wood from rough lumber is no easy chore but a bandsaw sure makes it a lot easier to get what you want I set up the saw to cut a little over one and a half inch segments so that the boards will have a finished thickness right at one and a half inches which is the same as a 2×4 and when you’re cutting these long boards make sure to use outfeed support too but as much as I love my bandsaw make sure you’re wearing some hearing protection when you do any riesling when you hear the most annoying sound in the world I’m not sure if there’s any more annoying sounds than that of a good reason let me know in the comments if I’m missing one but of course it is totally worth the sound and after all the cutting it gave me 13 boards to work with all right I got these boards all resaw down into smaller one by fours but one thing I do want to check is that the outside is the same as the inside as far as moisture and dryness the Orion 950 has a temperature and humidity sensor that calculates the equilibrium moisture content or EMC for the space it’s basically the percentage where lumber stops losing moisture and my shop EMC was at 11.6 percent it’s really the game-changing feature on this meter and it’s got a great seven year warranty also and now i could check the center of those beams against this number so this one is round eleven and a half twelve and a half and this is on the outside and the inside board is like thirteen twelve and a half twelve point six so that’s good that means that i could go ahead and move forward and mill this lumber and it’s not going to move around a lot because it’s close to my equilibrium if you want to find out more about the orion 950 i’ve got a link down below in the description and thanks to wagner meters for being a sponsor of this video now these boards still had at least one rough face from the bandsaw so i went back to the planer to cut it smooth I also took them down to my final thickness of one and a half inches now from there I was in the homestretch of the milling I made one more trip back to the joiner to fix any of those beautiful right angles that may have gotten out of whack from the resawing and then I could finally start trimming the boards to their wit’s as I need it at the table saw so milling your own wood does take a lot of time does take a lot of machines but it is rewarding and save a little green while you’re at it so if you ever need some good firepower to convince your significant other why you need to buy all these machines just show them the video up into this point and describe all the wonderful things that you can make for him or her with these tools good luck friends now next I started cutting down the parts for the sofa base the sofa is a two seater loveseat and the cushions are held up on wooden slats that are attached to the base I cut the front side and Center parts to size using my stop block to get repeatable cuts as needed I also went ahead and moved in the stop block and cut the lower back rails to size so I could drill all my pocket holes at once now the base is attached with a series of pocket holes which are all on the underside and won’t be seen in the final piece I’m using the Craig k5 to drill them all but using the HD attachment here would be a great way to really strengthen the joints even more I’ll talk a little bit more about what I’m doing to beef up this design versus the chair when I assemble it I clamp the sides and front down to the bench and I attach them together with exterior-grade pocket screws now with the sides attached I could use the back rails to position the center support I put them flush against the sides and the center piece fit perfectly in between them and next I started on the back of the loveseat the back has three uprights that attach to the sides and center of the base and are connected at the top by two top rings the top rails are one and a half inches on each side for a slimmer look I ripped these parts from wider boards and then cut them down to size on the miter saw and then I grabbed a few more boards for the next step I measured in on the part to where the angle would start and I use my carpenter’s square to mark a 15 degree angle and then I went over to the miter saw and I set it to 15 degrees for the cut and now I could use the laser alignment on the miter saw or just the blade to pull the pencil line right up to where that blade would cut now holding the wood in place I moved the stop block in so that it could cut all the uprights the same length I cut that third upright to size and then I took them to the bench to continue shaping them the 15 degree cut gave me the reclined but now I needed a flat face to connect it to the base I used my combination square to draw a line at 90 degrees to the angle that I had just cut here’s a little visual of how it’s gonna turn out when I’m done now I extended the lines around the edges to give me a reference for the tapering jig here as well using those layout lines setting up the cut on the jig was really pretty easy I just put the front of the cut in the back of the cut right on the edge of the jig and then locked it down then I could raise up the blade and I was ready to go all right I’ve got the cut all set up on the tapering jig I have a video on how to build this fancy jig as well as a simpler one you can check that out after you’re done with this video I’m gonna also use this jig to cut a taper on the back of the leg that’s just to slim it down and make it look a little more sleek because that’s what we’re going for let’s cut I am really loving this new fancy tapering jig that I made since the repeatability is a lot easier to adjust after making one cut I loosen the hold downs and then put the next part on it gives me the same exact shape on every piece the last thing I wanted to do is taper the upright down to one and a half inches at the top so I could match the top rails I just did the jig to make a full width cut at the base up to a half width cut at the top and the back uprights really won’t be seen a lot since the cushions are gonna be covering them but they’ll still be seen from the side and I think it’s a great look if you want all the dimensions cut list and detailed instructions for this build I do have plans available just go check the link below in the description for details I’ve forgotten to drill pocket holes in the top rails earlier so I went ahead and did that now on the ends where they meet the center upright I offset the holes on each rail similar to how I did on the base so the screws won’t collide I attach the top rails to one set of the uprights first making sure that the offset pocket holes will on that Center upright but the rail is tilted 15 degrees to match the slope of the back so I used some little wedges to hold it in place and then secured it with screws and then I added the next rail and upright and I had to