Wednesday, January 7, 2015

DIY: Kids Craft Station

A kids craft station that provides lots of work space. offers lots of storage and looks great too!  Lets build that.

Sometimes when I'm working on a blog post or a YouTube video, I'm up late the night before.  That also means that Dad is usually the last one up in the morning.

I'll go to the kitchen, fry up an egg or two while fresh coffee is brewing up.  Gently plate up my over easy eggs with a side of bacon if we happen to have some precooked from a previous morning.  Top my eggs with some salt and pepper, grab a fork and head into the dinning room to eat breakfast with the rest of the family.

Only one problem.

When I get there I see that breakfast for the rest of the family is done and they have moved on to craft time.  The kitchen table is the low hanging fruit, so to speak, for crafting space.  Well I have eaten my breakfast at my office desk for the last time.

DIY: Kids Craft Station 

TIPS: The following measurements may be substituted.
1.5" = 1x2's
2.5" = 1x3's
3.5" = 1x4's
5.5" = 1x6's

Use caution working with solid lumber wider than 1x6's.  Especially soft woods such as pine.  I find they show a greater propensity to warp, twist and cup.  Gluing boards side by side, otherwise known as a glue up, will offer greater stability across the project.

Cut List

10 - Pieces for sides @ 26" x 3.5"
10 - Pieces for Top and Bottom Shelves @ 35" x 3.5"
10 - Pieces for Vertical Dividers @ 12.5" x 3.5"
3   - Top Supports @ 34.5" x 1.5"
2   - Foot Pedestals @ 29" x 5.5"
1   - Top @ 36" x 48" (This can be purchased as a prefabbed solid wood piece at a home improvement store.  24", 30" & 36" are typical widths of Prefabbed glue ups.  Any one of those sizes would work.)
1   - 1/2" Dowel @ 36" (These typically come in 36" for an oak dowel and 48" for pine.)

Step 1.

Glue up the side pieces then measure and route the dadoes for the top and bottom shelves.

NOTE: I know the picture shows the dowels for the foot pedestals indicating to cut them now.  Do not do this.  You are much more prone to error if you drill these holes at this stage.  I have a more fool proof method for lining up dowel holes mentioned later.

Step 2

Route the dadoes in the top and bottom shelves for the vertical dividers.  Then assemble, clamp and allow to dry.

Step 3

Once the the glue for the center unit is dry, remove from the clamps.  Place one of the sides flat on a level surface with the dadoes facing up.  Apply glue to the dadoes and lift the center unit onto its side and place in the corresponding dadoes.

Then lay the other side of the craft station on top of the center unit and clamp together.  Allow the glue to dry.  If these instructions seem unclear.  Here is one of my videos depicting this same procedure on another project I did.

Step 4

Cut the foot pedestals to length and then shape it as desired.  What is depicted here is just something I came up with but you could easily do a simple tapper at the ends and I think it would look just as good, if not more, depending on your taste.  This would be the woodworking equivalent of "salt to taste"

NOTE:  Again the feet shows the dowels.  Again I would not attempt to cut them until the next step.

Glue the feet to the sides at the mark you just measured and clamp.  You can wait for the glue to dry to continue to the next step or continue with the clamps attached.  If you continue with the glue wet, ensure the unit is tightly secure in the clamps and that the pieces will not move on you.

 Step 5

With the feet securely attached to the sides with clamps or after the glue has dried, measure and mark for three 1/2" dowel holes.

Drill thru the feet and the sides until you see the point of the forstner bit from the other side.  Then drill from the other side to complete the dowel hole.

NOTE:  If you drill all the way thru from one side, you will most likely blow out the wood grain on the exit side.  Since this is a joint that will be seen you will want to take steps to avoid this from happening.

Then cut your dowels to 2.25" and hammer in place.  Use a scrap piece of lumber between the dowel and your hammer to prevent marring of the dowel ends.

Step 6

Attach three top support braces.  Pocket holes from the underside would work here.  You could also use dowels to attach them.  Simply cut a spacer block to fit underneath the supports.  Then drill the dowel hole from the outside.

Step 7

Attach the top of the kids craft station with pocket holes from underneath along the supports we attached in the previous step.

Final Thoughts

Chamfering the bottom edge of the craft station top will help save knuckles when reaching underneath to the storage area when sitting at the station.  It will also help relieve some of the visual heaviness.

Of course the dadoes used in this project idea could be replaced with pocket hole screws if so desired.  Their is no right or wrong when it comes to joinery, as long as that joinery is strong and secure.

Find me on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.  Also be sure to check out my YouTube channel for lots of great project videos.  If you see any of these project designs that you would like to see a video for, let me know.  If I get enough interest in one I will be sure to build and upload.

Until then,

Happy DIYing!!

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