Toddler Sitting Bench

This is a toddler size sitting bench that my coworker friend commissioned me to build for him as a gift to his niece.

There are a couple of firsts for me on this project. I used milk paint for the first time and I’m really happy with the results. Poplar takes milk paint well. It gives color without a thick layer, keeping a nice “close to the wood” look. I also for the first time did carving using a trim router. After many practice pieces using a template and spray paint, I found the lines weren’t the most crisp. That’s when I went with adhering a printout to the board covered in blue tape, which I felt gave better results. Cleanup was done with a Dremel and then some sandpaper taped to a pencil’s eraser.

Child’s Work Table Complete!

Drumroll please… The child size work table, my first true woodworking furniture project, is complete! I had intended the red oak end table to be my first project.  However, I realized my son, who just entered first grade and is mildly autistic, (and therefore can be challenged at times with focusing on task – or sometimes over focused!), would benefit from a dedicated table where he could do his work. He also is very proficient at the computer, and with all the apps he wants to play around with, we also thought it would be better for him to have his own system. That would keep all that stuff off of mine or my wife’s system. My son now has her old system when we recently got an upgraded one for her.

I think my son really got a kick out of this project too, besides receiving the end product. He was with me when we bought the wood, he picked out the stain color, and helped me brush on some of the last coat. The wood we used was poplar (figuring it’s not too expensive and therefore not terrible when it ultimately gets beat up some). I also used pocket hole joinery to join the aprons to the legs – reasoning being that I can replace the legs with full length ones as he grows older – should the table survive that long.

Here’s another view of the table as the last coat was drying.

Changing Gears – A Child’s Work Table

I have some of the parts milled to rough dimensions for the end table, but I am putting that project on the back burner for a short bit. I’ve been on vacation this week, and now that we’re into August, start of school is just around the corner. My son will be entering first grade, and I thought that a child size work table/desk was in order, so that he would have a place to do what homework they get in first grade. That, and the fact he is proficient enough in using computers that I thought he should have his own setup – and keep all those silly, kid apps off of my wife’s and my system – oh, and he can have his own Linux VM on his own system 🙂 .

This should be a fairly quick project. I have the table top glued up and I did a simple roundover along the edge. Being a kid’s piece of furniture and likely to get beat up some, I’m using poplar. I know some may cringe at this, but I’m using pocket holes to join the apron to the legs. The method to my madness here though is that, as he grows, I can easily replace the legs with longer ones down the road. I’ve started the pocket hole joinery, and should have the legs/apron part done hopefully tomorrow, and the piece ready for finishing sometime this weekend. I’ll post pics once it’s done.