use my longest clamp here now if you’ve got at least one clamp over four and a half feet long it’s gonna make several these steps in the assembly a lot easier the next I flip the assembly around and I attached the lower rails location of these aren’t as important as the top rails so definitely start with the top first so you can establish that straight top edge along the back of the sofa all right I’m ready to assemble this and as you can see it’s already up here I did this for a drive fit when you’ve got something like this with so many angles it’s always a great idea to do a dry fit and because my workbench is so small I had to get some help so I’m gonna take this apart and right I get my helper my wife to help me out and this is gonna be awesome if you don’t have a wife you know like I can give some good dating advice but I’ll leave that to you on your own I had Susan holding the back assembly as I put glue on the base and got everything set up and she brought it over and I added glue to it as well and then got everything squared up on the ends with that long clamp I used some small clamping wedges to get a squeeze on the uprights and that back angle worked out to right about 12 degrees after clamping everything together I secured the uprights with two and a half inch pocket screws and on a side note here as I record this it’s me and Susan’s 15th wedding anniversary she’s amazing and you know you’ve really found a winner when your wife holds your glue ups for you and look to genuinely excited about it love you baby and next I grab some boards from the darker beam unfortunately the two beams didn’t match exactly but I was able to get pretty much the entire base from the lighter one and I’ll make the sides from the dark I ripped the boards down a little smaller than the base I wanted the size to be thinner and have a little subtle taper to them as well now each side is pretty simple it’s just two legs connected by an armrest and unlike the base I had plenty of material for the sides so I cut the six parts to rough light first though the legs and armrests are joined with 45-degree minors I set up the saw for the cut and I started with the legs I marked for the miter cut on the leg and then lined it up with the blade then I brought in the stop block to set my repeatable cuts for the other legs as well I typically don’t use the hold down on my miter saw but what I’m doing miters I do since the miter cut is at an angle to the fence the blade has a tendency to pull that piece into the cut and that’ll make a sloppy joint so clamping down the parts and hold them tight together is gonna give better results in my experience I got all four chair legs cut to size and the minor on the top but they are a bit blocky so what I do want to do is put a taper on these as well I’m going to go back to the table saw to do that and after that I can cut the tops and then assemble the sides and we’ll have it all ready for final assembly I went back to my new friend the fancy tapering jig for these cuts now seriously though I can’t believe it took me this long to make this thing now when I made the chairs I was super cooling alignment blocks to my old jig for repeatability it’s kind of like in high school when I upgraded from my dad’s 1980 Toyota Corolla with no power steering – my 1990 Mazda a Mexico of course the mx6 had like 60,000 miles on it and the turbo blew out three months later who’s counting now with the legs done I cut the armrest there’s no tapering on these just 45 degree miter zhan each in I like to keep my blades swung to one side to cut all the minors when you get your setup locked in you really don’t want to move it if you don’t have to the miter joints are notoriously weak with just glue and for a clean look I’m going with dhow joinery here I matched up each miter connection I drew to the reference lines across the joints and then I used a self centering dowel jig to register against the mitered face and to drill the holes the jig has a positioning line on it that you line up with your reference marks so that after you’ve drilled the holes on both sides they match up perfectly and just take your time here and when clamping it down though I found that looking at it from further away with both eyes is better than getting close and squinting at it with one eye shut but if all goes well it should fit together like a glove all the dowel holes are drilled and the legs are ready to be assembled but there’s one thing that I need to do first and it’s going to really help with the strength of the joint now in Grain on a miter joint is very porous so if we put wood glue directly on it if I could get this oh my gosh seriously somebody could invent a better top for a wood glue bottle you’d be a millionaire alright we’re gonna hit the easy button on this maybe not so much my gosh there we go comment down below on what workout regimen you think I should use so that I can actually open a bottle of glue all right so if we put this straight on to the block and wipe it in what you’ll see is that it soaks in very fast and as that does then all of that strength of the glue is getting sucked in so it’s not there on the surface there’s not enough glue to hold that joint together so the way that you can avoid that is by what they call blue sizing and that is basically just a mixture of glue and water so I’m going to mix some glue into this little cup of water that I have and then I’m going to apply it to all the ends let that dry and then I can go on top of that and it won’t suck into the grain as much and it’s gonna be a much stronger joint I brush the glue sizing on to the end grain and it’s soaked right in there I started with a silicon glue brush but changed over to a small acid brush which worked way better after a few minutes I came back with full strength exterior wood glue on the joints once you get the glue on the Dow’s you really need to work fast here the water in the glue will swell the dowels and makes putting them together in the holes you drilled a bit more difficult but if you can’t get them fully seated by hand don’t worry about it as you can pull the joints together with clamps now I would typically use a web clamp for miters but with one side open that doesn’t work here so I tried to put a clamp across the top of the legs to just close up that joint it was pretty finicky though as too much pressure pulls the joint apart at the top so just work with it until you have a solid connection and good glue squeeze-out now let the sides dry overnight and the next day I came back and laid out some rounded corners on the arm rests a bottle cap here was just the right size curve that I wanted I nipped off the bulk of the corner with the bandsaw just to reduce sanding time then I went over to my oscillating spindle sander and I sanded to the lines that I’d drawn not gonna say I really enjoy using this