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Forum topic by mynoblebear posted 11-27-2009 10:50 PM 2851 views 0 times favorited 45 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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722 posts in 4018 days

11-27-2009 10:50 PM

A Disturbing Trend in Furniture Production.

A recent report mentioned on a USDA Forest Service web site suggested that by 2010 “little will remain of the domestic wood industry”. Furniture being manufactured in China, Canada, and Italy will continue to take an increasingly large bite out of the U.S. industry. As an example of this trend, Boyhill has closed its last remaining U.S. factory and is importing furniture from China. It looks like studio furniture will be some of the last American made furniture left.

Articles like this make me wonder why we even try.

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind,

45 replies so far

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3584 posts in 4279 days

#1 posted 11-27-2009 10:53 PM

We try because we don’t want that Chinese crap in our homes. We should ban any company that imports it furniture starting with Broyhill.

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19812 posts in 4587 days

#2 posted 11-27-2009 11:16 PM

I have have been wondering for years who is going to buy all that junk when nobody in the US has a living wage job?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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722 posts in 4018 days

#3 posted 11-28-2009 02:40 AM

I do enjoy working with wood and that is why I continue to strive to succeed. I for one hope that I am one of the few studio furniture makers that survive.

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind,

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4803 days

#4 posted 11-28-2009 02:46 AM

They can have my tablesaw when they pry it from my cold, dead, fingers…..

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

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2828 posts in 4196 days

#5 posted 11-28-2009 05:02 AM

They may take all our furniture manufacturing to China, but they will never match my passion to build quality furniture. Closetguy, Well put! LOL

-- John @

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2180 posts in 4917 days

#6 posted 11-28-2009 05:12 AM

I forgot who said…..”A machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men, but 50 machines can’t do the work of one extraordinary man”.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

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125 posts in 4284 days

#7 posted 11-28-2009 05:23 AM

Like high priced cars there will always be a market for high-end furniture. You just have to fish where the fish are.

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2659 posts in 4438 days

#8 posted 11-28-2009 03:21 PM

We build and create because there is something inside us that calls us to the wood much stronger than any economy, any country… fashioning wood is thousands of years old… I wonder if its in our genes…
In America, over the last few decades, many industries have crumbled because of the greed of the owners and the greed of importers. They can bring a country to higher economic levels or collapse a them. All of us little woodworkers can be solid with improving each item we make and maybe help carry the craft past the storms of greed and indifference…

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

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722 posts in 4018 days

#9 posted 11-28-2009 03:40 PM

I think that it is clear that the designs that factories manufacture today once came from small studio furniture shops.
It will be up to the small shops that have new designs that the public is hungry for to make sure to feed them the product from a new factory that sits on US soil. When a good products sales go through the roof don’t forget ware you came from.

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind,

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 4193 days

#10 posted 11-28-2009 04:07 PM

I feel like the US domestic wood industry has abandoned me. They’ve turned to the commodities market where volume trumps quality—the WalMart business model, if you will. Commodities traders know only a few hardwood species, walnut, cherry, oak and maybe a couple others. Commodity wood is sawn for yield, never quality. I’ve walked through big warehouses of lumber without seeing a single board I cared to use. There are a few small mills who’ve realized the commodities market is like Wall Street, a corrupt racket that’ll string you along offering crumbs until they figure out how to steal everything you have. These better smaller mills do cater to the specialty market and are doing better financially than those who chase the commodities market. I can occasionally get the wood I need from them but they’re increasingly turning to selling exotics ‘cuz too many of the hobbyist woodworkers out there think using some googaboola wood will somehow make their work more precious. I don’t want the exotics, I want domestic wood sawn by a good sawyer who knows how to get quality lumber from a log. If the corporate commodities US domestic wood industry were to collapse today, I’d be left thinking it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving bunch of people. The best wood comes from the small sawyer who’s catering to a local market and knows how to get good wood from a log.

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160 posts in 4663 days

#11 posted 11-28-2009 04:25 PM

If you want to sustain domestic production then stop demanding the low priced products found at the big box stores. You have to pay for domistic quality, you have to pay for your standard of living,read high wages for factory jobs, you have to do with less and make sacrifices. WalMart is only reacting to consumer demand. This is basic economics 101.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

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Rick Dennington

7041 posts in 4105 days

#12 posted 11-28-2009 04:33 PM

I was born about 250-300 years too late. I should of been a Shaker. Now those folks knew how to build furniture the way it’s suppose to be built. Quality, craftsmanship, and simple style was what made their pieces so great. There had to be something to it—- lots of craftsman want to replicate it and use designs of the Shakers. No mass productions—no cheap junk, all solid woods. The Chins will never match that, and just turn out crap nobody wants. I don’t—- that’s why I build my own !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View mynoblebear's profile


722 posts in 4018 days

#13 posted 11-28-2009 04:54 PM

I am all for supporting the domestic hardwood lumber industry. Patrons at shows that I attended in the past would ask what woods will you make this piece in. My answer was all ways that I prefer to stay with domestic hardwoods.

-- Best Regards With Personalized Rocking Chairs And Furniture On My Mind,

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743 posts in 4578 days

#14 posted 11-28-2009 05:02 PM

There will always be people who appreciate quality, especially as our economy continues to implode. I feel people will begin to look for more value in the dollars they spend and pay a little more for something that they won’t need to replace within their lifetime. Anyone with even a tiny bit of economic common sense can see buying things multiple times is a waste of money, regardless of how “cheap” it is. Good design is timeless and quality goods and services save money over time.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

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1170 posts in 4370 days

#15 posted 11-28-2009 06:23 PM

My Stepfather was laid off after 25 years working at Broyhill furniture. He started off working the tail end of a machine, and worked his way up to foreman. The majority of Broyhill’s plants were in my home town, and it is probably why I joined the military… my entire family had worked in one of the furniture factories, and there are still Broyhill offices that I have family that works there.

The major furniture companies in my home town were Broyhill, Bernhardt, Singer, and Kincaid. All of them have either shut down completely or are running very few of the once booming industry.

The unemployment rate there went from around 2% to almost 60% over this past summer.

I don’t blame Broyhill entirely though, because if they were able to sell more furniture which is higher quality and a bit more expensive than your typical IKEA crap then they would have been able to keep their US factories open longer. The disposable consumerism that we as American’s use is what is driving good American companies overseas just so they can compete. Yes it takes jobs, but we are doing it to ourselves.

-- San Diego, CA

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