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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I don't want to pay 219+tax to get this product.
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20117674
I want to build something looking like this i am a bit familiar with wood work.
My previous works are reversing a doors opening direction and a cat house that's about 5 6 foot height (but its covered with rugs so i didn't need good wood work.)

I need to know is if i should just buy would be cheaper or really build it. But then i need to buy a jig saw, drill (witch I'm already planning to buy). I need to figure out which type of wood i should buy.
Since i am a newbie to these types of projects, what should i consider? Is home depot would be my best practice or any suggestions to get my products. I am located in Yorba Linda CA.

Open to any opinions. Thanks
 

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Joonya Membah
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If you don't already own the tools, expect this project's grand total to cost you more than 3 times as much as this Ikea product.

You'll have a better quality cabinet made of stronger plywood and a better looking, more durable finish... but in all reality this design is as cheap as it comes. The wood will cost you over $100. Add in the hardware, glass, finish, you're probably at around $200. Add in the time investment (whatever your time is worth) - I'd estimate 20 hours to complete this project - and you're over the price point. The more you make at one time, the cheaper the cost is, though...

Add in a decent table saw, dado blades, a sander, biscuit joiner, and a drill press, and you're somewhere around $2500 :) You *could* do this all with hand tools, and some guys here probably can... but for a complete novice, you're probably looking at 6 months worth of work.
 

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I say build it, for the satisfaction not the price. I'm thinking you will need to buy or have access to a table saw, router or stacked dado blades, to accommodate the sliding doors. A circular saw would work too but then you still will need a router.Drawer hardware, drill and bits etc etc.

It looks like a fun project but if you are starting from scratch regarding tools and such it will be a tie at the minimum price wise.

My early efforts cost way more than some discount buys and the workmanship is questionable, but they are mine, I built them and that counts for allot.
 

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Joonya Membah
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I agree with Av8r on all those points. Building your own furniture gives you a deep personal satisfaction.

But the first sentence of the OP makes me think that's not really what he cares about.
 

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Drewex, if your only concern is the price, just buy the thing. You could probably build one for that price but it won't look as nice and will be a lot of effort for not a lot of payout. If, however, you enjoyed your previous projects and see them as a hobby as well as a way to save money, then you can build it for certainly on the same rough scale, price-wise. It can most definitely be done with hand tools, and you wouldn't have to dado the slots for the sliding doors, though that would probably be just as easy (and look nicer) than adding visible tracks. Wood doesn't necessarily have to be that expensive, especially if you don't mind cruising sites for second-hand stuff or "throw aways".

As I said, though, all of these things mean a lot more effort and time from you, and your time has to be worth something to you. If you're doing it just to save money then don't bother.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry for the delayed response and sorry for lots more questions:help:. Been crazy busy past 2 days. I plan to buy some tools anyway. I feel like a drill, jig or table saw would be enough. I can get sander and a nails instead of getting power tools. I already own a dremel hand tool. And if I'm missing anything please let me know. I have really minimal knowledge but lots of skill and Passion to do this.

Also for lumber what do you guys suggest i should get. and where, Should i get it home depot or any suggested better places i should go.
Also would it be smart to look for some place that sells old furniture and renew it, if so where would these be sold.

And i upgraded the project to look like
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S39854192
 

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Joonya Membah
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Table saw is probably the first woodworking tool you should buy. You can do dang near every type of joinery on a table saw.

Home Depot is currently clearing out the Rigid granite-topped table saw for $299 (!!!!) I posted about this thing almost a year ago and finally got one, it's actually quite a nice saw. It's an absolute steal for $299.

As far as lumber, find a local lumber yard. There's probably a couple near you. They will sell all kinds of wood for you to make sawdust with, at far better prices than Home Depot. For example, a sheet of 3/4" MDF is $35 at Home Depot, $20 at Suwanee Lumber (here in Georgia). A sheet of 3/4" oak plywood is $50 at HD, $38 at the lumber yard. The quality of wood at lumber yards is typically far better than what you'll get at the Depot, as well.

HD/Lowes works great when you need a stick of something quickly, though. Lumber yards typically keep worse hours than bankers.

Good to keep that passion alive, this is a great hobby that produces useable stuff! Take a look on youtube for Norm's videos on table saw setup and use.
 

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About the only time that it is cheaper for a person to make a project than to go and buy it would be if you had all your own tools...had a back property with lots of wood that you can harvest and mill on your small mill and have it stacked properly to dry and be ready for use.

If you enjoy building your own projects, as stated before, then you must put the prices as a secondary (at least) factor. For you can always find something cheaper than it would cost to build it.

Some of the items that my wife gets me to make for around the house, is usually constructed of melamine coated particleboard, for she hates for it to 'cost too much' and she is mostly concerned with function. My compromise with these things is that I trim out the projects with solid wood, so it don't look like something from walmart and also I know that these items are custom sized and may just have features that is not available in the stores.
 

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Joonya Membah
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Well, there's a couple places that have furniture designs that are cheaper to build... Pottery Barn comes to mind.

But you'll never match or beat Ikea yourself. There's a reason those stores are gigantic and everything in packed in flat boxes. They have decades and millions in research and development into making these things as cheap and easy as possible.
 

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I'll heartily disagree that it's almost always cheaper to buy, but if you're going to use "good quality" materials (read solid hardwoods) it makes it much harder to stay within the budget of what you can buy cheaply at a store.

That said, both of those entertainment centers are effectively just carcasses for a box with some legs slapped on them. In one case it has hinged doors (the second) and the other it has sliding doors. Either may or may not have drawers or cubby holes behind the doors, I don't know. Neither is particularly difficult or expensive to build though, even using 3/4 ply. You can definitely get either one built completely from a single sheet of ply (4 feet by 8 feet) which is significantly less than $200 or $400. Let's say $80 for some nice ply, another $30 or so for some veneer for edge finishing and then another $50 in hardware and stain. You're still only at $160 (not counting your time). If you have to buy new glass for the doors, you're going beyond the $200 but you'll still come in under the $400. If, however, you can pick up some old windows for the glass, you can prbably still come in under $200 with a little effort.

