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Spectric

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Was chipboard not conceived along with the Euro 32 system for easy automation in the making of kitchens on a mass production scale. The question is would @doctor Bob have created those really wonderful kitchens had he not endured that chair factory?
 

Geoff_S

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Was chipboard not conceived along with the Euro 32 system for easy automation in the making of kitchens on a mass production scale. The question is would @doctor Bob have created those really wonderful kitchens had he not endured that chair factory?
Interesting question 🤔 We all started somewhere.
 

JobandKnock

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Was chipboard not conceived along with the Euro 32 system for easy automation in the making of kitchens on a mass production scale.
It seems to be a lot older than that (at least 1887), but there is a claim that it was invented even earlier than that (1817!). I thought it had been the Germans who came up with the idea, during WWII. They were certainly the first people to manufacture it in quantity, initially from timber waste produced from other woodworking processes. They certainly started to use chipboard in a big way during WWII for construction (floors, walls, etc) as well as furniture (paper faced boards) because of pressure on resources

System 32 just about pre-dates CNC wood machining as well, with the best claim probably being from Hettich, with a date some time before 1971. I think the 32mm centres have to do with the minimum reliable spacing you can achieve with multiple spindle drilling heads, but maybe I'm wrong on that as I've come across modern multiple boring heads which were on 25mm centres
 

D_W

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follow up comment to my previous one about working in a cabinet factory - when I was a kid, there were other places to work that had shift work and worked wood. Most of them just made plain factory furniture, which is probably easier than making fancy furniture, but competitive. If both household members worked at the same factory, it was possible to have a plain house and live spartan, but think of wages as being in the $15 an hour or 11 pounds range currently.

The cabinet factory where I worked closed, and now there's fewer people on the same site making metal commercial cabinetry.

The typical wage when I worked there in the late 1990s was about $8.80 an hour for an assembler, with benefits. Take home pay after health care for folks seemed to be about $300 a week. There were no new cars in the parking lot except young people who were dippy and spending all of their money and then some. Most folks were pretty pleasant, but the work was eye-wateringly boring. On a given day, I may put hinges in many hundreds of doors or end up on one of the assembly lines. A line with a dozen people could assemble and pack 70 cabinets an hour more or less (the parts arrived in order so four people running two clamps could put together the box and then down the line the cabinet went. The people running the clamps used staples and hot melt - their arms looked terrible from drips of hot melt over the years. Not something that happened to them every day, but if a line of melt landed on your forearm, it burned deep enough to open into a wound. They didn't have summer help work the clamps (thankfully) because if the box isn't put together right, there's no way you can just send the cabinet out.

After that, drawer guides, hardware, drawers and packing. The line always went a step faster than you could go comfortably - if you shut the line down, the whole line rate dropped and the bonus that I described wasn't per shift or per factory, it was per line and shift. Most of the people had no clue how the bonus worked and if you asked them separate questions, they didn't put it together. They just knew their check might be 10 -20 cents an hour less in a bad week or maybe 25, and you became public enemy number one, so you did a lot of jogging to get things to and from the line. The first two weeks, you dragged.

There were sanding and finishing rooms - the people in them looked like zombies, but to do nothing but wipe stain from doors coming by on hooks for 8-10 hours a day, you'd have to be a zombie.

In general, other than a couple of rednecks who were out to make people miserable and tell everyone how tough they were, though, the folks working there were fantastic. Nothing pretentious, all friendly with each other, no ego games. But they did not live high on the hog.

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One of the other factories the next town over I only knew about because a lady who was a former student of my mother's worked with me at a fast food restaurant in the evenings. She made $5 an hour at the fast food restaurant. She did nothing but hand sand *all day* at the furniture factory and I don't know what she made, but it was less than what folks made at the cabinet factory. She had to work at the fast food restaurant to make ends meet.

There are a lot of stories about how someone could have a steel mill or car factory job in the US and live well, but the reality is if those were one income families even with those jobs (with benefits), there wasn't a whole lot of extra anything to go around and the mill jobs were dangerous and life shortening.
 

D_W

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oh, and when you're on the line - first break comes 2 1/2 hours after the work day starts. You had better not drink a lot until the end of the day, because nobody stopped to pee. I would take water and drink out of boredom early in the summer but on cool days, it led to some painful dicey waits for the first 10 minute break. Once it got hot (no air conditioning, just fans), you could sweat a lot more and drink out of boredom freely.
 

doctor Bob

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When I was on the production line we had a hooter for tea break and a pre hooter to return to your bench, so you were back for the start hooter.
There was a bonus scheme, run over the year, I only lasted 2 years at the place and never got a bean, first year I started 1 week into the bonus scheme so didn't qualify for it, second year I worked my nuts off, hit all targets, no days sick etc etc, only to be told that after looking at it, the company had not made enough to give a bonus that year, of course they never mentioned this throughout the year that there may not be a bonus.
Complete dirt bags, there were workers (like me) brown coats (in charge of their line) and whit coats (in charge of their dept) all seemed to get off on power and superiority, it was definitely a sucking up game.
I often think that I was very lucky, and ended up doing alright but it's very easy to get into a rut and people literally stayed there for life, one bloke I knew had operated a pad sander for 42 years, never done anything else.
 

doctor Bob

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The them and us syndrome, I believe it helped bring down british industry as it created companies that did not work as one.
Absolutely, the lack of trust was amazing. If I assembled a 4 door sideboard, 8 hinges and 8 ball catches were brought to me, along with screws plus a few extra. Next sideboard same again. They wouldn't trust you with say 40 hinges at a time, as they reckon some went missing. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't but it was infuriating and demeaning.
I look at the young chaps who work for me and realise they have no idea how shiitty work can be. Currently they are moaning that their free work clobber is a day late!!!!!
 

Spectric

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that their free work clobber is a day late!!!!!
So you have to dress them and pay them, they really do have it to easy. The thing I have noticed over the years is that when the employer provides tools they are not treated the same as when the employee has to buy their own, sometimes only the initial tools were given and replacements were down to you but even then they would complain so is it an English thing?
 
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