How to Read Baby Furniture Plans

The good news is that baby furniture plans are drawn like any other plans…

The bad news is…

Baby furniture plans are drawn like any other plans!

The difficulty level for reading the plans is directly related to how straightforward the author made them. Remember how your baby furniture turns out is greatly impacted by the furniture plan, so make sure you grab a good one!

A Great Baby Furniture Plan

A great baby furniture plan will start with a photo of the finished project and a description of it. It will then go on to things such as:

  • The difficulty level of building the furniture
  • The approximate time required (which can vary greatly from woodworker to woodworker, especially when you’re a beginner)
  • Lumber list including:
    • Type of lumber needed to build the baby furniture
    • Quantity of lumber needed to build the baby furniture (with at least a 10% overage for mistakes)
    • Recommendations for selecting the lumber
    • Approximate pricing for the lumber to complete the baby furniture plan
  • Materials list including:
    • Nails and fasteners, wood glue, biscuits, stain, varnish, paint
    • Hardware and accessories needed to finish the baby furniture (hinges, knobs, wheels, drawer rails, etc.)
    • Recommendations for where to purchase the materials
    • Approximate pricing for the materials to complete the baby furniture plan
  • Woodworking tools list including:
    • All hand tools needed to construct the baby furniture (hammers, screwdrivers, planers, handsaws, handsanders, etc.)
    • All power tools needed to construct the baby furniture (drills, routers, jigsaws, miter saws, belt sanders, etc., along with the size, type, and quantity of any belts, blades, and accessories needed)
    • Recommendations for where to purchase the woodworking tools
    • Approximate pricing for the tools to complete the baby furniture plan
  • Measurements (always verify before you cut!)
    • Common English measurements are 1/16 inch (1/16”, 1/16 in.), 1/8 inch, 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, 1 inch, 1 foot)
    • You can find some easy-to-use calculators (and some great tools) online: click here
  • Diagrams and step-by-step instructions for building your baby furniture

Unfortunately very few plans include everything I listed above. What do you do in that case?

Don’t panic!

Not So Great Baby Furniture Plan

If your baby furniture plan leaves out a lot of information (or even just a few of the important things!), you can still complete your woodworking project.

Start by looking through your baby furniture plans and making notes on the information you do have. If the plan mentions nails, you know you will need a hammer. If the plan mentions paint, then you know you will need a paintbrush. Use what you know.

If you still don’t feel comfortable, or just want a second opinion, you can always take your plans into a dedicated woodworking store, such as Rockler.

Remember, you’re doing a great thing by building this baby furniture, and I am extremely confident that you can figure out the baby furniture plan!

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