Simple, Useful, Free

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Blog entry by TDog posted 09-03-2012 04:59 AM 2073 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

No I’m not marketing. I’m just amazed at how it’s not the fancy pieces or most expensive pieces that tend to get the most use. I think by far many expensive and or “fancy” if I may, pieces of furniture or any item for that matter does not see as much use as more common items. (Duh you say) :)

I am convinced that there is not much peace of mind to be found in in objects that are almost “roped off” in our homes, offices, or studies, workshops even in an effort to preserve their “niceness.” I say this as I have fallen trap to “fancy” items many times before. It’s just good marketing and branding in some aspects. Dont’ get me wrong quality is out there and practicality. It can create that “gotta have it” vibe. That’s good marketing or worse peer pressure. Then, when I get that fancy “item” I spend much of my time shewing the kids away from it, polishing it, babying it, dusting it etc, instead of actually using it…which was originally why I bought whatever it was to begin with. My case in point-A newer pick up truck. I had an old small truck, countless years of deer camp trips, mud holes, spilled cups of coffee, escaped french fries, a pet transporter and all. It was well used.

So, I finally get that newly USED larger truck…hey it has four doors, Since we had a new baby and needed more room why not. Now that baby is 5 and loves chocolate pudding, hanging on every knob and lever known to man. Breakage is everywhere. Food is everywhere, stains are everywhere. I;m ok with that as it is a truck. But I did not expect that all to happen the first two days of ownership. It’s all good. I love my family. I’m messy too. But, it sure would have been nice to have the old truck. BECAUSE IT WOULDN’T MATTER. Peace of mind would come a bit easier. “hey, it’s the old truck” Oh, but I do remember the time the fox pee leaked into the AC unit on a deer camp trip, OK, one point against the old truck, That made Mississippi summer’s in the old truck pretty rank. I digress.

The new truck holds more wood, tools, people, no fox smell Thank the Lord, But all I’m saying is New stuff is not all it’s cracked up to be once you get it…except for Lie Nielsen and Blue Spuce Tools. :)

My furniture building and influence is the same way as it develops. To me…


Furniture that is extravagant and overly ornate in my book are great to view and marvel at (my ipad is full of Chippendale and Federal pieces…and for sure challenging and fun to build.
But, my greatest glee if I may, is to build a piece of furniture that I know will be used every day if not countless times a day.

So I humbly give you…the HERCULES HOUSEHOLD STOOL.

It’s a versatile, practical, USEFUL, and inexpensive furniture piece.

Plus, if you can run a saw and scrounge up a few scrap 2×4s. IT’S FREE.

That’s the kind of furniture I’m into. USEFUL AND PRACTICAL

What furniture am I NOT into buying or owning right now…?
The kind that sits in a room, gather’s dust, gets gawked at maybe once a week or year
and gets little Johnny and Sally a spanking or scolding for climbing on it,
but sadly it is hardly used.

Now, combining USEFUL and BEAUTIFUL…at a price that will still allow groceries for the month…
now you got it. So did the Shakers have it figure out years ago? I think so. But, it’s your opinion.
Feel free to comment and post pictures of USEFUL AND PRACTICAL furniture with your comments.

Bloggers and Woodworkers…Thank you for sharing a precious resource with this article…your time.
You are much appreciated. Drop me a comment, grammar correction, or shout out any time!

Dunlap Woodworking
The Blog of a WannabeWoodworker

-- "So many little time..." Psalm 23

4 comments so far

View Stephen Fox's profile

Stephen Fox

110 posts in 4727 days

#1 posted 09-03-2012 09:37 AM

My wife’s tastes are to the Victorian period, claw feet, every edge with multiple profiles, highly figured veneers, rope turnings. My tastes are to the arts and crafts mostly straight lines, use of grain, routing a single profile on a top, tapering a leg but fairly simple stuff. I do not see much right and wrong in design as long as the thing does what it is supposed to do. I doubt there would be much interest in woodworking if it was all about function. When I make something it is after looking at how other people do it and then using the bits and pieces along with my own to come up with a design but then when building i notice that things change as better ideas come along both for function and for making it look nice. The good news is that better function many times also is better form.

-- Stephen NYS

View oldnovice's profile


7764 posts in 4701 days

#2 posted 09-04-2012 12:43 AM

My wife and I have similar tastes, thank God, otherwise I wouldn’t be making the pieces I have is far. The Victorian and similar styles just don’t do it for me or her.

I will agree that the simpler pieces do get more use and my hypothesis is that we feel more comfortable in and around those pieces.

The stool above is a prime example, simple, easy to understand it’s function, durable, and “comfortable” to be around. Good work and example of an elegant piece!

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 4023 days

#3 posted 09-04-2012 02:35 AM

I’m still laughing about the “time the fox pee leaked into the AC”!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View clieb91's profile


4264 posts in 5268 days

#4 posted 09-04-2012 11:51 PM

TDog, I am right there with ya. Which is one of the big reasons I have been able to build my shop up. I told my wife when we moved in that I wanted a simple and useful desk and matching office furniture. Thanks to her understanding and the market that provided nothing in what I thought was a decent price range I tackled my own. It is very basic but oh so practical and useful.
You can see the first piece here…
Click for details

The rest is in my projects (except for that printer table I have yet to build)

Thanks for posting.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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