View Full Version : Child's Table & Chairs

Narayan Nayar
03-24-2008, 2:13 AM
There's a bit of story here...hope you don't mind indulging me.

A good friend of mine helped me get my garage shop together over the last two years--helped lift the cyclone onto its wall mount, helped install ducting, provided motivational support (in the form of jeering, but I'll take what I can get) when everything was in boxes, etc. Sometime last year he said he wanted to make a hallway table and I jumped at the chance to help him. He took me up on my offer but politely refused my design help. A few weeks after that, he announced he was going to make a hallway table out of 2x4s and not change the basic dimension of the lumber. He works with metal and likes mass. I rolled my eyes and off we went to the BORG and came home with lots of green doug fir 2x4s, which I taught him how to cut into pieces and sticker.

Those 2x4s were stacked on the side of my house for about 3 weeks before he decided to move...from California back to eastern Canada. I offered to help him load up the 2x4s but he "graciously" donated them to me. They then sat stacked on the side of my house for another 4 months.

My son (http://www.flickr.com/photos/etherfarm/tags/raybueno/), who is now 2, absolutely adores this friend of mine. So when I was trying to decide how best to get rid of, I mean use, these 2x4s, I thought it would be a fitting tribute to my son's relationship with my friend to make my son's first table and chairs out of them. I made them a little large so he could grow into them.

So here they are. Everything was Dominoed and after rough dimensioning, just about all surfaces were handplaned. On this project I got to try out my new Bridge City Toolworks HP-6v2, which did the roundovers on the legs (it arrived too late to do the top and the seat bottoms). Everything in these pieces came from a 2x4.




Though my son absolutely loves the desk, let's just say it's the last piece of furniture I make with construction grade doug fir :). Though I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised to see a bit of chatoyance through in parts of the top.


Seems like most of my work is out of construction lumber these days... Can't wait to get to that small stash of cherry and maple I've had "acclimating" for over a year now...

Mike Heidrick
03-24-2008, 3:14 AM
Beautiful. I like it. I need to build one and a Kitchen for my daughter!!

randy street
03-24-2008, 4:11 AM

Very nice. Can you post the dimensions. I'm looking for something like that for our 2 boys.



Mike Cutler
03-24-2008, 5:21 AM
Wow!! If you can do that with 'Borg quality 2x4's, what does your "real woodworking" look like?

That's quite a nice table and chair set, all in all. Well done

J. Z. Guest
03-24-2008, 8:55 AM
Nice project, nice story, nice work.

Lars Thomas
03-24-2008, 1:21 PM
A few years back we had a 2x4 contest here on the Creek. Aside from the fact you could only use one 2x4, you would have won for sure. Great looking set. Lars

Mike McCann
03-24-2008, 1:59 PM
That looks great. Would appreciate dimensions of the table and chairs.

Lee Schierer
03-24-2008, 3:59 PM
Nice looking set. Don't despair that it is made of construction gradelumber. It is still wood and you won't be nearly as upset when he adds his own personalizations to it as you would have been if it were made from prime cherry. It will also be easier to part with when your kids out grow it.

Narayan Nayar
03-24-2008, 4:43 PM
No despair here. Was just a pain to work with. Handplaning, in particular, was very difficult. Tamed it (somewhat, certainly within reason) with scrapers and a bit of handsanding. But basically that would tears out and dents just by looking at it, and I found I had to be pretty vigilant about chamfering or using backing boards while machining it to avoid a complete blowout on edges.

I've used similar lumber for shop projects and if you're not trying to make it look nice, it actually performs very well. I think PW had an issue a while back which showcased this fact. My sharpening station is built out of construction lumber and it's great. But I wasn't taking a handplane to it :).

To everyone who requested dimensions--I'll clean up the sketchup files and post later this week (busy week at work for me this week).

Jim Becker
03-24-2008, 8:20 PM
Wow....very cute! And the furniture is great, too...LOL Seriously, nice job and a great way to use that material.

Stephen Ash
04-01-2008, 10:23 AM
Wow, thatís a great set! Iíd like to build something similar for my little son (20 months old), so Iím also eager to see the measurements when you get them together.

Best regards,

Narayan Nayar
07-28-2008, 6:23 PM
I've gotten a few requests to follow up on this; the last one, coupled with being sick over the weekend, pushed me over the top.

Here's a Sketchup file...last night I modified it to reflect the actual project (pics above), which "in process" turned out to be quite a bit different than the original plans.

A few things:

The file is pretty vanilla, but it's got all the right measurements, including the roundover radii I used for various parts. You can dimension whatever you want.
I sized the table and chairs for my son to "grow into". My son is about 2.5 years old now; I made these for him for his 2 year birthday. The chairs are still a little tall for him, but that's fine.
If I were to do anything differently it would be the chair seats. I'd make them wider than they are deep, but these were my first chairs and I actually like that they make him sit towards the front of the chair more. Neither he nor the other kids which come and use the chairs seem to have any problems with them.
Actually, I take that back. If I were to do anything differently, it would be to use decent wood.... :)

Next project for the little guy: a stepstool which slides neatly under a pedestal sink for handwashing and also fits around the front of a toilet for potty training.

Anyway, here y'all go...


Jon Grider
07-28-2008, 6:54 PM
Nice,It's dimensions are pleasing to the eye.

Chris Kennedy
07-28-2008, 11:32 PM
That is bloody impressive.

Thanks for the dimensions and SketchUp files. My boy is a couple of months younger than yours which doesn't leave me much time.:D



Andy Korfin
07-29-2008, 7:50 AM
Narayan...A very impressive project. I think my 16 month old girl would like a set of her own.

Thanks for posting the plans,


John Thompson
07-29-2008, 11:34 AM
Excellent... excellent... excellent and done with economy. A prime example of how even the simplest wood can be made attractive with a little thought.

Well done...