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Marc – On today’s show, we’re going to build this awesome kids’ table and chair set, and it’s all for Woodworkers Fighting Cancer. – [Voiceover] Hit it! (upbeat music) – [Voiceover] We’d like to thank this year’s event sponsors, Powermatic, Bell Forest Products, Fuji Spray, Eagle America, Microjig, Rockler, and Procon Supply. Their generous donations make this event possible.
If you can believe it, this adorable table and chair set is made with one single sheet of plywood, and you only need basic tools to do it. We have some dowel joinery included, as well as knock-down hardware to allow us to pack this thing flat if you want to ship it across the country. Or maybe you want to put it in storage until you have another kid that can use it. You also have some cool built-in storage here. By pulling this little pin, you could release the top, and inside we’ve got space for puzzles, arts and crafts materials, boogers, you know, whatever kids are going to put in there. But we can always use more storage space. Now, this project is for Woodworkers Fighting Cancer. So if you want to help out, you want to build one of these, just download the free plan, build the project or something close to it, and submit a picture. If you do that, I’m going to donate $5 directly to the cause on your behalf. If you’re a YouTuber and you like making blogs, make a blog about your build and I’ll donate $10 to the cause. You can get more details at WoodworkersFightingCancer. com on how to submit your blog or your pictures, either way. All right, so we’ve got some plywood to cut and a lot of work to do. But this is all feasible within a weekend. Start by printing out the templates. No need for a special printer. Just use standard paper. Make sure you print without scaling. Use the corner index marks for aligning, and cut the papers to size with a straight edge and a razor blade. Use tape to connect the pieces as you assemble the two templates. (light music) Cut off the excess and attach each paper template to some template stock. I’m using quarter-inch plywood. Spray and even coat of adhesive onto the template stock, as well as the paper template, and drop the paper onto the plywood. (light music) This whole process is repeated for the table leg template. Cut the shapes out using a jigsaw and a fine-tooth blade like this one. Lots of teeth means a cleaner cut. For the inside space of the chair, drill starter holes at each corner that allow the jigsaw blade to enter and exit. Get as close to the line as you can without going over. (light music) Once the shapes are cut out, fare the curves with a flexible sanding strip or a sanding block. For any areas that need a lot of work, use a file, rasp, spoke shave or block plane to work your way down to the line. Before you know it, you have two templates ready to go. Now we can cut out the project parts. I like to place my full sheet over two pieces of foam insulation, which allows me to cut right on the floor. In order to get all the project pieces from a single sheet of plywood, you’ll want to follow the cut diagram carefully. I find the easiest thing to do is break up the sheet up into four main sections, and then cut it down further from there. I’m using a simple homemade track made from particle board and an MDF strip, and a typical circular saw. I just clamp the track in place right on the cut line and I’m in business. While this system might not be as good as a commercial track saw system, it gets the job done remarkably well, and costs a heck of a lot less.