I highly recommend against trying to use any kind of nails. Screw and glue it, if you build yourself, and it will last a lot longer and be sturdier while you actually use it. A tablesaw is honestly the only tool I'd really need to build either of those. Other tools would help, but certainly aren't necessary. I suppose, technically, a handheld drill would be necessary and some sandpaper, but you already said you were going to buy those. You could do all this with a jig saw, but it's going to be slow and painful work if you do, and I suspect it will not look as good unless you're already very familiar with more advanced techniques of using a jig saw.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the boost frankp. I can definitly do this.
I dont want to spend 400 on some stupid wood box ikea, pottery barn, target gives me and limited to their style to their sizes.

I am scared of table saws actually it freaks me out that you can cut of a finger so easly.
Jig saws on the other hand feels more safe, i can do curved cuts not just straight and its CHEAPER hehehe, but all are right its will take more time to cut. But better then using a hand saw. Or i can get a circular saw but thats much more expensive then jig saw and still limited to straight lines.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100052548

http://www.homedepot.com/Tools-Hard...splay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

http://www.lowes.com/pd_295343-7999..._A1_Activity-_-SC_Power Tools_Area1-_-20628_2

I guess next question would be steps i should take. Obviously i need to get a 3d design of it ( I got a couple 3d apps i can use). Then messuring the wood required. purchasing, building it and painting. Am i missing anything.
 

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First off, that youtube video is disturbing, whether fake or not. :thumbdown:

If you still have a fear of losing your finger with a table saw, you should not be attempting a project of this scale yet, you should be working on more basic projects to build confidence and skill with your tools, such as a cutting board or basic end table.

There's no reason why you can't add "entertainment center" to your list of things to build. I have a very long list of things to build requiring varying degrees of skill as I'm sure many here do. Start with the easy ones, work your way up to the more challenging stuff.

Another way to think about it, if you start with something too challenging, the moment you finish it, you'll have learned many things you wish you hadn't done the way you did :shifty: and want to do it over again ;). Why not learn those lessons on a less costly project? :yes:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Its all about needs. I need it so i'll build it. I've used a jigsaw for many cases couple years ago. I am more conftroble with it thats all i was saying. Obviously table saw does the job in 10 seconds which takes me 10 mins on a jig saw. Thanks for your opinion tho.


First off, that youtube video is disturbing, whether fake or not. :thumbdown:

If you still have a fear of losing your finger with a table saw, you should not be attempting a project of this scale yet, you should be working on more basic projects to build confidence and skill with your tools, such as a cutting board or basic end table.

There's no reason why you can't add "entertainment center" to your list of things to build. I have a very long list of things to build requiring varying degrees of skill as I'm sure many here do. Start with the easy ones, work your way up to the more challenging stuff.

Another way to think about it, if you start with something too challenging, the moment you finish it, you'll have learned many things you wish you hadn't done the way you did :shifty: and want to do it over again ;). Why not learn those lessons on a less costly project? :yes:
 

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I think you'd be better off borrowing a circular saw or even buying a cheap one, my $40 skill circular saw from walmart has lasted 5 year so far.

REALLY hard to cut straight with a jigsaw.

Trick I used when cutting long cuts with circular saw is to clamp a piece of 2x4 to the plywood to use as a guide.

Glad to have a table saw and pushstick now though.
 

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A table saw is alot like a dog...if you`re afraid of him or it ...it`ll bite you! Please , work on things you understand...then work your way up! Rick
 

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If you really think you enjoy working with wood and building things for your needs etc. There is no need to rush it, start picking up some woodworking magazines (not only for whatever projects they might be featuring but for all the knowledge and safe power tools practices that are featured in almost every article).

As far as the tablesaw is concerned, and it really should be your prime objective to get this primary woodworking tool, you can read many great articles on using them safely. Even googling "tablesaw tips and techniques" will give you all kinds of information. Taking a night course wood shop classes will allow you to do a few small things using the tablesaw and other tools to allow you to ease into the comfort zone with these machines. I never took any courses, but do have an extensive collection of magazines on woodworking and I also took wood shop way back in high school, so for me the machinery was not all that hard to figure out and to respect. Going into something and using a good amount of common sense goes a long way!

It's great to have plans to build bigger projects, ones that you really have a need for, but really it is best to start out making small little things...learning tips and safe practices along the way.
 

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Joonya Membah
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First of all, most table saws have blade guards with anti kick back devices. A lot of us take these off (they might get in the way of things like dado stacks or jigs), but they're there for a reason.

Secondly, that dude is an idiot in the video, and it's pretty fake.

Third, the right tool for the job. A jigsaw isn't made to cut straight lines. Even though you CAN cut relatively straight lines with a jigsaw, there's really no way it'll leave a nice edge for a joint.
 

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drewex, as others have said, this is going to be difficult to do even poorly with a jigsaw. To do it well is going to be next to impossible. Look at Craigslist in your area of some used tools. I've seen a lot of circular saws (and jig saws) going for $10 or less so you could pick up both for less than the price of a new one. If you're not comfortable with a tablesaw yet, the circular saw is your next best option and the methods for cutting the pieces will be the same for the circular saw or the jigsaw so it will actually be about the same level of effort for you with much better results.

Another good place to look for used hand power tools is pawn shops. I always see jigsaws, circular saws, reciprocating saws and similar in pawn shops when I go in them. Prices are usually better on craigslist, but I'd check both, just to see.
 
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