I have offended someone!

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Project by mrbentontoyou posted 11-03-2009 06:04 PM 3409 views 5 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
I have offended someone!
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So a while back I posted some photos of a completed project, a pair of night stands based on a design by Joseph Jeup. I was commissioned by an interior designer to do these, because apparently they were not available in a size that would works for her clients space. I had never heard of Joseph Jeup – or his furniture – before. I was given a photo taken from the internet of a nightstand and asked if I could make that piece to the dimensions provided and I said yes. It turns out that Joseph Jeup is a very talented and accomplished furniture designer (check his website for some beautiful modern furniture), and that he takes his designs seriously enough to have been offended by their reproduction, an offense I was made aware of this morning. To that end, I have removed the photos and the story behind them from this site, and I will be removing the photos of the pieces from my own website. I have written and phoned Mr. Jeup offering my explanation and apology. The photos I made public were a showing of something I made, not something I designed. Of course, just because that is the way I look at it doesn’t mean that is the way everybody else looks at it.

The argument of “based on” or “inspired by” is a long one. There are credible individuals and companies whose bread and butter is making copies of existing pieces of furniture, Maloof rockers, for instance. I personally would not want to create a replica of an existing design just for the experience; that just doesn’t interest me. The only reason I did in fact re-create this particular gentleman’s design is simple: it was a job, and jobs are too scarce these days. If I had said no to the designer who approached me to do these pieces, she would have found someone else to do them. I bothers me that I have managed to offend a major, noteworthy designer while chasing down the all mighty dollar. And again, to Mr. Jeup, I do apologize.

Regards to all-

-Roger Benton

29 comments so far

View bench_dogg's profile


63 posts in 3680 days

#1 posted 11-03-2009 07:57 PM

Cool. I really like the walnut grain on the top showing through the glass.

Nice work.

View stefang's profile


16827 posts in 3877 days

#2 posted 11-03-2009 07:58 PM

Extremely well made and brilliant design. Looking forward to seeing more of your stuff.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 4350 days

#3 posted 11-03-2009 08:24 PM

Very nice piece. I love the way that the bronze, walnut and glass play off each other. The spline miters look fantastic. I really like all your work but I am currious though as the difference in grain direction and material between the lower shelf and the top case of the drawer. Are those details from the original Jeup piece? I ask because to me I think they fight with each other. It looks like the lower shelf is solid and the upper case is ply? To my eye I want to see the grain of the shelf, the drawer and the case all go the same direction and be cut from the same stock (be it ply, veneered panel or solid) for continuity. I say this only because I think it would elevate this piece to a totally different level. Just my humble opinion. looking forward to seeing the other projects.

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 3777 days

#4 posted 11-03-2009 10:11 PM

Very nice! awesome design, shows off the grain really well.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View a1Jim's profile


117746 posts in 4120 days

#5 posted 11-03-2009 10:34 PM

Nice clean build and design looks very good

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3828 days

#6 posted 11-03-2009 11:45 PM

Great design and very nicely done. Great Job!

-- John @

View eoc1212's profile


2 posts in 4306 days

#7 posted 11-04-2009 04:48 AM

Awesome… I am getting into woodworking and love modern design. These are beautiful… be awesome if the clients decide to make it into a complete bedroom set. Awesome for me at least cause I’d love to see the other parts…

View mrbentontoyou's profile


25 posts in 4128 days

#8 posted 11-04-2009 05:37 AM

Brian, good eye, here’s the story:
i don’t even know the grain direction of jeup’s originals.
i glued up the solid shelves with the grain running side to side for the bottom and made the leg assemblies and then the project got pushed back and they sat for a few months. when i got the go ahead to finish the pieces i pulled out the parts and the panels were warped so i decided to replace them with ply for the sake of stability. (i re-stacked them upside down). i also drew it a few different ways and decided that the platform over the drawer looked better with grain running front to back. so i milled the shelves and edged them in solid and some evil leprechaun broke into my shop and sanded through the walnut veneer on the ply while flushing up the edging. had to be an evil leprechaun because neither me nor my buddy who was helping me sand remember being the culprit. anyway, i was out of ply and it was too late on a thursday to have a new piece delivered friday (monday at soonest) and the stands were due to be on a delivery truck for the trip from NY to Los Angeles on the coming tuesday. nobody i knew had any walnut ply. i wound up pulling out the original glued up solid shelves just to see and, surprise, they were back to normal, flat as glass. so i used them, spent the weekend finishing, they made their delivery date and the client loves them and every time i look at a photo of them i look at the different grain above the drawer and wish i had done that out of solid as well. C’est la vie.

