Working with designers

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Blog entry by EricTwice posted 02-19-2017 01:23 PM 975 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

the question is why? Not why do we have designers, I understand this. But, why do they do the things they do, and why cant they make up their mind?

This week I was called to the finish room to reassemble some cabinetry for delivery. I didn’t recognize one of the pieces. It was painted white. Then I realized I had built it from black walnut. All of my work matching and laying up the veneer was covered with a heavy layer of paint. If he had made up his mind before I built it, he would have saved a bunch of money.

But this is not the first time, and it will not be the last. (sigh) I like this designer. He can be fun to work with. Here are some projects I have done for him in the past.

But it is not just not making up their minds. The project I sent to the finish room Friday is a very nice pair of veneered night stands. The mahogany veneer on both pieces is matched from the same flitch and is waterfalled up one side, across the top and down the other. (I was supposed to have pictures, but I left my camera there. I promise to upload them as a project.) They will fill the grain and stain it black, with a black glaze. you will not see any of the the work I did with the veneer. We are back to the question of why?

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

3 comments so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4383 days

#1 posted 02-19-2017 08:58 PM

I’ve never worked with a designer, and probably never will. I design everything I build myself. I have people that order pieces from me, but they have no control of what I build. A typical order says 1= coffee tables, light color. or it might be 1= curio cabinet, dark color. From there they get what I build them. Only design ever repeated is a set of tables in an original order.

View EricTwice's profile


248 posts in 1548 days

#2 posted 02-20-2017 11:00 AM

Designers pay well. If you can get in with a couple it is very good for the bottom line. But they do some strange often unexplainable things.

I hope to have “my” shop in some semblance of usability soon. I have so many ideas of my own. (sometimes I feel like a wood whore)

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View magaoitin's profile


249 posts in 1964 days

#3 posted 02-20-2017 04:15 PM

Over the last 30 years of working the construction field with more designers than I can count, I have come to the conclusion there is a certain inherent mental illness that comes with the Deigner moniker.

Most of the time, their creativity and insight into a project is quite amazing to see. But it is also stunning how often their vision changes in the span of less than 24 hours.

I recall quite clearly, while working at an Architectural firm, one of our Principles in charge of a $50M design project came up with 5 completely different (and all amazing) designs in the course of 5 days, and had a staff of a dozen intern architects working on renderings and models of each, only to scrap it all the next day and start over.

But that is the basis of the design process/vision. You see something in your mind and draw it out, color/render it, maybe model it, and see if it still is true to your original idea, then change as needed.

What I can’t grasp, is that a designer would let something go into production and then change the material (or in this case color, paint, texture…etc) AFTER it was completed. That to me shows a pretty poor vision of the finished product.

I don’t think many designers realize how painful changes like this can be to the craftsmen who are actually producing their ideas.

-- Jeff ~ Tacoma Wa.

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