Do you want to build a big beautiful piece of art or sound dampener?! This design doesn't require a large set of tools or a ton of money! If you have a saw, sander, and some clamps you can make your very own in any color!
Minimal Tools Needed
1. Chop saw (Other saw types would work but a miter saw is ideal.)
What lumber to buy?
Start by selecting your material. In our case, we had an abundance of 8/4 off cuts because we woodwork full time. If you do not have thick lumber laying around you can buy 2X2 furring strips from any big box store. These 8' furring strips cost between $1-2 dollars each.
How to decide how many 2x2 strips you'll need.
Example: 24"x24" Panel
Actual dimensions of furring strips are 1.5"x1.5"
24" ÷ 1.5"=16 blocks a row
16 blocks x 16 rows = 256 blocks
To keep the math simple we will assume all blocks are 3" also resulting in extras.
256 blocks x 3"= 768" of furring strips.
Each furring strip is 96"
768" ÷ 96"= 8 furring strips.
I would recommend buying a few extra. You will have some waste due to knots or cracks. Assuming you buy 10 furring strips your total budget is $10-$20.
Beginning the project.
Most people interested in doing this will probably use furring strips since it will save a lot of time milling lumber. First, sand them prior to cutting. It will be easier to sand them whole than as individual pieces.
In our project we went with four measurements; 3, 2.5, 2, and 1.5 inches. When cutting the pieces into smaller chunks I made marks on my miter saw so I wouldn't have to measure each cut.
When cutting the blocks use the measurements as a guideline but, they are not set in stone. I cut 6 strips per cut to make it go a little faster. Only cut as many as your comfortable cutting. The accuracy isn't a huge deal as long as you are close to each measurement. The design is random so if your pieces are slightly different you will never notice.
Some blocks may need to be touched up with a sander after being cut. Once blocks are clean, you can begin the staining process!
When staining the blocks, we dunked them into the cans of stain and removed all the excess stain with a rag. You can use an old cotton t-shirt or shop cloths. Then leave them out to dry before putting them back into any type of container.
The panels we made were 30"x40". I made this jig to make the process go a little easier. I would recommend making something similar. The flat surface helped keep everything level. I made sure the two pieces on the outside were perfectly square allowing me to push and clamp the panels tight.
First dry fit all of your blocks together to ensure everything lines up how you'd like, this also gives you an idea of what it will look like. Begin to glue several rows at a time. I glued two rows at a time. You could probably do more with a smaller panel. I used a stopwatch and clamped the rows for 15-20 minutes each.
Titebond quick and thick drys clear, so you won't have to worry too much about excess, but you should still attempt to remove as much as you can after you unclamp the row. At this point, the glue is like a gel and peels off easily with a screwdriver or small putty knife.
We decided to spray minwax polycrylic to all sides of the panels. This makes it look a lot cleaner. It will also make it easier to dust and maitain in the future.
We routered a recession into the back of the panels and made a french cleat. It's simply a piece of plywood cut in half at a 45-degree angle. One piece attaches to the wall and locks into the one attached to the panel. If you don't have a router or table saw any heavy duty hanger will do.
Attach your panel to the wall!
You're finished! Check out our youtube video below and dont forget to subscribe if you'd like to follow along with our other builds!
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