Rubberwood Furniture

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About: I like building things with wood - both new and reclaimed wood. Profesionally I work as an exhibition builder/designer. In my spare time I build stuff with reclaimed wood.

we were asked to build some massive tables (4meter by 1.2 meter) with added benches and a wardrobe with sliding doors.

I decided to use the festool domino connector system and not screws or glue for the simple reason that all of the tables/benches/wardrobe had to be easy to assemble and disassemble. the choice for rubberwood is because it's a very sturdy pressurised wood and it's a whole lot cheaper than it's oak counterpart (I still prefer to work with oak but rubberwood does have it's advantages)

materials:

- rubberwood (4,5meter by 1.2 meters 30mm)

- about 200 festool connectors and domino's

- black mdf (3.05 meter by 1.2 meters 18mm)

equipment:

- track saw

- table saw

- festool domino xl df 700

- glueclamps

Step 1: Sketch Up

as always I started by making the drawings in sketch up to get the measurments right and making a cut list.

Step 2: Understanding the Festool Domino Connector System.

go online and brush up on how this system actually works. Once you got the hang of this system it's actually straight foreward.

there are other system like this on the market like the one from lamello or you could try to make these kind of projects with pocket holes and screws but I decided to use the festool system because it looked the sturdiest and i already had the festool df 700 Xl so for me it made sense to use this.

one of the things you need to keep in mind is the thickness of your wood when you decide to use this system. The DF700 works with fixed positions in height (15mm, 20mm, 25mm,30mm, 40mm) this translates into using thickness of wood muliplied by 2 so: 30mm, 40mm, 50mm, 60mm or 80mm thick wood pieces. Any other thickness will give you a massive headache and numerous mistakes in positions. the wardrobe in this instructable was made in 33mm thick rubberwood, so I know what I mean with headache...

Step 3: Wardrobe Bottom and Top

after cutting up all the pieces we needed for the wardrobe it was time to start drilling all the holes with the DF700xl.

I put the base and top of the wardrobe alligned to each other and started drilling all the holes for the upright pieces.

Step 4: Wardrobe Uprights

once the bottom and top pieces had all the necessary holes drilled it was time to prep the upright pieces and do a test fitting.

Step 5: Cut Outs for the Sliding Doors

before doing a complete testfitting I stil had to make cut outs for the sliding doors. You can use a track saw or a router to make these cut outs. The doors themselves are 18mm thick so the cut outs I made are 20mm wide to make sure the doors have enough room to slide.

Step 6: Testfitting the Wardrobe

once all the cuts and holes were made, we testfitted the whole wardrobe to see if everthing worked and could be assembled/disassembled easy. It worked out just fine.

Step 7: Finishing the Wardrobe

once the assembly/disassembly process was easy enough we could put the wardrobe in place and added the sliding doors (which are just sheets of black mdf).

the whole assembly proces is done by 2 people and takes up about 20min. Same goes for the disassembly

Step 8: The Tables and Benches

again the first step was to cut all the parts for the tables (4) and benches (8)

Step 9: Drilling the Holes for the Tables and Benches

nothing glamorous here, just measuring a lot drilling a lot of holes. main tip here is to stay focused when measuring and drilling. It's very easy to make a mistake in this part of the build the you will only notice when testfitting.

Step 10: Adding Supports to the Tables and Benches

after the first testfitting it became very clear the additional supports would be needed to make both the tables and benches extra sturdy.

Back to the drawing board to make same triangle supports and adding those to the tabels and benches. This meant some more drilling and measuring...

Step 11: Testfitting Succesful

once all the supports were put in place the tables and benches clearly benefitted from the added supports.

Step 12: Quick Overview Before Disassembly

just a few overview pictures before we disassembled everything...

Step 13: Reassembling the Tables and Benches

same as for the wardrobe the assembly of the tables and benches in their place.

1 combo (1 table and 2 benches) takes up about 30 min to assemble/disassemble with 2 people.

Step 14: Final Thoughts

most important:

- when working with the festool connector system, use set thickness of wood (30,40,50,60 or 80mm).

- the cost of the wood was kept down because we used rubberwood instead of oak.

- the festool connectors are expensive. the hardware for all the projects (4 tables, 8 benches, wardrobe) was about 2700 euro, but keeping in mind that we will be using these tables for various projects the cost will be worth it in the long run.

- the main focus of this projects was the easy assembly and disassembly of the furniture (along with a modern design)

- this is not a 1 man project. It took a team of 4 people to work on this project for about 3 weeks

- the finishing of the tables and benches is a matt hardened varnish

- no video from the build, because I simply don't have the equipment to film/edit/... big fan of those who do though.

don't hesitate to ask me questions if you have any.

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    4 Discussions

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    Winston7

    Question 16 days ago

    I know that I`m old school, but all I can say is WOW about this Festool system. I had no idea that they have gone this far with their biscuit tools. last I saw was their bigger wavy biscuits, but I already had my Porter-Cable machine so I stuck with that. Guess I buried my head in the sand on this for-front.
    Anyway, have I been out of the business so long that this is the first time I`ve heard of this " Rubber Wood "? Was it actually cheaper than using a pre-finished type of plywood as in man hours having to poly all that? You can get the pre-finished as cheap as the unfinished these days. And how much were those Festool fasteners ea. in U.S $? I think that if they were anywhere in the neighborhood of $2000 that I would have broke out my old Porter-Cable and my Kreig Jig and went that direction with the project.

    1 more answer
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    Dvda2108Winston7

    Answer 15 days ago

    Ok,
    the rubberwood: http://www.rubberwoodproducts.com/finger-joint-pan... I don't think this is commenly used in the US, over here in Belgium it's frequently used in countertops or stairs,... when finishing I use p180, p220,p400 grit paper and then using varnish or that countertop oil from Ikea...
    the connectors for all of the projects (4 tables, 8 benches, wardrobe) together was about 1700 us dollars. But the biggest advantage of the festool connectors is the simple fact that you can assemble/disassemble big furniture in about 30min. Like I said, if you build a table/bench/wardrobe...just for use in 1 room or space, you don't really need this system. we have to be able to move the tables and benches about 5 times in a year...so kreg-jig wasn't an option.

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    nancyCpants

    19 days ago on Introduction

    It's worth noting that while there is some debate regarding use of pressure treated wood indoors for non-food contact uses (it absolutely should not be used for food contact surfaces), anyone working with pressure treated lumber MUST use breathing protection, be sure to wash up after, and dispose of scrap according to their local laws (usually by taking it to a designated area of a landfill--NO BURNING.) New preserved lumber isn't as immediately toxic as the old version which could give you arsenic poisoning, but you still need to take reasonable precautions.

    1 reply
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    Dvda2108nancyCpants

    Reply 19 days ago

    well,

    rubberwood is more a laminated wood, and is used a lot in kitchen countertops or stairs. all laminated woods are pressurised while adding glue to the different layers. there's no real chemical process done to rubberwood except glueing and applying pressure to let the glue set. These aren't the pressure treated kinds of wood you would use for your outdoor builds because those types of wood are chemically treated to withstand weather conditions.

    still, you're right in all the added tips you're giving (as regards to safety and burning) and I would not recommend burning any cut offs.