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Which Techniques Make a Project Stand Out?

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Newbie_Neil

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Hi all

I have recently become interested in how you can make your projects stand out from the crowd of mass produced items.

One tip I picked up was staying away from the standard timber sizes available at, say B&Q.

In routing terms an article I read in The Router said that having a "sublime inside radius" would add 20% to the unit cost, so that wouldn't considered by a factory.

Another might be fixed width dovetails.

So which techniques would you recommend that would be too expensive for a factory?

Thanks
Neil
 

Waka

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Philly":30dcxylq said:
Neil
For a start-using "real" timber as opposed to mdf or rubberwood. :wink:
Philly :D
Says Philly who never uses MDF.

Neil

I think contrasting woods and robustness, a lot of the furniture you see in shops nowadays looks so flimsy and cheap looking unless you really go up market
 

JFC

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I make my living out of making things that are not factory standard . So i suppose keeping away from standard size timbers is a good way to go for projects . Also taking time to use proper joints like mortice and tenons or dovetails rather than a dowel or a but joint will give your project more flare . So pretty much whats already been said above :lol:
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi Neil

A nice thought.

I tend to use non-standard sizes, hard woods and hand cut joints; also always design my own stuff and try to use the golden ratio (fibonacci) whenever possible to make sure it is pleasing to the eye.
No one would mistake my work for mass produced ikea et al junk. likewise, few would mistake my work for well-made furniure :oops:
 

Real wood

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Im just waiting for leigh to bring the isoloc templates to the uk for my d1600 which will make my drawers look even better and very individual. I think there available next month.
 

Adam

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Meant to reply to this ages ago...

A few things I thought of.... instead of a thick finish so that you can't actually "feel" the wood - use a more natural finish? Oil? etc?

Knots in the wood - I don't mind them at all - even deep ones. Its part of the wood. It also shows its real timber

Smell - I've lined the base of the blanket box I'm making with cedar of lenanon - the smell is wonderful

Fittings. Nice brass fittings make such a difference. Not cheap though!

Screws - traditional brass with the heads all aligned?

Traditional techniques like frame and panel. This takes time and costs money, compared to mass produced veneered panels.

Unusual grain patterns. That can only be optimised by spending some time looking at all the individual components and trying different combinations until you are satisfied. Especially if you have some wild grain.

Difficult timbers... like elm etc. Using timbers with nice grain that would be difficult in a production environment due to susceptability to cupping / twisting etc.

Visible joints instead of mitred pinned corners etc.

Non square shapes - pentagons, hexagons etc.

Use of curves - even more so ones that have to be completed after assembly - e.g Maloof style joints. No router can be used for those, its time to get out the rasps.

Thats just a few thoughts...

Adam
 

dedee

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can original design be considered as a technique?

I have been really impressed by the metal, glass, wood combinations of a number of projects posted hear over the past few months.


Andy
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Andy

dedee":752fg9k5 said:
can original design be considered as a technique?
I think that's a topic for another thread, as it would run and run.

What I was looking for were any techniques that members used that would differentiate their projects from the mass producers.

Cheers
Neil
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi Neil

Forgot that grain is important as Adam says. With real hard wood furniture, one can play with the grains and get distinctive pieces. My recently completed bedside cabinets are Ash and the grain is beautiful, particularly in the top surfaces which are figured too. Shop bought furniture so often has featureless grain or worse, false grain on man-made boards :sick:
 

tim

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Newbie Neil":1jbp3lhg said:
In routing terms an article I read mentioned that having a "sublime inside radius"
Like Scott, I'm still wondering what this is?

Cheers

Tim
 

Scott

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I read the term in a mag the other day as well but I'm still none the wiser! :?
 

engineer one

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as an engineer (yes i admit it i was trained to work in metal!)
i was taught that if it looks right it is right. too much modern
furniture is designed to be manufactured in bulk, so although it is
designed it does not stand out.

many people are happy when they wear one, to buy a suit from
M&S but if you are lucky enough to get to afford a Saville Row suit,
it just looks and feels different.

i think hand made furniture is the same. even when using mdf
you can still make it stand out by adding details or understating,
shadow lines and so on are the details that make it different.

also you know most store bought furniture is sort of "built in" in look
whereas, what you want to make is maybe stand alone, and that in
itself will make it look different.

seems to me that a good handworker can make something look slender
and attractive whilst store bought will always look over the top.
take drawers for instance, because in bulk they have to have extra
movement, they will not fit like those hand made to fit an individual
space.

final thought do you want to stand out, or just do it right and know it
will fit in for years to come after the store bought stuff has been changed
two or three times???

all the best
paul :wink:
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Tim and Scott

tim":3isdayji said:
Newbie Neil":3isdayji said:
In routing terms an article I read mentioned that having a "sublime inside radius"
Like Scott, I'm still wondering what this is?

Cheers

Tim
That makes at least three of us. I have re-read the item and there isn't any more information. At the time of including it I thought I understood the reason, but now I know that I don't.

So, does anyone know the answer?

Cheers
Neil
 

trevtheturner

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Sorry I can't help - I'm wondering, too. "Sublime inside radius" might also be of interest to a woodturner - when I know what it is. :lol:

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Midnight

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So, does anyone know the answer?
gut reaction was that its merely marketing BS designed to impress the zeroids...

sorry.... it's been one o them days...

a while back I started a project for my mother... she wants an entire wall turned over to storage; bulk items in base cabinets, bookshelves above them... Real late in the build of the first 4 pieces (the design has 10 in total) my step-father requested a change... could I make allowance for a portable tv in the lower shelf oc the corner bookcase..?? This when the dado's were already cut in the bookcase sides.. what to do..??

The bookcase itself is built from 12mm baltic birch... lightweight, strong... and ummm... pretty boring... maybe I can turn boring to my advantage...

I'd an offcut of elm on a shelf, beautiful figure but I'd resigned myself to the fact that due to its irregular shape and fist sized hole in the centre of it, I'd doubt I'd ever use the piece...

Then I got to thinking.... what if I left the waney edge on the board... left the shape really organic... would it work.??

I tried it... used it to make a 1/3rd lenght shelf and tapered upright... it worked perfectly, filled the void nicely and the sxpance of "boring" behind it made the impact of the grain and organic shape all the greater... What's more important, everyone who's seen it has commented positivly on it...

Lesson learned was that it needn't be over designed to be distingtive... I'll never be able to replicate the shelf purely because the natural shape of the board dictated the design... let the wood speak for itself....
 
A

Anonymous

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Midnight":1spees8h said:
let the wood speak for itself....
Good point Midnight

If Bean ever gets around to posting photographs of his work, this would be clearly shown as his rule. Whenever we visit wood yards he always heads for the pile of highly figured and 'scrappy' looking boards and then turns them into something beautiful :shock:
 

Adam

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Another thing, earlier this year, I rewaxed most of my projects using some clear paste wax and a lightly abrasive pad, before buffing off the excess wax. Wow! What a difference, furniture definately does dull with age, and doesn't always look as good as the day it was made. The wax really brought out the figure and made things have a real "glow". I very much doubt thats possible with a laquered item. The smell of beeswax polish also is wonderful. But then I'm a little biased perhaps!

Adam
 

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