As you break the parts down, you’ll want to use a large square to align your cuts. (light music) The table saw is used to rip the parts to final width according to the cut list. The chop saw is great for cutting the parts to final length, and similar parts can be cut at once or using a stop block. Let’s focus in on the table legs. Each leg is made from two pieces. At each end will be a 5-degree cut, giving the legs a slight angle. The inside piece is cut shorter to accommodate the table box. Cut one end of all your leg pieces at 5 degrees. (light music) On the long leg pieces, measure up from the 5-degree end 22 inches and extend that line across the work piece. If you want, you can use a bevel gauge to show exactly where you’ll make the cut. Now cut all of the long leg pieces to that 22 inch line at 5 degrees. Using one of my short table apron pieces as reference, I draw a line that represents the length of the inner short leg piece. We can now use this line to set up the saw by lining it up with the blade and setting up a stop block. Cut all of the short leg pieces using this setup. When we place a short and long leg piece together, it should look like this. So let’s glue it up. Spread a good amount of glue on both pieces, and use a few brad nails to help prevent slipping. The thing to remember here is that you’ll have left and right versions of your legs, so always double check yourself to make sure that you’re making mirrored pairs. After the legs are dry, we can cut the curves. There are two reference points you need to worry about, the inside bottom corner, and the outside edge about halfway up the leg. These points need to make contact on your blanks’ edges, and everything else will just fall in place. Trace around the template and make the cuts using the jigsaw. (light music) Get as close to the line as you can. You can either sand the legs to their final shape, or you can use a router with a flush trim bit. (light music) You’ll need a fairly long bit to get this all done in one shot. (light music) And there’s our four legs. Now for the chair sides. In order to get four sides from such a small piece, we’ll have to carefully nest them together, then cut them out with the jigsaw. Remember, the closer you get to your line, the less work you’ll have to do in the next step. (light music) Either work back to your lines with hand tools and sanding, or use your template and flush trim bit. (light music) Now let’s turn our attention to the table box. The table box consists of four sides with a quarter-inch wide groove and a bottom panel that receives a rabbit. Cut the groove at the table saw, making a single pass in all four pieces. (light music) Adjust the fence for a second cut that creates a total groove width of a quarter inch, and cut all four pieces a second time. (light music) With the bottom panel cut to size, we can mill the perimeter rabbit. I’ll use a standard bearing-guided rabbit bit to do the work. It’s something of a trial and error process, as I make a few test cuts using the previously cut groove for sizing. Once dialed in, I can work my way around the perimeter. If you notice some areas are tighter than others, use a block plane or shoulder plane to thin out the lip. Do a quick dry assembly to make sure everything fits, and then take it apart so you can add the round-overs. Everything on this project will be rounded over for safety. A quarter-inch radius round-over will do the trick. Where the legs meet the table box, try to keep that area square. It’ll look better. Now carefully reassemble the box with glue in the grooves. Adjust for square, and then pre-drill for two screws at each corner. (light music) Now let’s attach the legs. First, drill a couple of small holes through the template where indicated. I’m working with a preliminary version of the template, so just ignore my marks. Place the template over each leg and transfer the hole locations using the same bit. On the table box, mark 2 inches in at the top and use that line to locate the legs. The drilling is much easier to do with the whole thing upside down, so flip it and drill the quarter-inch holes through the leg, but not completely through the box. Using a larger 3/8-inch bit, drill through the starter marks on the box. The reason for this larger hole is because we’ll be using cap nuts that have a larger diameter than our connector bolts. When drilling this hole, clamp a piece of scrap to the inside of the case to help prevent tearout. Give the legs a nice round-over, and see how it looks. (light music) Not too shabby. Now back to our chair sides. Use the hole patterns to transfer the hole locations through the template and into the inside face of the chair side. Don’t drill deep. Just try to puncture the surface. Using a 3/8-inch bit, drill two outer dowel holes 1/2-inch deep. (light music) For the middle hole, use a 1/4-inch bit to drill all the way through for the connector bolt. Each set of chair sides should be a mirror image of one another. For the backs, seats, and stretchers, I’ll use the template to transfer the hole locations to both ends of each piece. At the work bench, prepare for drilling by extending the lines across the edge and then marking the center point of each line. All holes are drilled 1 inch deep with