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MM15: Basic Furniture Making

w/ Joyce Bernard


video sleeve image

$29.95 + S&H

Table of Contents:

Tools and Materials
Pie Safe

Approx. Running Time: 91 minutes


You Don't Have To Wait For A Furniture Sale
To Redecorate Your Miniature House
...Not when you've got Joyce Bernard to teach you how to make your own.

"I fell in love with miniatures about 10 years ago," says Joyce Bernard. "I wanted to be able to create my own furniture without using expensive power tools." And so Joyce developed a set of techniques using simple hand tools and basswood to create beautiful furniture... techniques she freely shares with you in "Basic Furniture Making," Volume 15 of the multi-part Master Miniaturists Video Instructional Series. In this video, the expert craftsperson and miniaturist will be your guide to making a table, chair, and antique pie safe. It's easy to follow along as she shares her techniques for everything from cutting the basswood to painting and varnishing.

One of the regular features of the Master Miniaturist Video Instructional Series is the "Tools and Materials" section. It's here that the instructor outlines all the raw materials you'll need to design and complete your creations. This latest Volume follows suit. Here you'll examine cutting board, masonite, sandpaper, basswood pieces, hinges, brushes, paints, and everything else you'll need to get started. These are all items you can find at a local craft store. But just in case you can't, Joyce provides a list of sources at the end of the video where you can purchase these materials through mail order.

Your first project will be to construct an End Table. Although this lesson uses an End Table as an example, Joyce assures you that by following the same techniques, and adding a few simple variations, you can also make a Coffee Table, Dining Room Table, or any other table for that matter. You'll watch as she demonstrates all the steps, from cutting the wood with a miter box and cleaning the "fuzzies," to assembling, glueing, and painting.

You'll start the first lesson by making the table top. To assemble the individual wood pieces Joyce recommends using a magnetic glueing board. And she shows you exactly how much glue to use. "When using a board," she says, "use wax paper. It saves you time from having to wash off the glue constantly." Once the wood is assembled and glued, you'll need to set it aside to dry. But you won't have to wait long before finishing your table. "Basswood doesn't take a long time to dry," says Joyce. "Usually about two to three minutes."

After your table top is done, you'll use similar cutting and glueing procedures to assemble the table's legs and riser. "Make sure the skirt and legs are level with each other," Joyce cautions. "So that when you put the top on it will be nice and even." If, however, they don't come out level, she demonstrates a technique for leveling and smoothing the edges.

Once you're done with the table, your next project will be to cut and assemble a chair. The construction is similar to the one you used to make a table, but Joyce constantly adds new tips and techniques to make the job easier. "Remember when you're cutting your wood pieces with the miter saw you don't want to push down," she advises. "Some of these pieces are very small and you'll just crush them."

Assembling the wood pieces and glueing are next. Glueing the chair, however, is a little trickier than the table because the wood pieces are cut at an angle. Joyce also explains why placing the chair's risers at different heights will make it easier to work with.

Your project isn't complete until Joyce shows you a quick and easy way to cut, stuff, and sew a small cushion to give your miniature chair a finishing touch.

Your final assignment will be to create an antique pie safe. Here you'll not only learn how to make the safe, you'll also get an entertaining lesson in the history of the pie safe. As with the table and chair, each step is covered down to the smallest detail of placing the tiny hinges on the door. Joyce also offers helpful hints for painting and varnishing such as: "Be careful not to get too much paint along the sides of the drawers, or it will be a tight fit and you'll have to sand it off." And after watching this video, you'll never look at a can of Pepsi in quite the same way.

In the final portion of the video you'll see a demonstration of the variety of furniture pieces you can make by using the same techniques you learned on this tape. Things such as dressers, beds, night stands, hutches, and bookcases.