isn't what I want, I look for other ways
love building things for my children. Still, if
you are going to build projects for kids, you're
going to have to accept the fact that children are
inevitably hard on their things. They play hard,
they color outside the lines and they wrestle in
the living room. In short, they're kids. This means
it probably isn't a good idea for a woodworker to
spend huge amounts of time and effort making fancy,
intricate, fine woodworking projects for them.
For some projects, pine, plywood and paint are
a good solution; reach for the glue and the nail
gun and get busy. Finish the project using some
brightly colored paint (which most kids love),
and you get the satisfaction of quick results,
not to mention hugs and kisses from your children.
But if I decide that a painted finish
The mock flat panels on this tall dresser, built for the author's son, look like traditional floating panels.
to simplify the project. I try to get the look of fine
woodworking, but with less work, less cost and less anguish
when little hands holding permanent markers scribble in
places they shouldn't. One technique that I've found works
well is combining plywood panels with pocket-hole joinery
to quickly put together a flat panel. It looks like a
traditional floating panel, complete with rail and stile,
but it isn't.
It may not be fine furniture, but this dresser was
simple to build and still looks great.
example is the tall dresser I built for my son.
Since he's a young boy, I know that he's going to
be tough on it, so I decided to use quick and simple
techniques, rather than fine furniture building
ones. Ordinarily, I would use plywood for the sides.
Still, I'd rather have the look of a nice raised
panel side, rather than just a slab of plywood.
Here's where my mock flat panel technique came into
playbuilding the sides of this dresser.