a 3/8 drill bit. By the way, a brad point bit is essential, as it allows us to drill right on the crosshairs. If you’re having trouble drilling straight, drop a square on the edge, and you’ll be surprised at how effective that is at helping you drill perpendicular to a narrow edge. In the center hole, we’ll drive a threaded insert with the help of some wax. These can be tricky to get started, but once the threads start to cut in, you simply drive it home with an Allen wrench. (light music) With a little bit of glue in each hole, drive a 1-1/2-inch long 3/8 dowel into the outer holes. (light music) With the dowels and inserts installed, we can do a little dry assembly just to make sure it all goes together. (light music) Each piece gets the same 1/4-inch round-over as everything else, including the stretchers, back, and seat. Because this is plywood, you’ll likely have some tearout here and there. Nothing a little filler can’t handle. While we have the filler out, let’s fill the screw holes and groove holes in the table box. Now let’s install the pin cleats. These will help lock the top in place, and they’re very easy to make. The cleat has a 5/16 hole drilled in the center and it’s glued to the underside of the top. Brad nails are helpful for locking it down into position. When attaching the cleat to the other side, use a piece of paper to help give the cleat a little bit of breathing room for paint and finish. Now use the cleat hole as a guide to create a hole in the table box, but don’t go all the way through the side. To make the pin handles, drill a couple of 1/4-inch holes on a small strip of scrap, and then cut them into little squares. Cut a 1/4-inch dowel to 1-3/4 long, and glue that into the handle. (light music) Just like that, the top of the table is locked in place. Now the finish I’m going to use here today is probably more complicated than you would want to do, but I’m itching to do it, and I want to show it to you, because it’s pretty cool. But ultimately, all you need for the table and chairs is a nice coat of paint. Just get a brush, your favorite paint, and slather it on there. It doesn’t have to be complicated. And you know what? Get the kids involved. Let them have some fun with it too. The finish I’m going to do is a lacquer finish that has pigment added to it. We’re going to add that ourselves. So let me show you the details. What I’ve got here is UTC titanium white pigment, fairly expensive, but the stuff lasts a long time, and one of my favorite lacquers, Sherwood CAB-Acrylic Lacquer, medium rubbed effect. That means that it’s got a little bit of stuff in there to deaden the shine. Why do I like this so much? Primarily because I’ve got a lot of experience with lacquer. I don’t really paint that often, so going into the world of paints is a little bit of an unknown for me. So by adding pigment to my lacquer, the stuff behaves kind of like lacquer and it looks like paint, so I get the best of both worlds. Then I could build up a clear coat on top of my “painted surface” using that very same lacquer and getting a nice clear coat to protect the color, and it looks gorgeous. All right? Let me show you how I do it. The pigment looks a lot like paint, and mixes well with lacquer. I usually add 3 to 4 tablespoons to my cup. The pigment doesn’t dissolve, so it’ll need to be mixed periodically. I do all of my spraying outside so I like to have a self-contained turbine sprayer on a mobile cart. I set the pieces out on sawhorses and apply the first coat. It usually takes two to three coats to get a full, consistent white appearance. Sand between coats with a 320 grit for a smoother finish. (light music) Once the finish is completely cured, we can do some assembly. (light music) Well, there you go. Just like that we’ve got a white lacquer finish and it looks beautiful. This is pretty much it, right? No way. This is actually just the beginning. (ominous music) (humorous music) After all that fun, the marker artwork is locked in with a few coats of lacquer. Well, this is undeniably a kids’ table and chair set. I love how I was able to capture the artwork, sort of freeze it in time with that lacquer, and this is something we’ll be able to enjoy in our family for years to come, partially because no other family would want something like this. But I don’t see how we’ll ever be able to get rid of it. So, great little project. If you want to build along, remember this is for Woodworkers Fighting Cancer. So go to WoodworkersFightingCancer. com. You can download the plans in both PDF and Sketchup format, as well as imperial and metric. If you send me a picture, just go to TheWoodWhisperer. com/wfc-submit. Send me a photograph and I’ll donate $5 on your behalf to the charity. If you’re a YouTuber and you make that blog, I’ll donate $10 on your behalf. Go to the same place to submit your link for your blog as well. We’re really excited about this year. We’re almost halfway to our goal of $15,000, and with your help we’ll be able to get there. All right, so WoodworkersFighting Cancer. com is where you find all the information, and also find our latest total to see how close we are to our goal. Thanks for reading. Thanks for building along. And thanks for helping us fight cancer. Take care. (light music).