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Children's Furniture Projects (eBook)

Children's Furniture Projects (eBook)
by Jeff Miller
PDF eBook
Building furniture for a child is a special pleasure for a woodworker. And because kids need safe and durable furniture sized to their needs, furniture for them presents special challenges, too.

Childrens Furniture Projects provides a mix of projects that has something for woodworkers of all skill levels. The ten projects - ranging from a fanciful rocking dinosaur to sturdy childrens beds -- are designed to help make the childrens room as well furnished as any other room in the house. Many of these projects have knockdown construction, which makes the pieces easy to store once they are outgrown. Detailed step-by-step instructions and photos explain how to construct durable furniture that will last a whole childhood, including:
  • an elegant rocking cradle
  • a chair that doubles as a toy
  • a solid heirloom crib
  • a Tyrannosaurus rocker
  • an ample and practical toy chest
About the author
Jeff Miller is an award-winning furniture designer and has been a professional woodworker for over 14 years. He is the author of Beds and Chairmaking & Design, and he is a frequent contributor to Fine Woodworking magazine. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.
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Building furniture for a child is a special pleasure for a woodworker. And because kids need safe and durable furniture sized to their needs, furniture for them presents special challenges, too.

Childrens Furniture Projects provides a mix of projects that has something for woodworkers of all skill levels. The ten projects - ranging from a fanciful rocking dinosaur to sturdy childrens beds -- are designed to help make the childrens room as well furnished as any other room in the house. Many of these projects have knockdown construction, which makes the pieces easy to store once they are outgrown. Detailed step-by-step instructions and photos explain how to construct durable furniture that will last a whole childhood, including:
  • an elegant rocking cradle
  • a chair that doubles as a toy
  • a solid heirloom crib
  • a Tyrannosaurus rocker
  • an ample and practical toy chest
About the author
Jeff Miller is an award-winning furniture designer and has been a professional woodworker for over 14 years. He is the author of Beds and Chairmaking & Design, and he is a frequent contributor to Fine Woodworking magazine. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Additional Information

Additional Information

SKU FWW61077964
Table Of Contents Introduction

Children's Furniture Basics

Cradle

Crib

Child's Four-Poster Bed

Panel Bed

A Versatile Children's Table

Child's Rocker

Marble Chair

A Rocking Dinosaur

Toy Chest

Sources

Intro My first experience with making furniture for a child came when my niece (the first child in her generation of my family) turned two and I wanted to make something special for her birthday. There was an awful lot I didn't know about children then, and the results of my efforts didn't turn out exactly as I intended. Fortunately, things weren't a total disaster. My niece quickly grew big enough to use the piece I made for her.

I decided I needed to learn a little more. Over the years, not only have I done more research on making furniture for children but I have also had many other occasions to learn from my mistakes. I've learned even more from the children around me, and especially from my own. It has always been both fun and rewarding.

The main thing I have discovered is that making furniture for children is not quite the same as making furniture for adults. Kids use stuff differently, and they have different needs, desires, and tastes. That's not to say that most of the things we pay attention to when making adult furniture don't apply. On the contrary. We still have to work toward good design, appropriate structure and construction, and proper finishing. But most of the requirements are a bit different from what we look for in our grown-up work.

Good design for children involves a number of factors. First and foremost is safety. Furniture, especially for infants and younger children, must be as safe as we can make it. Many of the safety issues are not entirely obvious, especially if you don't have much experience with children already. Fortunately, there are plenty of guidelines to help us with this, and they are discussed in Children's Furniture Basics (p. 4). Safety is also a factor when choosing methods of construction and finishing. This furniture needs to stand up to all of the stresses and indignities a child will dish out, and it must be safe even if chewed on.

Once all of this is out of the way, we come to making things that are special for children. There are many ways to approach this, and many of these approaches can be combined. One possibility is to make a child-size version of a piece of grown-up furniture. A child feels special having his or her own version of something that adults commonly use. The miniature Four-Poster Bed (p. 48) is a great example of this.

Another possibility is to make something that is uniquely for kids. After speaking with a group of kindergarteners about chairs, I discovered that they liked the idea of a chair that was also something else -- something more than just a chair. This is not a grown-up concept. And that makes pieces like the Marble Chair (p. 106) very special, something kids have a hard time resisting.

Children's furniture can also be designed with an element of whimsy: the Child's Rocker (p. 90) and the Toy Chest (p. 138) fit in with this. There are geometric shapes, patterns, and colors to play with. And there are pieces that tie in with strong childhood interests, like the Rocking Dinosaur (p. 124). And finally, there are pieces that just plain function well for children, such as the Versatile Children's Table (p. 78).

The designs in this book are for real furniture for real kids. Some of it is playful; some of it is like Mom's and Dad's; but all of it is useful, fun, durable, and something children and parents -- and especially the person who made it -- will be proud of. Each of the projects can be used as a simple set of plans for a high-quality project, a starting point for variations, or even the foundation for a project of your own design. Many of these designs evolved from things I made for my own children and thus have been field-tested extensively by them, by my nieces and nephews, and by the children of many customers who have purchased children's furniture from me over the course of my career as a furniture designer and craftsman.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we have.
Video No
Author Jeff Miller
ISBN 978-1-60085-641-9
Publication Year 2002
Pages 160
Photo color photos
Drawings and drawings
Video Download No
Other Formats No
Cover PDF eBook
Format eBook (PDF)
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