tool it’s very zen just working the curve back and forth until you hit that line now to finish off this side assemblies I took them over to the router table to put a round over on everything and the round over pairs really well that tapers in the rounded corners of the armrest when working with awkwardly shaped pieces like this it’s nice to have this big tabletop to guide the parts around now the only parts left to make or the slats and the cleats for the seat supports I cut down some boards for the slats and once I get those finished up I can start finishing everything before assembly but I’m gonna take these and actually these are going to be two by fours I’m gonna rip them in half and make one by fours I’m gonna do that on my jet milling machines between the bandsaw and the planer and then hitting them on the router for a rounded edge it’s awesome to have your own machine so that you can take lumber like this and turn it into whatever you want so if you want to find out more about the jet machines that I use you can check the links down below in the description and I’ll get a big thank you to Jett for being a long-term sponsor of my channel I cut some small parts for the cleats to mount the slats to and then I prepped everything for finish I added round overs to the seat assembly with a palm since it’s way too big for the router table and then I sanded everything to 220 grit I used the random orbital sander where I could and then smooth over everything else by hand I had foresight to drill the mounting holes on the cleats before finishing but somehow I forgot to do the slats as well I’m all set up for finish and I’ve got things everywhere in the shop there’s a lot of parts to do and I didn’t assemble them because I have the cleats and the slats separate and it’s just gonna be way easier to apply finish with a brush because it’s not going to be in there and making the little nooks and crannies now the only difference is if you’re spraying then go ahead and you can attach those because you can spray into the little corners and crevices but if you’re not spraying finish first and then you can get to assembly later now the finishing was a three-step process I’m using total boat marine varnishes for the finish which I’ve had good results with in the past it’s the same stuff that I used on my chair I started off with gleam 2.0 and gloss thinned down 50/50 with their brushing thinner now this is just to seal the wood and get a good base coat for the next one I applied to everything with a foam brush which worked well for me and watching the Cesar come to life never gets old about an hour later that dried and I came back with a full strength coat of the gleam gloss and one of the things that I like about this product is how fast it dries and it lets me do several coats in one day now another couple hours later I came back with a full strength coat of their lust matte finish a couple things to note here it is very thick so have a raking light to check for dry spots as it tends to drag and it’s very strong I highly recommend a vo C respirator when applying all these finishes or doing it outside the finish turned out great and I’m ready to assemble but again the bench is too small so I can’t assemble it because the legs would hang off the bench so I moved it out of the way and I put a sheet of plywood down on the floor and now I’m gonna assemble on top of that that just gives me a nice smooth reference surface where I know everything’s gonna be pretty much in the same plane now assembly can be a little tricky but with the right setup it will go smoothly I marked the legs where I wanted the bottom of the seat assembly to rest and I made some small marks there then I put a piece of painters tape along that line on each leg I use that tape to position a cut off from the project that spanned both legs and I clamped it in place across both of them and then I propped up the sides of the clamps wouldn’t hit the ground and laid the base right on top of it I used a scrap block to get the front of the base flush with that front leg and then I clamped the base to the side where it touches the uprights Susan came over to help me again and held the other side in place while I tilted the base onto that temporary support if you don’t have a helper you can just stand this thing up by sliding some clamps on the bottom of the legs but it’s gonna be way easier with an extra set of hands I flushed out that side and I checked the other one again and I made some minor adjustments to get everything in place and the whole assembly was squeezed together with the long clamp again and I secured it with two and a half inch pocket screws now to attach the upright to the side I’m using two and a half inch number-10 screws here you could also use dowels if you’d liked I put a two inch pieces of blue tape on the upright to show where the arm rest was on the other side I made marks along the upright for three screws keeping them far enough away from the edge to prevent any blowout and next I pre-drilled the holes and countersunk them so the heads would be below the surface I drove them all in while keeping the parts clamp pipe together I didn’t feel great about the smaller diameter screws on the front legs so I pulled them out and I replaced them with those number 10 screws now they don’t have a pan head though so I’d really recommend using the Craig HD system here or finding number 10 screws with pan heads which I’m going to be looking for the final step was to put the slats on to support the cushions I drilled countersunk holes in the slats at the drill press and since there were eighteen of them to drill out I set up a fence with some little visual stops so that I could easily position each hole as I drilled it now the cleats get attached with 1/2 inch screws to the sides and uprights I clamped the cleats in place and then I move them until the slats would be just flush with a seat base and then drove the screws in I repeated the process for the uprights and I was ready for the slats small spacers help me position the parts and I screwed them down with one of the quarter-inch screws into the cleats now these things looking nice this could make a pretty cool all wood loveseat as well we got these cushions from at home and we have bought four extra ones when we made the chairs because we knew we’d be making this part two that this little loveseat really finishes off our front porch but it could also look awesome as indoor furniture too if you want to see the other outdoor furniture I’ve built I got a plate queued up for you right there if you want plans for this one I got them right down below in the description I want to give me thank you to all the people joining the Builders Club you can get more information on that as well and I’ll check you on the next video

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