Saturday, May 17, 2014

PB Inspired Chesapeake Sectional Deck Furniture Build

PB Inspired Chesapeake Sectional Deck Furniture Build

Well, this is my first post and I imagine if you've taken the time to go past the jump you most likely know me, so I think I'll dive right in!

This all began with the discovery of a very addicting (for me) website. I'm not sure how I stumbled upon it (no it was not using StumbleUpon..), but it's an outstanding resource for anyone wanting to dabble in furniture building. Head over to TheDesignConfidential if you're interested; they have a huge variety of free furniture plans that allow a person to build furniture that mimics popular brands.

I purchased a house a little over a year ago that came with a wonderful deck - thanks previous homeowners! This presented the issue of needing some deck furniture... Have you shopped for deck furniture?  Yikes, it's expensive. Anyways here's the deck after putting a fresh coat of stain on it!

Wanting something to compliment what was a selling point for the home to me, I decided on some plans for an outdoor sectional unit and matching coffee table that is inspired by a set sold at Pottery Barn. You can check out my project write-up on the sectional here: John's-chesapeake-sectional-build and the project plans here: Pottery Barn Inspired Chesapeake Corner Unit - The Design Confidential and here: Pottery Barn Inspired Chesapeake Armless Unit - The Design Confidential. Here is the finished project!

The cushions are the real deal and were the most expensive part of the project. These plans could easily be modified to fit more affordable cushions, but as-is they are a rare size and would either have to be bought from PB or made.

Build Details

Estimated Cost:

I used select pine from the orange big box store, which definitely added a lot to the project cost but it also saved me time by not having to deal with warped boards:
Lumber (3 armless units, one corner unit, 1 ottoman): $298.95
Stain (Cabot Semi-Transparent deck stain custom mixed color): $41.16 (There's tons left for more projects!)
Total Furniture Cost: $340.11 

As mentioned above, I couldn't find cushions this size anywhere else so I waited till the end of season sale at PB and bit the bullet there. Despite this, the project saved roughly $500 or 37%.

Build Details:

Hope you like to operate a miter saw if you want to do this project! There's a ton of cuts but honestly it's very straightforward. 

You can see by the picture on the right that there's a lot of boards that are cut to the same dimensions so it's very helpful to have an adjustable fence on your work surface so you can make multiple cuts of the same dimension and not have to measure every time.

This is the lumber that was cut for two armless units and the ottoman. I built the other armless unit and corner unit previous to this picture on more of a test basis to make sure I could render results similar to the plans online. Bottom line...lots of repetition!

A note about the legs: the plans call for a 4x4 to be ripped to 2-1/2 x 2-1/2. Sounds simple right? My dad and I did this with a table saw for this project and it was a pretty nervous process because we had to raise the blade so high. I would highly suggest using a band saw instead to get the rough dimensions then follow with a surface planer if you have one available. I did this for a later project and was very pleased with the results...with much less fear of losing a digit! Also, we did end up using a band saw to make the angle on the back legs. I then sanded to get the profile I wanted on the edges.

After all the cuts are made, the beauty of this project is that there's really only one more step before you can assemble; All the frame pieces are held together with pocket screws so get ready to drill! I use the Kreg Jig for my pocket holes and absolutely love it. Again, lots of repetition and sawdust but very straightforward. Here are all the pieces assembled without the cushions.


This was by far the most time consuming part of the project but both necessary and rewarding seeing the wood transform.

I used a custom tinted semi-solid deck stain by Cabot to coat the boards since it would also protect them from water. I later found out that the PB website has replacement stains listed for their outdoor wood for thought!

I sanded everything first with #120 grit on a random orbital wiped, vacuumed, and blew off any dust. I brushed on the stain to keep it darker, but you could wipe on or even spray. 

Next Up: 
Matching Chesapeake Coffee Table

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