Latest Woodworking Project

Note to readers:  I first started drafting this post in early October.  I had just finished putting a coat of wax-oil on this recent woodworking project and though there were still trim pieces to add and cushions to sew, I was so excited to share it.  In fact, on my insistence, Mama and Papa PoP stopped over to see it and gave it an overwhelming stamp of approval.  
Less than a month later, Papa PoP passed away.  It’s nearly impossible to take a step in our house without seeing something he didn’t have a hand in.  From the workbench he made for Mr PoP in college out of leftover solid oak flooring, to my first real building project (a desk!) that he helped me build so I could have my own desk in grad school, to the crown moulding he gave us advice on, the kitchen cabinets (and all the rest of the other work in there) that he inspired and gave us the confidence to tackle, or the countless other projects that he gave advice on over the years!  It’s in no small part to him that we have done many of the things that we have done today.    
We’re never going to forget him, and will never stop being appreciative of everything he taught us and all the love he shared with us.   


When we started our big kitchen remodel, Mama and Papa PoP gifted us a big pile of wood that had come from some trees that Papa PoP had helped cut down over thirty years ago before they built their house up north.  (Yes, the very same house they downsized from this summer.)

IMG_6845When Papa PoP was initially telling us about the wood, he remembered that the wood was walnut and some cherry, and we planned on using the walnut for our tables and countertops in the kitchen after seeing this awesome thread on imgur of someone using walnut to construct butcher block counters.  But when the big pile of wood got down here, it ended up that there was about 2x as much cherry as there was walnut – not quite enough walnut for us to build all the butcherblock that we wanted for our kitchen.  (That’s mostly my fault since I knew that I wanted the counters to match the table, the ledge on the pantry, and all the pull-out shelves in the pantry as well!)

The cherry turned out beautifully (see the picture of the pull-out on the pantry there to the right), so we have zero regrets on opting for cherry instead of walnut for the kitchen, but that choice did mean that we had a decent amount of walnut when we were done without a great plan of what to do with it.

Luckily, we had plenty of time to think about it since the kitchen took us so long to do.  =)

And we finally decided – we’d get rid of our big frumpy loveseat and replace it with something a little bit sleeker and hopefully a lot comfier – and I’d build the frame out of walnut.

We’d turn this frumpy City Furniture couch circa 2009… into this modern-ish beauty.  Hopefully…

IMG_7615Peyton sofa








Bold ambitions for a girl without a set of woodworking plans and a pile of walnut that had been pre-cut into rough 2″ x 2″ strips.

The sofa we were aiming to copy was one that we found while searching online for wood-framed sofas.  Disappointingly, it wasn’t a picture we found on a DIY site with instructions on how to build it ourselves.  Funny, but Mr PoP didn’t seem to like the aesthetics for any of the ones with plans I could find!

We didn’t really want to spend $4,000 for a teak sofa that was actually about a foot too long for our space, especially when that wouldn’t help us use up the walnut that had by that point taken up residency on the back patio.

Luckily Frontgate (the company selling the sofa) had some pretty detailed measurements of the sofa listed on their website, so I grabbed my graph paper and started working on some plans, modifying them as needed to fit our relatively small living room (biggest modification, making it 72″ long instead of 84″ long).


The pieces that make up the sides of the couch.

The pieces that make up the sides of the couch.

Then following some advice a reader here once gave me, I measured, cut, and cursed.  Then did the same again.  And again.  But eventually I learned how to use my taper cut jig to make the long angled edge cuts that tapered the edges of all the legs, arms, and back supports.


Then I used dowels to attach some of the pieces together where pocket holes didn’t really make sense, but tried to use pocket holes as much as I could since I trusted the joints to be nice and strong (not to mention pretty easy to do!).

I cut more pieces for the back and bottom slats and laid them all out to organize which pieces were going where.



IMG_7802But I only got as far as assembling the right and left seats before Hurricane Irma blew through. This was what the sofa looked like when we evacuated.

Luckily I had pre-cut most of the rest of the pieces before we left, so it wasn’t that much work at that point to add in the rest of the pre-cut pieces.

After filling a lot of pocket holes, a TON of sanding, and a coat of the same Osmo wax-oil we used on our countertops, we now have this:


We’re still testing out various cushion fillings, and there’s still a few trim pieces that I need to add on, but I think it’s looking pretty good so far, and some of the grain patterns on it are really pretty.  Like where the arm meets the back support – the grains look pretty cool there!


I’m hoping to use canvas painter’s tarps for one set of cushion covers, and then another set in a blue-ish denim material to give us some options… but first, we need to figure out what cushion filling feels best!

Any suggestions?


19 comments to Latest Woodworking Project

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




CommentLuv badge