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4535 days

#9 posted 11-10-2009 05:19 PM

Wow, this is really nice, love it (and I like the story about the grain :)

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Thomas's profile


11 posts in 3661 days

#10 posted 11-16-2009 08:39 AM


View David's profile


110 posts in 3891 days

#11 posted 01-12-2010 05:08 PM

Cool looking table.

I was wondering how you attached the bottom shelf diretly to the legs? I’m about to build a side table with a lower shelf that will attach directly to the legs without a skirt but am unsure how to do this…..did you use a fastern or some sort or a joint?

Thanks for your feedback!


-- dcutter

View jeup's profile


2 posts in 3590 days

#12 posted 01-22-2010 06:31 AM


One might think that I would be flattered that my designs are being used to make knocked off copies, however, I take a great deal of time and effort to develop these products and produce them with the highest degree of craftsmanship. You have decided to copy my product for your client which is a direct volation of the copyrights and patents of my products. I suggest that you as well as any other woodworkers that decide to make and sell my designs for profit, should re-evaluate that decision. Weather you believe it or not you are negatively impacting my company by not only preventing me from an receiving an order but also by producing an inferior peice that maybe mistaken for a Jeup original. All products developed without the consent of Joseph Jeup, Inc. will be subject to a legal review to the fullest extent of the law. I invite you to post a comment on this blog to reveal the design firm or client (including all contact information) that asked you to make my product to avoid direct legal action against you personally.

Joseph Jeup

View woodworm's profile


14475 posts in 4134 days

#13 posted 01-22-2010 09:33 AM


-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View jeup's profile


2 posts in 3590 days

#14 posted 01-25-2010 01:28 AM


I would like to thank you for your comments as well as your decision to take down the Jeup inspired products as it tells me a great deal about your integrity as an individual. I see this type of thing happen all over the country with designers looking for talented people like yourself to make custom dimensioned products for their clients as they feel that my designs are public domain and can be altered slightly to justify it’s production at a lower cost. (40% of Jeup sales are from custom sizes) I wanted to use this forum to let every woodworker know that we too are trying to get every job possible so that I can continue to do what I love to do, which is design and manufacture origial designs. Frankly, I am mostly upset with the designers that approach people like yourself to do these things because they know exactly what they are doing. I could buy the arguement of “based on” or “inspired by” a specific designer if in fact they are no longer producing product or deseased, however, in our case every job lost is a threat to every Jeup employee and their families existance. I understand where you are coming from because I am a woodworker myself. I would love to be a part of working together with all fellow woodworkers and hobbists around the country to promote great craftsmanship and original design, after all it has been my lifes work so far. Again, thanks to all for understand.

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 4002 days

#15 posted 01-25-2010 04:07 AM

I don’t recall the original piece that was posted here, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t even recognize the Jeup name. When someone says a style, such as Craftsman, Mission, G&G etc… I can recognize that… but I have never heard of Jeup.

And Jeup, coming here and threatening mostly small time shops, and for that matter mostly hobbiests on this site, it shows poor class. I guarantee you, if you become popular enough that your work is in great demand, the Chinese will blatantly copy your work. I see no harm in one guy making a similar piece to one you may have created, but since he did have to get it to fit a certain area, he had to come up with the plan on his own. If he had one of your originals, and pulled it apart to take measurements, then you can claim your copyright claim. Also, implying that his work is inferior is pretty classless as well. IMHO, you should step off your pedestal you’ve seem to put yourself on.

-- San Diego, CA

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