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The State Of Furniture

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doctor Bob

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Why buy new furniture. I dont know what the second hand market is like on the mainland but here on the isle of wight you can buy amazing furniture very well made at monthly auctions. I had this piece delivered yesterday which set me back a whopping £125 with taxes.
My my, that's something to behold.
 

Spectric

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I think the IKEA type flat pack stuff is generally fit for purpose, but it is only made to go togeather once. If you're moving, and need to take it apart and then assemble it again, you're probably going to have problems.
That was like the MFI stuff where once assembled and put in place that was it, often several items holding each other up. Try and move it and it had a built in function that would make it return to it's flatpack status once again.
 

Spectric

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Around here thousands haven't a hope in hell of earning £29,600
So it is not just a North South divide, it is a London & counties attached to all the rest divide. Perhaps you need an HS2 extension into devon & cornwall because according to bumbling Borris that will help cure this problem up north so it could do the same for you down there.
 

Spectric

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I've never been in one in my 59 years....I really should make the effort to, so I can see what people like/ hate about the stuff.
The one thing it does do is remove all the snobbery about possesions because it means everyone has the same sort of stuff, it is another phase we are in where we can all have the same cloned furniture, drive around in similar looking metal boxes, shop in the same shops wherever you live because all the highstreets are clones of each other and eat the same rubbish because they are now everywhere, going are the days of individualism.
 

recipio

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I think we live in a disposable age. Every new house now has that 'Pacific Rim' look with badly made bleached oak or heavily stained furniture. The old reliables like oak tables and dressers have gone. I wish people would consider commissioning more bespoke furniture. - not everything has to be at David Linley prices . :giggle:
 

Nick S

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Obviously us woodworkers are quite picky about furniture. However since I got more and more invested in woodworking and furniture making I have started to take more note of furniture from other sources.

We all know Ikea is junk and the price you pay, we shouldnt expect much more than the cardboard it is so I tend not to complain about them, i just avoid if i can. What I do have beef about though is seemingly "premium furniture" from companies like West Elm. For example, this bedside table was advertised at £369, was a mix of walnut veneered engineered wood and softwood and a little bit of solid walnut on the legs. The quality of the crafstmanship just does not live up to the price point IMO
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Likewise Heals who admittedly make some lovely looking stuff and I know they work with small time woodworkers for some of their ranges but some of their main range furniture, like a smallish sideboard is priced around £3k but is largely made up of veneered wood. At that price, surely its not too much to expect solid wood? Or do I under estimate what one should charge for solid wood furniture?

The only quality solid wood furniture is Ercol the jacobite range (dark stain) is peanuts picked up a tall corner unit at auction for £6 in perfect condition
The natural Elm is a lot more I inherited a corner cupboard and Pandora box I bought my grandparents when I worked there over 40 years ago it still looks like new and is beautifully made
 

thetyreman

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if you're a woodworker knocking out a simple bookcase shouldn't be an issue, the problem is people are lazy and hypocritical, they'd rather support an unbelievably greedy corporation who is destroying the planet instead of spending a few hours with some hand tools in a shed, I have made several bookshelves and they are miles better than the rubbish you can get form ikea, in fact I destroyed my billy bookcase and replaced it with a really nice pine one that was custom made for that space, out of all the projects I've done it might have been the most satisfying to make.
 

doctor Bob

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The one thing it does do is remove all the snobbery about possesions because it means everyone has the same sort of stuff, it is another phase we are in where we can all have the same cloned furniture, drive around in similar looking metal boxes, shop in the same shops wherever you live because all the highstreets are clones of each other and eat the same rubbish because they are now everywhere, going are the days of individualism.
That went a while ago
 

Sean33

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Obviously us woodworkers are quite picky about furniture. However since I got more and more invested in woodworking and furniture making I have started to take more note of furniture from other sources.

We all know Ikea is junk and the price you pay, we shouldnt expect much more than the cardboard it is so I tend not to complain about them, i just avoid if i can. What I do have beef about though is seemingly "premium furniture" from companies like West Elm. For example, this bedside table was advertised at £369, was a mix of walnut veneered engineered wood and softwood and a little bit of solid walnut on the legs. The quality of the crafstmanship just does not live up to the price point IMO
View attachment 112383View attachment 112384


Likewise Heals who admittedly make some lovely looking stuff and I know they work with small time woodworkers for some of their ranges but some of their main range furniture, like a smallish sideboard is priced around £3k but is largely made up of veneered wood. At that price, surely its not too much to expect solid wood? Or do I under estimate what one should charge for solid wood furniture?
Totally agree. Some of the things i have repaired over the last couple of years would make your toes curl. I do find it very poor that big designer brands charge thousands for veneered MDF jewellery boxes, tables, sideboards etc that admittedly do look nice but seem to be made to be seen rather than used
 

Hornbeam

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with good quality veneered furniture and in many cases the use of veneer over a quality stable stable substrate can be superior to solid wood construction. The problem is that may companies are using cheap very thin veneer over poor quality substrate with poor quality construction
Products like g plan from 60s and 70s seemed to get the balance right for affordable quality. Ercol quite a bit above
Companies like oak furniture land have tried to promote the benefits of solid construction but in my opinion use a quality slow growing hardwood resource to produce rubbish with relatively short functional life.
The problem is that people treat furniture as disposable and want to change every 5 years so there is little point in large companies designing and producing items that will last 50 years plus
 

danst96

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with good quality veneered furniture and in many cases the use of veneer over a quality stable stable substrate can be superior to solid wood construction.
I agree however what I take exception to this is when a piece of furniture is very expensive (i.e. a relatively small sideboard priced around £3-4k). If it's reasonably priced then yes of course
 

Sean33

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we have just about finished setting up a lux holiday home for rentals.....
buying furniture that's affordable, looks smart and will at least last 3-5 years was very dif.....
Mostley we bought hardwood inside /outside and around the pool Aluminium.....
maintenence was the next worry.......
I have decided to build a new dining table and chairs from hardwood as frankly just nothing around thats not made of chip board/Mdf..or knot free super fast grown, stained to hell pine....
Although we did find a German lux designer store where a table started at €4-5,000 and upto €12,000, and chairs were 500-800 each....
catering for the rich Russions here I guess....

my bill for hardwood will be just under €1000 at the mo to make a 6 seater table n chairs......but looking further afield to buy it at a better price right now....

when I worked in the states kitchens were mostly custom made to fit the room, fixed/applied fronts (dont know the term for comp built front panels and doors) and birch ply inside (painted or stained)...
In S Africa at the time virt no firms making fitted furniture (kitc/ bedroom).....so we bought the sheets of MDF, the correct end strip rolls and a machine to apply it......and made our own.....

lastly, my house in France had French oak fronts, bought in the UK for better than 1/2 price in France...
talk about coals to Newcastle....hahaha

were very lucky in Europe, every style u could ever want in almost any material......just depends on how deep ur pockets are.....!!!
If your looking for some nice slabs, think they have redwood, walnut and oak might be worth looking at BPI auctions, im after a piece of bog oak they have for a project
 

Phil Pascoe

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So it is not just a North South divide, it is a London & counties attached to all the rest divide. Perhaps you need an HS2 extension into devon & cornwall because according to bumbling Borris that will help cure this problem up north so it could do the same for you down there.
Falmouth is one of the largest deepest harbours in the world and it is served by a single track railway line.
 

Spectric

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I suppose it is a trade off, if you have a nice area then do you want it to become like one of the home counties, just a rat race where more people are only surviving rather than actually living. I escaped that rat race when I heard another six thousand houses were going to be built and glad I did.
 

Phil Pascoe

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If your looking for some nice slabs, think they have redwood, walnut and oak might be worth looking at BPI auctions, im after a piece of bog oak they have for a project
His daughter might have a bit of trouble getting them in her handbag for her next trip to Greece, though.
 

Anthraquinone

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I have just moved my daughter to a new house. The Ikea furniture went down and up again with absolutely no problem as you would expect if done carefully. Ikea make very well designed products and not a scrap of glue anywhere. If the furniture had been traditionally built it would have been a nightmare to move.

The custom made lounge furniture we have has engineered wood pannels and solid wood frames. The panels will not shrink twist or split like solid wood can do in a modern house with central heating. I am all for modern technology if used in the right way. Just because things were made in a "traditional" way does not make then better. A brother in law's longcase clock all bet fell apart in a centrally heated home and that was built by traditional means. Of course you can learn from the past but things improve and move on it is called progress.
 

ivan

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Our first trip to Ikea was to the first UK store, in Warrington, not long after it opened. We had shortly come back from a week in Holland where we'd been amazed at the well designed stuff for homes stocked by modest cost chain stores. Ikea proved just as good, design wise. Nowadays we've read that the UK market is more conservative than Europe, so if you're hunting good modern design better look in branches there.
Ikea gets stuff made for it all over the world. One of our first puchases was a pair of standard lamps with hemishpherical shades. They still look great about 25 years later. You'd never guess from normal looking, that the upright is made from round black pcvu downpipe. Not toddlerproof, but then you wouldn't buy a standard lamp for a playroom. We also had one of the tall basic cheap (lack?) narrow tables in the hall for over 20 years. Which? rates their kitchen units too, aganst other maker's melamine and dowel kitchen furniture. It's a bit like a Dacia, and a Rolls with Mulliner Park Ward bespoke coachwork; both can be properly made, fit for pupose (getting from A to B), but made and priced for different markets.
 
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