Reply by drewnahant

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Posted on What in your mind constitutes custom woodworking?

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222 posts in 3054 days

#1 posted 06-22-2011 08:21 PM

I look at it in a literal sense, that it is custom to the customer, built to their needs. Even if you are copying a table design, but making it 6” longer to fit their roo, that is custom. If you build something as a stock piece, even if it is one of a kind, but isnt designed to meet the needs of a specific customer, it is not custom. It is an original piece, an artisan piece, a one-off, but not custom.

Also, a piece does not need to be unique to be custom. If a customer sees something you have built before and wants you to build another, it is custom, because it is built for that specific customer, and no two pieces are identical anyway.

I tend to be a bit picky about the exact meaning of words. Customers often are not, calling pieces by the wrong style, wrong wood species, or calling a unique piece custom, understandable since they are not dealing within their field of expertise, so in that forum, I dont think it needs to be so strict, but within the community of woodworkers, such as here on LJ’s I think “custom” means that it is built to the needs of a specific customer. Even if you are your own customer.

Just my opinion, language is always open to interpretation. Just look at how a contract has to be written to avoid interpretation, it is a language by itself, clearly used because common language is so ambiguous.

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