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Repairs to butcher's block

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Jonm

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The repair wouldn't worry me, but those brackets and fixings would drive me mad, they just scream cheap and nasty.
I agree about the existing brackets and the coach screws near the end of the wood just look wrong. Changing the brackets and fixings, putting a cover over the hole for the tie bar and painting the frame would improve it no end. I have noticed that some of the commercial blocks have removeable covers over the tie bars, presumably so they can be adjusted. Stainless steel brackets and screws could look good, depending on setting.
 

jon_c

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Ah, well now you are all encouraging me to keep it and gradually make improvements instead of trying to send it back!

I think I may do that. I'm quite disappointed it took so long and arrived in the state it did, but realistically I'm not going to have time to make my own soon as my current main woodworking project is some solid shutters for one of the windows and then restoring a wooden floor.

Jonathan
 

Jonm

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Ah, well now you are all encouraging me to keep it and gradually make improvements instead of trying to send it back!
Seeing as you have asked, I would not be happy and would send it back. The gap and use of cheap brackets, CLS frame and coach screws near the end of the timber does not give me confidence in the person who made it and their experience with butchers blocks. I would also be concerned about long term movement of the blocks, given the makers apparent inexperience. Are the blocks loose or glued etc.

However, I can see that with the frame painted and changed brackets and fixings it would look ok. I would expect that a different block will cost more than your £350 with the discount, and there is the hassle of changing it. You could phone a specialist block maker and see what they say about price and delivery, there are the people in kings lynn that I posted but I have no idea how good they are.
 

TheTiddles

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I’m surprised you’ve not already returned it. Then again, I’m surprised you paid that much for something you hadn’t seen… but I’m surprised by many things.

If you keep it, there’s a heck of a lot of sanding to get the saw marks out the beech.

I’ve always wondered, is there a term for when you feel you ought to be surprised but just can’t get over the hump of being so sure that someone is going to do something that should be surprising, that it isn’t? I bet the Germans have a word for it
 

jon_c

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Thanks TheTiddles.

We needed something a custom size, and all the photos of previous work looked nice, so that's why I paid without having seen it. Haven't returned it yet because the maker was away over Christmas and has now offered a discount.

I'm used to paying at least something up front for bespoke stuff from small firms, is that not the norm?
 

TheTiddles

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Thanks TheTiddles.

We needed something a custom size, and all the photos of previous work looked nice, so that's why I paid without having seen it. Haven't returned it yet because the maker was away over Christmas and has now offered a discount.

I'm used to paying at least something up front for bespoke stuff from small firms, is that not the norm?
One should never ask me what is normal!

Personally I would be very reticent to pay for something I’ve not got, so for instance the garden people wanted 50% up front, so I give them money and if they go bust… I’ve lost it. I did stage payments instead, they clear the site, they get 30%, materials onsite 20% (when I get the receipts so they’re my materials) and so on.

As for commissioning a piece, I can see why that doesn’t work, maybe 10% up-front, 70% on delivery and 20% on acceptance (that way their profit is based on the last payment, not having just delivered any old pile of pineapple and running off) many people can’t handle that so just write the contract for them and say “here you go, do business or don’t”, I’ve never asked anything unfair and I’ve never had a problem… but then I can’t stand most peoples workmanship so never ask for it.

I recently commissioned a piece, never met the person who did it, internet only communication, they didn’t want a deposit no matter how many times I offered them one, really surprised me but I guess she works with a different class of person.
 

Cabinetman

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Ah, well now you are all encouraging me to keep it and gradually make improvements instead of trying to send it back!

I think I may do that. I'm quite disappointed it took so long and arrived in the state it did, but realistically I'm not going to have time to make my own soon as my current main woodworking project is some solid shutters for one of the windows and then restoring a wooden floor.

Jonathan
The shutters sound interesting, how about a work in progress with pictures, are they the folding type that fit into a box at the side of the window casing?
 

Beanwood

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My view would be to send it back. You'll look at it everyday- long after the discount is forgotten, and it's going straight on a list of things you end up 'making do' with instead of enjoying.
 

jon_c

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The shutters sound interesting, how about a work in progress with pictures, are they the folding type that fit into a box at the side of the window casing?

Yes, two-tier folding shutters. I'll post in the projects section once I have something worth showing. It's taken a lot to design them (including help from this forum and some very old joinery books) but I think I'm on track. Bottom four panels are made (though they're very simple as I'm very much an amateur) so next job is to finish painting them and get them up on the frame.
 

jon_c

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My view would be to send it back. You'll look at it everyday- long after the discount is forgotten, and it's going straight on a list of things you end up 'making do' with instead of enjoying.

True. Though at this point I'm getting so irritated *not* having a decent height cutting space (especially after waiting 5 months for this) I'm not sure I want to wait many months more for someone else to find time to make one!
 

jon_c

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We've agreed a £200 refund (so about 50%) to settle things. That should be enough to leave some cash to eventually improve it plus I don't feel like I've hugely overpaid when I look at it now.

It's a bit rough, but I think I'll file that under "rustic" until I have time for it.

Thanks for all your advice.
 
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