Cheap and Easy DIY Dorm/apartment Furniture

2020/06/11
When my roommate and I moved into the new apartment in 3rd of college, we realized that it was difficult to find furniture that met our desire for simplicity, and we insisted on a strict student budget.
We found that all the furniture is either too expensive or cheap and fragile.
Since we could use the timber shop, we decided to make the furniture ourselves and designed the bed stand, bedside table and desk to meet the following requirements: the furniture must be strong and able to withstand the daily use, parties, etc, manufacturing must be fast for at least a few years (
About a weekend)
It\'s easy, because there are as few professional tools or skills as possible, aesthetics must be clean and simple, but features must be built as cheaply as possible using the resources of the Georgia Institute of Technology Invention Studio, we were able to make all our furniture for the long weekend before moving. in.
We are very happy with all the furniture we make and would like to encourage you to consider making your own before you pay a lot of money for Ikea General furniture.
How did we do it!
The first step in a project like this is to design and plan everything.
This is critical to sticking to the budget and streamlining the manufacturing process.
We designed all the furniture with Fusion 360.
This allows us to arrange the furniture on the virtual floor plan of the room.
It also makes it easy for the two of us to work together in the distance.
Of course, designing 2x4 furniture using CAD is a bit overdone, and the pencil and paper are enough.
However, as a student of mechanical engineering, overlearning is natural.
To keep the furniture as cheap, versatile and sturdy as possible, we rely heavily on the size wood provided by any home store.
After designing the frame of the bedside table, table and bed, carefully plan how each piece of required items can be generated from the 8ft 2x 4S with minimal waste.
The design of this bed takes into account the foam mattress, which needs a solid surface to support.
Another option is the spring mattress, which is usually placed on the Batten.
As a result of this design decision, it is also necessary to purchase several large plywood sheets.
This extra material is not needed if spring mattress is designed.
Bed: Desk: bedside table :(OPTIONAL)
Paint: Note: The above quantity is a rough estimate and can be improved through careful planning.
In the end, we made 3 tables, a bed and a bedside table with only 2 full sheets of plywood, 3 pound screws and 25 2x 4S.
By creatively combining the required length of all parts into the stock wood, we are able to reduce the purchase of wood while minimizing the waste of materials.
Build your furniture with two friends if possible.
This allows you to coordinate the use of wood as effectively as possible.
Melamine is a coated wood product that is relatively cheap and waterproof, stain-resistant and scratch-resistant.
It can be a perfect table or counter for these reasons.
Afterwards, if you can afford it, melamine will also make a good choice for the bedside table and even the bed.
You can buy an iron if you want
Apply to the coating, cover the bare wood edge of melamine, improve the appearance of the furniture.
We made a piece of plywood on the back of the table for several uses.
First of all, it helps to strengthen the structure and increase the stability of the frame and legs.
Secondly, it adds a convenient place for connecting command hooks or other cable management solutions.
This is not entirely needed, but since we have the rest of the plywood on the bed frame, we thought it was a good idea.
Extra money or trouble may not be worth it if you are just making a table. Up to you!
Since we could find an awesome wood shop in the invention studio, we decided to trim all the 2x 4S and clean up the surface.
It also brings an extremely clean and modern aesthetic.
First we completely check the each DingTalk and DingTalk these DingTalk and DingTalk will damage table or plane iron.
This step is critical if the DingTalk is completed.
We then trimmed the 1/4 \"cut on each side of the 2 x 4S on the table to remove the thin film edge on the wood and square each board to reduce the width from 3. 5in to 3in.
Finally, we use the planing bed to pass through each side of the board once, and the thickness is reduced from 1.
5 minutes to more than 1 minute. 25in.
The planing machine eliminates any discoloration or roughness on the board, leaving us with a smoother surface.
If you are unable to access these tools, or if time is tight, this step can be omitted, remember to resize accordingly.
Bonus: from tableaw (
Pine sticks are long and thin)
Made great firewood a few nights.
We stayed between a student dormitory and a new apartment that weekend and there was no place to stay so we ended up camping in the nearby camp.
The break had us cook on the fire for 3 nights with zero extra money. Score!
With our CAD model, we created a cutting list detailing the required dimensions for each piece of wood in the project.
We also marked each component in cad and marked the corresponding wood with a pencil to make sure we can finally assemble each component.
All 2x 4S are cut at simple right angles, so many tools can be used to cut their length: jigsaw puzzles, Hacksaw, saw or cross sledge on the table.
We choose to use the Mitter saw, but use any tool you have.
Just make sure to measure each item accurately and take the time to cut each item accurately.
Small errors may be OK, but when the parts are assembled, they may cause the parts to be inappropriate.
We mark and cut plywood with a crawler saw, but you can cut the plywood into a suitable size with a circular saw, a steel saw or other tool.
There is a jigsaw puzzle on the shelf of the bedside table to cut the gap in the corner.
It is important that the cuts are square because they are used to pull the frame into the alignment state during assembly.
