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Two Simple Woodworking Projects You Can Do

Working with wood is one of the oldest crafts. Today's modern tools, hardware, and adhesives make creating beautiful wood creations easy. Here are a couple of woodworking projects that even a novice can accomplish.

Building a bookcase

The first step in building a bookcase is to determine where to put it in your home. This will dictate its size, shape, and finish. Draw a plan, or use one from a book or Web site on bookcase construction. Next, figure out what materials you will need:

  • wood for the sides, back, and shelves
  • shelf pins or other mounting hardware
  • decorative trim pieces
  • nails
  • wood screws
  • wood glue
  • tools--saw, drill, hammer, carpenter's square, screwdriver

Next, measure and cut the various pieces. Drill holes for the shelf pins and pilot holes for assembly. Assemble the top, sides, and bottom using the carpenter's square, then add the back and any decorative trim desired. You can nail the pieces together, but the "screw and glue" method will give you a superior final product. Finally, stain or paint the finished bookcase. If you are using stain, an alternative is to stain the pieces prior to assembly.

Building a simple table

Tables come in many shapes and sizes. You may need a bedside table, a picnic table, or a table for your breakfast nook. For your first attempt, a simple design is best. Get drawings from a carpentry book or Web site. Determine the size and height of the table, then purchase the materials. You'll need the following:

  • 2" by 2" stock for the legs
  • a sheet of ¾" or larger thickness which you will cut to the size of the tabletop
  • eight metal L-shaped brackets
  • wood screws
  • wood glue
  • tools--saw, screwdriver, and carpenter's square

Cut the 2" by 2" stock to the proper length for the four legs, and the tabletop to the predetermined size. Sand the top and legs smooth, and round the edges slightly. Next, attach the L-shaped brackets to two adjacent sides at one end of each leg, making sure the top of each bracket is even with the top of the leg. Place tabletop face down and screw the legs to each corner. Turn the table over and check for stability. Then add decorative trim to the tabletop edges if desired, and paint or stain the finished table.

Voila, you have a custom bookcase and table, and the satisfaction of a job well done.