Another side effect of woodworking...

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by BerBer5985 posted 02-22-2012 10:19 PM 9973 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Before I started woodworking, I always looked at furniture and other pieces as just what they were, not paying attention to how it was built and the materials used to build it. Now I’m finding myself touching and digging deeper into checking out the fine details of the furniture. For example, we inherited a couple pieces of furniture, one piece very old, and the others, maybe bought in the 1970’ made by Thomasville. I never gave them much thought until I started into the hobby. Now I open the drawers and see the solid wood pieces and the dovetailed drawers and the flutes and molding, etc. The older pieces of furniture for sure had hand cut dovetails holding the drawer together and possibly more. Things that I always took for granted, or frankly never noticed. Doing more and more handtool work also makes me really appreciate the fine details that go into older furniture and find it amazing what people built with their two hands and a couple hand tools. I own a flooring store and I find myself analyzing every floor in every building, house, etc that I walk into. I notice the good jobs and the bad jobs and materials. Things that people wouldn’t notice unless you’re in the trade, but it’s what I call an occupational hazard.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

10 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8601 posts in 4569 days

#1 posted 02-22-2012 10:25 PM

interesting how that $1200 chair makes so much more sense now doesnt it?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 3341 days

#2 posted 02-22-2012 10:35 PM

Exactly!! It’s always made sense that more expensive furniture and cabinets used solid wood instead of plywood and better finishes and all that, but it never occurred to me to see the methods into which the piece was made.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

View barecycles's profile


257 posts in 3249 days

#3 posted 02-22-2012 11:05 PM

Greg, excellent observations. I have a stool my grandfather made by hand that is still as sturdy as ever. I noticed a similarly designed stool at Walmart recently and as I handled it I could tell this one will never last as long as my grandpa’s. It looked good but structurally it was weak.

-- Sweeping up sawdust in Texas

View Gary's profile


9416 posts in 4353 days

#4 posted 02-22-2012 11:15 PM

Welcome to the addiction

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4116 days

#5 posted 02-23-2012 12:10 AM

Before I became interested and addicted to woodworking, my in-laws gave us some old furniture from my wife’s grandma that I told my wife I didn’t want because I thought it was ugly(even though we really needed the extra dresser). I always preferred the newer dresser we had but we took it anyways to make my wife happy.

After woodworking for a while, I started to actually examine the new and old dressers. I saw the new one was all nail gun and screws and fake veneered paticleboard and metal drawer slides. Then I noticed the old uglier one and saw it was all handcrafted, solid hardwoods, hand cut dovetail drawers(they aren’t perfect dovetails), wood drawer runners, ogee feet, routed profiles on the edges, crown molding above the top, and a large solid wood top. I now dislike the newer prettier one and love this piece due to its craftsmanship
....The things you take for granted.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3226 days

#6 posted 02-23-2012 12:25 AM

I am with you 100%, when I was a teenager furniture was just another place to sit sleep or throw my keys on. I am not sure if growing up or becoming a woodworker is what made me appreciate and look at furniture in a new light.
Then when you start doing the fine detail work, like the hand cut dovetails you understand the amount of time it takes and then it doesn’t seem that expensive.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3545 days

#7 posted 02-23-2012 12:58 AM

I made new cabinet doors for our kitchen. Now every where I go I’m checking the workmanship of cabinet doors. Friends, relatives, co-workers, the deli we go to, I mean all of them. I get sideways glances sometimes, but I just shrug them off, I am not looking in the cabinets, I’m looking at them.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 3341 days

#8 posted 02-23-2012 01:05 AM

Well the flip side is my wife keeps want to buy a new bedroom set and all that jazz and I want to attempt to build it! Haha I know she would be happy with throwaway furn to replace the good furn we already have and I couldn’t live with that.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 4212 days

#9 posted 02-23-2012 01:49 AM

My brother and I still have our grandparents’ bedroom set, built probably in the ‘50s. It’s well made, solid wood framework, dovetails, etc., but it’s obvious to the knowing eye that it was economy grade, everything done with machines, large panels veneered, etc. Sadly, it’s as good as “custom” furniture made today.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Rob_n_Wood's profile


109 posts in 4270 days

#10 posted 02-23-2012 05:16 AM

Greg it is all ways nice to have an enlighten perspective I agree with you 100%
I purchased an old antique hutch made around the end of the civil war (no I’m not that old)
I fell in love with the highly detailed carvings and leaded glass panels
How can you not just admire the craftsmanship

I think compared to this I am truly a rank amateur
But it does give us all something to aspire too.

-- "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics