More of a LumberJock than I thought...

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Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 03-29-2010 12:10 AM 1504 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Mar. 28/10

My daughter and son-in-law just bought their first (and hopefully “only”) house. I told them to go look at antique furniture before buying anything. I said, “think quality and think life-time”.

Although they haven’t purchased anything yet they didn’t go looking at antique stores first. They asked me to go check out some of the “wood” furniture that they were looking at. I didn’t think that I’d be able to tell them whether it was exceptional quality or not, if it was real wood furniture.

Ha. .. just looking at most of it I could see the inferior quality of the wood as compared to antiques. Then touching the wood—just didn’t have that sturdiness to it. Next step – look at the drawers. If the bottom bounced – not a good sign. Glue, staples and brad nails showing in the drawers – not a good sign.

Yah… nothing came close to my idea of quality. I guess I know more about furniture-making than I thought.

So we’re back to my advice: go check out the antiques and if you don’t find anything you like find a craftsman to build you something.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

24 comments so far

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3968 days

#1 posted 03-29-2010 12:20 AM

Sounds to me like your “Honey-Do” list is getting ready to fill up.

-- San Diego, CA

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 3813 days

#2 posted 03-29-2010 12:26 AM

I love antiques.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View patron's profile


13654 posts in 3851 days

#3 posted 03-29-2010 12:39 AM

well mom ,

guess what you will be doing for a few years ?

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3625 days

#4 posted 03-29-2010 12:50 AM

I will gess you wont be out of the shop
not even to eat the next ten years or so
good luck with it
looking forward to hear from you


View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4489 days

#5 posted 03-29-2010 01:12 AM

Bravo Ms. Debbie!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View ellen35's profile


2742 posts in 3942 days

#6 posted 03-29-2010 01:17 AM

At one time, furniture was made with pride.
These days, it is made with staples and cheap wood… it is good to know the difference.
You will be very busy, mom!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4087 days

#7 posted 03-29-2010 01:27 AM

Hey Debbie
Use the money to buy them tools and let them build their own furniture.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4670 days

#8 posted 03-29-2010 02:14 AM

I’ll be busy saying “have you checked out the antique store yet?” :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4268 posts in 3674 days

#9 posted 03-29-2010 02:28 AM

When I was in training, an impoverished intern, we bought old items, not necessarily antiques, but old, that had good structure and design. Another thing to look at is unfinished furniture. Found that was a pretty good alternative, with hardwoods and better structure. I remember furnishing a one bedroom apartment with used furniture, cement block and board book cases, an old canning cupboard, adding some doors, and antiquing the whole mess. Looked very attractive for its purpose. Did some minimal woodwork, with no power tools. Even made an end table with a round top, and decorative cement blocks. We had a stereo system, that I built from tube kits, nickel-dime all the way. But it was the social center for a lot of other interns, felt nice, sounded good, and the refridgerator was always full.

Sometimes its just thinking of what you need for the next few years to fill the rooms, while you get on your feet financially, and then starting a room at a time to upgrade it. Old furniture, lot of paint and some imagination, hand-me-downs from the folks…....(-: ........whatever it takes…...


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4670 days

#10 posted 03-29-2010 02:42 AM

thanks :)

they’ve gone through the “this will do for now” stage and are ready for the next step.
Yes, the unfinished furniture is second option. Rick used to work at a furniture store—Mennonite woodworkers made the furniture and then they finished it as per customer’s requirements.

We have an antique furniture in the area that fixed old furniture up to “perfection”—gorgeous results and fits with the kids’ style (as opposed to mine where I’d prefer the “character” marks)
Anyway.. I think I have them convinced to take a look and I hope they will see the difference.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Karson's profile


35201 posts in 4910 days

#11 posted 03-29-2010 03:48 AM

You might be a LumberJock when you build all of the furniture for your children.

Good Luck Debbie.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3618 days

#12 posted 03-29-2010 04:06 AM

Congratulations Debbie, you have the curse/blessing of the LJ. Sometimes I think an invisible “LJ” mark grows on our forehead that transforms us from an ordinary consumer to one that can spot MDF and Veneers with our secret X-Wood vision. I can’t walk into most discount furniture places because I know I will either get kicked out or greatly annoy whomever invites me.

Antique shops intimidate me only because I have been to so many that greatly markup furniture because of that choice phrase “antique.” That dresser is not just a dresser, it is a “King George” dresser and was previously only touched by royal hands, and I should be ashamed of myself to even think about using it for my tshirts and underpants… Which leads me to my collection of wood plans for furniture in nearly every room and the sparseness of existing pieces because I have not completed them yet :)

Hopefully your advice will be taken. At least you already saved them from some regrettable purchases.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View mmh's profile


3679 posts in 4232 days

#13 posted 03-29-2010 05:41 AM

Sounds like they need a good lesson on deconstruction. If you can get an old piece of “new” junk and demolish it to show them how shabby it’s made and it’s usually mdf or pressboard with some cheap laminate and stapled or glued as you mention.

Then take an antique piece and without destroying it, show them how it’s made. Dovetail joints, mortised solid dowels, etc. This will show them what to look for rather than being dependant on your opinion and probably making hasty decisions to purchase something because they initially like it and don’t know what to look for.

I’ve seen some beautiful renovated antiques that even with a higher price tag to compensate for the refurbishing, they were SOLID wood and well made and would easily last another 100 years and were still cheaper than modern “fake” furniture.

Personally I like the modern or shaker look with sleaker lines, but I can at least determine solid wood from pressboard with veneer.

I had a co-worker who was gung-ho on renovating her home and decided to refinish her dining room table. She got on top of it with an orbital sander and proceeded to remove the unwanted finish. To her surprise, she sanded the veneer off and found pressboard. Oooops. An ugly cheap table made even uglier.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 3576 days

#14 posted 03-29-2010 05:47 AM

You have given them so good advice. I know that despite my limited time in woodworking, it has changed how I view furniture. I wondered into an antique store the other day and I was amazed how much differently I looked at them.

I am sure that you have put them on the right path. Good job.

-- Brian Meeks,

View Grumpy's profile


25623 posts in 4361 days

#15 posted 03-29-2010 05:52 AM

You should have been a detective Deb.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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