Reply by Stephen Mines

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Posted on Why the Craft is observation.

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Stephen Mines

226 posts in 2838 days

#1 posted 03-06-2011 06:46 PM

Hi P,
First, woodworking has not become obsolete. I think ‘what happened’ was the industrial revolution and it’s ongoing refinement. Henry Ford was the first major player that played the ‘interchangability of parts” card while dealing himself a full house from
the ‘economies of scale’ deck.

The adapt or die Darwinian tenent is alive and well. My Windsor chair had 18 parts, but only six different parts. I relied on both of Hank’s insights. My “Country Flowers Collection” of country French furniture did the same thing with carved stiles and rails, parts used in mirrors, night stands, armoires, coffe tables, buffet tables, beds, etc.

I’ve ALWAYS tried to pass three stratagies on to serious furniture makers: the two listed above and thirdly. make products that people buy in multiples, such as chairs, barstools and many others. When you make a sale, you make a multiple sale. This worked for me, still works for me, and will still work for others.

Addressing your last question: if the woodworking guilds could have surpressed common knowledge of how to work with wood, they wood (sic) have. Thank God they couldn’t.

-- Stephen Mines (

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