Building furniture can be an excellent woodworking hobby, or you can turn it into a stream of income. Either way, if you want to improve your skills, you should experiment. And sometimes that means using new and different types of materials to build furniture.
Building furniture with composite lumber can be a great alternative to using regular wood. Composite lumber can make up the full furniture piece or work as part of a project combined with other materials. Consider the furniture piece to make and other materials to use.
You can use composite lumber in many furniture projects. Whether you want to use just composite lumber or combine it with wood, you can create a unique piece. Keep reading to learn more about building furniture with composite lumber.
Using Just Composite Lumber
One option for building furniture with composite lumber is to use it as your sole material. You will still need tools like a saw, a drill, screws, and nails. Composite lumber works like regular wood, but it doesn’t have the same physical changes as wood.
When wood sits outside for a while, it can warp and crack with extreme temperature changes. But a composite material combines the look and feel of wood with something like plastic. The other materials keep the composite lumber from cracking or warping.
Here are a few benefits and ways you can use composite lumber in your next woodworking project.
Easy to Cut and Prepare
One of the biggest benefits of using composite is that it’s easy to cut and prepare. You can choose the type of composite wood you want and cut it like you would cut regular wood so that you can get the right dimensions for any furniture project. Then, you can make any other adjustments to it.
As long as you have enough lumber for your furniture, you can get to work on the project. You can follow the same steps as when working with wood.
Works Like Real Wood
Once you get into the nitty-gritty and start your furniture project, you won’t notice much of a difference. Composite lumber works very similarly to regular wood, so you don’t have to change your woodworking setup or any other factors.
You can drill holes in the composite lumber, and you can use glue and pressure clamps as the glue dries. The material works well for a small side table, but you can also use it for a chair or a large outdoor dining set.
While you may want to work slowly the first time you use composite lumber, it’s nothing to fear. Whether you’re new to woodworking or have years of experience, you can use the composite material for your next furniture piece.
Great for Use Outdoors
Composite lumber is perhaps a better choice than regular wood for outdoor furniture. If you live in a humid area or an area with extreme temperatures, you should opt for composite lumber when you can.
That way, the furniture won’t warp or crack when temperatures increase or decrease quickly. Composite lumber also won’t soak up as much moisture as wood. Some people love to use composite decking because it can handle more weather.
You can follow similar steps when completing a composite lumber project. Then, you can put the furniture almost anywhere. As long as you drilled the right holes and used the right tools, your project should stay in place and work well.
For Fine Projects
If you prefer to make fine dining chairs and tables, you can use composite lumber for that. While the material does exceptionally well outside, it can work well for indoor furniture.
You can use composite lumber for more elegant furniture projects. If you have used wood for a certain project, you can almost always recreate it with composite lumber.
Follow the same steps for preparing and cutting the lumber. Use the same nails or screws as normal. Then finish it off with anything you would use. For example, you can add upholstery to a chair or add a design to the side of a table.
Keep the Scraps
As you finish your first composite lumber project, save what you have leftover. You may have enough composite lumber for another small table. But if not, you can get more composite lumber later.
After all, you probably wouldn’t just throw out leftover wood. You may not have a use for the materials now, but you never know what might happen in the future.
Also, you can use your composite lumber in a project with regular wood. It can be hard to combine the two, but it can be a great way to use up leftover composite and regular lumber.
Combining It With Wood
If you have a bit of composite lumber, you can use it in the same furniture piece as wood. This can be a great option if you want some parts to be composite and other regular lumber. One great use for this would be a table.
You could use regular wood but use composite lumber for the top. Whenever someone spills water or another liquid, it can be easy to clean up. You won’t have to worry about constant sills affecting the wood as much.
Here’s how you can use composite lumber and wood together.
Size Up Your Furniture
The first thing you should do is decide what piece of furniture you want to build. That way, you can figure out how big the final product will be. If you’re using scrap wood and composite lumber, you may need to make something smaller not to have to buy more wood.
Knowing the final project’s size can also help you decide how to use the two types of lumber. You can use composite lumber on the sides with more frequent interaction. The wood can stay intact when you aren’t touching it as much.
And if you want to make an upholstered chair, you might want to use composite wood for the seat. While you won’t see that, you can enjoy the wood’s look and feel after the upholstery. But you won’t have to worry about wasting wood for your project.
Cut the Pieces to Size
Once you decide on your project plan, you can start cutting the pieces. You can refer back to your idea for when and where to use the composite lumber vs. real wood. That way, you can know what pieces to cut to what lengths.
You shouldn’t need multiple saws to cut the different materials. But make sure you know which material to cut when so that you don’t make a mistake. If you cut the wrong material, you can see if it will work in the new place.
Complete Your Project as Normal
Finally, you can put the pieces together like you would if you used all of one material. You can drill holes and use screws to attach pieces. Or you can use glue or cement to attach pieces if screws won’t work.
Make sure the materials look good together and that everything fits before you add glue or screws. Then, you can ensure you will like the final project. After you finish the woodworking, you can add any designs or upholstery to the furniture. When it’s all dry and ready, you can use it in your home.
Building furniture with composite lumber can seem weird the first time you do it. But you can use it for multiple indoor and outdoor furniture projects. Keep these tips in mind next time you want to work with composite lumber.