Solid wood furniture
  Re: RE: Solid wood furniture by jteneyck (Most people don't ca...)
We're woodworkers and so we can tell the difference between solid/natural wood and manufactured wood. Many consumers can't; wood is just wood to them. I can understand why the product writer uses "solid wood" to differentiate it from other materials such as plastic, metal, etc.

When I looked at the details, I found that they're not trying to deceive any potential customers (bold mine):

  • 18mm thick MDF top
  • Walnut veneer
Product Details
  • Base Material: Solid Wood
  • Adult Assembly Required: Yes
Top Material
  • Top Material: Manufactured Wood
  • Top Material Details: MDF

Are the legs (base material) made of solid wood? They look like so.

As a careful reader, I find the presentation acceptable unless someone can show me otherwise.

By the way, I don't think it's a rip off of any other designs. Hands down, if I were to build a similar desk, I'd choose the more elegant, all wood Salvaggio Desk than one with a metal base.

  Re: Solid wood furniture by Cooler (This desk, on All Mo...)
I used to find out what "salvaggio" means.  It means "save".  Maybe that was a hint.
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
  Re: Solid wood furniture by Cooler (This desk, on All Mo...)
I like Michael Robbins's desk better. I have the plans for it but no place to put one right now.
  Re: RE: Solid wood furniture by DaveR1 (I like Michael Robbi...)
(03-12-2021, 11:13 AM)DaveR1 Wrote: I like Michael Robbins's desk better. I have the plans for it but no place to put one right now.

That one is a good take, too. Any shiny metal base is a no no for my (modern) taste, regardless of who designed or built the piece. In my work, metal can add a nice touch, but must not be allowed to distract the center piece.

  Re: RE: Solid wood furniture by jteneyck (Most people don't ca...)
(03-12-2021, 10:03 AM)jteneyck Wrote: Most people don't care what furniture is made of these days; only what it looks like and how cheap it is.  You can't blame companies for serving that portion of the market.  The days when people bought furniture once and used it for the rest of their life is gone the way of the Dodo bird.  The few people who still value quality will find small companies/individual craftsmen to make what they want.  And that is your market if you are in that game.  

The success of IKEA and other similar outfits speaks for itself. Weekend parking at my local IKEA is packed now that the restrictions have been relaxed.

I do know a few people (now in their 60s) with good skills who have done furniture making for a living. But none of them could've survived without the support of their family members (notably their spouses who had or still have a regular job). I also know a couple young fellows who have aspirations for making furniture on a full-time basis, but never do.

I've made furniture pieces for friends, but if I had charged them for what I believed I deserved (materials plus a decent wage), I think we no longer are friends. Only woodworkers and people with good taste understand why custom solid wood furniture can be so pricey.

  Re: RE: Solid wood furniture by MauleSkinner ([quote=“SteveS”] $52...)
(03-11-2021, 11:26 PM)MauleSkinner Wrote: I could make one for twice that much in my garage! Wink

Ha, I second that!
  Re: Solid wood furniture by Cooler (This desk, on All Mo...)
I was listening to a podcast of professional woodworkers. They were talking about how well their businesses are doing currently. They attributed it to the fact that so many people working from home have decided that IKEA stuff is junk and want to invest in better quality furniture they spend most of their day using.

They made a good point that prior to COVID, many above average middle class professionals were always on the go, so only use their house for showers, sleeping, and picking up the mail. So, they didn’t need quality furniture for something they hardly use. All that changed a year ago and their now they’ve been using every day for a year, time for a major upgrades.
  Re: RE: Solid wood furniture by jstraw (I was listening to a...)
Podcasts (of any kind) are the only thing that I don't turn to for info or entertainment. The radio is my usual companion when I step into my shop. Just sayin'

  Re: Solid wood furniture by Cooler (This desk, on All Mo...)
Most folks don't want to pay for "Solid Wood" furniture, they just think they do.  I made a Curly Cherry Jewelry box for my wife, with Black Walnut trays.  Every portion of the box was hand made.  Much of the trim was formed with Molding Plans, and some of the details were shaped by hand with free form in mind.  I took the pics of the box to work to share with a friend who had asked about the progress on the project regularly, and someone dipping into the conversation wanted one "Just Like It" asked for a quote.  I told them that I really didn't do work for others any longer, it just didn't work for me, but thanks for the vote of appreciation for my work.

"Seriously, I really want one like that for my wife for a gift, what would it cost me for you to make it?"

"I spent two weeks on this one, and the materials are far from cheap, I could do it for about $250."

He nearly stroked out.  "I can buy beautiful boxes all day long at walmart for less than $50."

I told him that the highly figured Curly Cherry Board I used for the project was $85 alone.  That was before I began to lay out my plan, ran that board thru my planer, or made one cut.  The black walnut came from a LOG.  I processed that into the planks, dried them, and chose the best of the bunch.  I had HOURS of labor and hand work in the project.  It sounds like what your wife needs IS a Walmart Jewelry box... since you don't appreciate custom work.

You won't find a highly figured solid Curly Cherry Box at Walmart.


I got the same reaction several months later over a Lacewood box I made for Miss Tina.  I was showing it to another friend at work, this time the actual box.  Another project, that took hours to complete. She loved the box and wanted to know if I could make one for HER.  I told her for HER I would, but the lacewood was costly, and the hinges were $35 per pair.  I would do it for $100.  I could probably have it done in a week or so, working in the off hours.  "Fine," she said.  Her sister was listening in and threw a fit.  "I could buy ten of those at Kmart for $100."

"Then you need to stick to Kmart boxes." My friend told her sister.  "You know nothing about quality." I found out later that she had a special purpose in mind for the little box. She wanted to keep her keepsakes of her Father, who had just passed, in that box. I was touched.

She loved her box when it was done.


I made cradles for my grandchildren.  This one was Brazilian Cherry, Mahogany, and Birdseye Maple.  A month in the making.    Several people asked if I would make one for them.  I declined.  Heirloom projects for family.  I have made three.  For the three kids that have grandkids so far.  The basket can be removed from the pendulum legs by unscrewing the pivot points and knocking out the pins on the spreader bar.  Then it can be stored in the closet until the next child comes along. 


Cherished by the family.  The oldest daughter stores stuffed collectable toys in this one.  The Son stored his away until the next child came along.  His was Ash and Black Walnut.  Miss T made the mattress and bumper pads, as well as the linens and blankets.  I was asked to make one for a friend of the family.  I said I would do it for the cost of the materials.  They didn't want to pay for the cost when they found what real wood cost.  "Can you just use plywood and 2x4s?"  

Jim in Okie
You can tell a lot about the character of a man -
By the way he treats those who can do nothing for him.
  Re: RE: Solid wood furniture by BrokenOlMarine (Most folks don't wan...)
Don't tell people who build boxes or furniture for a living know about the examples of quotes you share here. They'd tell you you were losing big money on those jobs.

Your story reminds me of a window contractor who was fixing something at my place, and saw a one of a kind shelving (featuring complex joinery cut by hand) in the room. I bit my tongue and kindly declined to give him a quote as he wanted to have something similar built for him. I knew he'd thought either I was greedy or I was crazy if I mouthed an amount.

One time, I spent a full day on something for a non-profit entity. I sent a bill to cover everything including my shop time at a rate that was in line with my skill level, but I brought the amount due to zero by adding a discount line. I always try to let people know how much my craftsmanship is worth, even though there may be no money changing hands. If you yourself don't value your own work, other people probably won't either.


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