Any errors here can cause the bed frame to bend or deviate from the cube.
Everything is assembled with screws, using a three-step process: first, we use cordless drill bits to make pilot holes using bits as large as the core (minor diameter)of the screw.
This prevents the wood from splitting because many screws are mounted at the end of the board, which is particularly important.
We then used a sink on the guide hole to allow a cleaner look.
This step is optional and we found that the 2x 4S really did not benefit from this step.
Finally, we push the screws into the pilot hole using the crash drive.
This is very effective for quickly and easily screwing everything together.
In theory, all screws can be driven with a screwdriver, but we recommend using an impact Drive or at least a power drill.
For most joints, we have carefully checked the CAD model to see how these parts are combined together, and then when two screws are placed in each joint, use a large square to put all
Using a square is not absolutely necessary, but it helps a lot in keeping all joints real and precise.
If you can find one, it is definitely recommended that you build a square with scrap is also an effective and easy option if you can\'t find one.
Note: it is very valuable to have a friend to fix the parts when you drive the screws.
They usually respond faster and more adaptable than clips.
When adding a table top, use a ruler to mark the direction of the table top structure, and then mark the position of the add screw.
Drill the guide hole, flip the table over the structure, align the mark with the 2x 4S below.
To prevent damage to the protective coating, drilling for melamine is absolutely necessary.
This method keeps everything aligned and ensures that the screws enter the center of the 2x 4S.
When screwed into plywood, about every 14-
16 in works very well.
You can use more or less screws at will.
We used the same method.
5 in the construction screws for everything else, but after some careful planning, you may be able to save some money by using the shorter plywood screws.
It\'s not absolutely necessary to polish everything, but it\'s a good idea and it\'s totally worth doing.
The only reason I think not to polish everything is: 1.
You can\'t really put your hands on a track or belt.
Your Pressure on timeThese is perfectly reasonable and reasonable, but in any other case, take the time to polish your furniture.
This knocks down any sharp corners or edges and helps soften all the wood for a better feel.
This is especially important for the bed frame as the mattress is placed directly on the plywood.
Don\'t go crazy, but use a track grinder or a belt grinder (
Or both in our case)
Polish each surface of each piece of furniture with a grain size of 150 and 220.
It took us most of the day, but it was totally worth it in the end.
The furniture feels and looks great.
The most important tip: We made a suspicious decision in the lobby of the campus building.
If you choose to follow us in this regard, do a meticulous job of vacuuming and cleaning up all the dust, or risk a hard-worded email from a faculty advisor to your makerspace
No need to paint your furniture, especially if you like the look of bare wood.
However, it is recommended to use oil, varnish, polyurethane, paint or similar sealing materials and to protect the wood from liquids, stains and scratches.
We chose paint.
For best results, paint everything using a roller and brush with one or two layers of multi-purpose primer, and then apply a topcoat of interior latex paint.
This is the most smooth and uniform color.
In our case, we are tired and we don\'t have much time, so we draw directly on the wood without applying a primer on a few pieces.
Although the texture is a bit rough, it still looks great.
For us, the quality of the paint is not a concern, we just want to seal and protect the wood while improving the appearance of the furniture, and that\'s what we did with the rush of paint work.
The most important tip: Put down some curtains to avoid angering the facilities.
If you choose to paint at the loading dock like we did, go and paint on weekends so you don\'t interfere with delivery.
You have fully functional furniture at this point! Congrats!
We chose to add some small finishing touches to improve the look and feel of our furniture more and feel free to do so.
This is not a comprehensive list of adjustments you can make, so get inspired and make your own improvements! 1.
Melamine edge.
We bought some melamine border strips that were ironed on the exposed edges of the table top to protect and hide the ugly broken core.
It\'s very easy to apply for this kind of thing for $4 per bar, so I definitely recommend it.
Just follow the instructions on the package. 2. LED underglow.
I bought some RGB LED strips with \"smart\" controller on Amazon that enabled WiFi and connected to my Google Home.
I printed some small clips in the invention studio 3D and used hot glue to connect these clips to the lower side of the bed frame and table.
This makes me install the LED strip more safely than the adhesive backing attached.
This addition is completely unnecessary, but voice
The control LED lighting was excellent and impressed anyone who came over.
Also, my apartment didn\'t have the overhead lights so it gave me some light in the room at night. 3.
Free office chairs.
This is tricky.
We were planning to buy some cheap chairs on Amazon, but the week after we finished the furniture, the mechanical engineering department threw away some old office chairs.
They have some wear and small cracks on their handrails and the fabric pattern is a bit out of date, but you really can\'t exceed the absolute free price! 4.
Cheap Mattress
We want to buy a new mattress, but we are college students and have a reasonable budget.
Of course, we went to Amazon and found some super cheap Queens.
Foam mattress 12 inch thick.
This is not a product endorsement or anything, but we think they are super comfortable and even cheaper than some of the used options we see locally.
Definitely worth a visit.
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