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Designer Side Table $1400 + tax

by Don
posted 660 days ago


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125 replies

125 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1791 days


#1 posted 660 days ago

How you gonna do that with solid wood? Beveled edges?

I’d veneer it and charge a grand. Fastest grand you’d ever make.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View casual1carpenter's profile

casual1carpenter

353 posts in 1108 days


#2 posted 660 days ago

Don, I’m confused, what does it do? Drawers? Cabinet space?

View Don's profile

Don

491 posts in 1875 days


#3 posted 660 days ago

It’s just a cube side table with a slot in it for your iPad, e-reader, magazine, newspaper etc.

Jay – haven’t figured out all the details on how to build it but it’s not going to be veneered.

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View Loren's profile

Loren

7431 posts in 2281 days


#4 posted 660 days ago

I’d veneer it too. People are attracted to these planar,
cubic pieces. The customer may just want the general
geometry and function, but the sleek planarity veneering
or painting allows is a big part of the attraction in many
cases where people are asking for modern stuff.

You can saw your own veneers thick to work more
like solid wood and get away from the brittle corners
veneered work sometimes has.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1791 days


#5 posted 660 days ago

Sorry, Don, but I get a kick outta people who act like veneer is pseudo-woodworking. Why do people think that?

A table like that is just wasting a bunch of perfectly good walnut. I’m not trying to insult you, Don, but I’m genuinely curious what reasons people have. Is it not challenging enough? Is it too “Ikea” for people? Do we think that anything other than solid hardwood is beneath us?

I think you will find a solid wood construction to be very difficult if you want to maintain the look of this piece. And in that case, $1400 might be too little money.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1602 days


#6 posted 660 days ago

You’d have thought for that money they’d match the veneers so they didn’t have a yonic repeat pattern.

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Swyftfeet

169 posts in 804 days


#7 posted 660 days ago

That’s a veneer project in my book as well. Nothing about it would be improved by using solid wood, and we’re supposed to save that good wood for projects that need it =)

-- Brian

View Don's profile

Don

491 posts in 1875 days


#8 posted 660 days ago

Folks – for me it’s as simple as I’ve never tackled a project that calls for veneer other than what I did when taking my cabinetry course in college. Guess I’m more afraid of it than anything else…much more comfortable doing it out of solid wood.

What do you use as a substrate? MDF?

What about using Walnut veneered plywood?

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

886 posts in 743 days


#9 posted 660 days ago

That doesn’t look like walnut to me, it looks like wenge.

And I’m with Cosmic… Lots of seriously important period furniture has been veneered.

I found that table online, and it IS solid wood, veneered with a rarer species:
http://29armstrong.com/tables/darwinizm-side-table#

The “I can build that cheaper” ‘tude is what cheapens our craft on a daily basis. Did YOU design the item? The artist has design time, including previous incarnations, as well as the education and experience getting to that point, to TRY and recoup.

Feel free to design your own stuff and sell it at Ikea prices. How’s 2X or 3X materials sound? I see that one on the Internet all the time.

Nice things are sold on a “market will bear” pricing model. If you can make a living at it, with your own work, let us know… Don’t forget, the retailer often gets ~ half.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1602 days


#10 posted 660 days ago

The problem with making that from solid is movement. The sides will expand/contract – only a very small amount, but that could lead to problems on the horizontal surfaces. Veneered sheet goods have only a 0.6mm or thereabout veneer, so easy to sand thru and presenting problems at the corners.
If you make your own veneers you will get around the problems presented by a thin veneer. MDF is a good substrate, you would just have to make sure you do both sides to balance it.

View Don's profile

Don

491 posts in 1875 days


#11 posted 660 days ago

Not sure what point you are trying to make Barry….

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

886 posts in 743 days


#12 posted 660 days ago

Sorry…

I can’t think of how to make those points more clearly.

It’s one thing to sell your own work for whatever makes you happy, or to copy something for yourself.

It’s fully another to build and sell someone else’s currently available design, for the purpose of undercutting the original maker’s retail price, without the designer’s permission.

It cheapens our craft. Sorry…

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1602 days


#13 posted 660 days ago

Good points Barry, but we live in a cheap society.

View Don's profile

Don

491 posts in 1875 days


#14 posted 660 days ago

The client emailed me asking if I could make a side table for him and I said yes. I asked if he had an idea/design in mind.

He came to me with a sketch and told me a friend of his is a cabinet maker and made this out of a solid piece of wood….a tree stump. With the sketch and story of his friend, I Googled ‘side table with slot’ or something similar. Found the picture (eventually) and showed him, asked if that was what he meant.

“WOW!!! YES!!! That’s it exactly” was what he said. He said “I know it’s going to be expensive so just let me know and let me know if you can do it and a general time frame”

Emailed a local store because I had no idea what I would even ask for a price.

My design? Nope.
Can I do it? Yup.

So, would you say “I won’t do this for you. I’d rather you go to ‘this store and pay $1500 for it. Have a nice day”

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

886 posts in 743 days


#15 posted 660 days ago

That’s a lot different from the original story, which said… “could I make this side table?”

If someone asks you to execute a concept, maybe from a Nigel Tufnel napkin sketch, and you do the measured design and presentation, that’s completely different… In fact, I’d credit it as YOUR design.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1791 days


#16 posted 660 days ago

@Renners – Best point of the entire thread and I’m mad that I didn’t even thing about it. I was so hung up on how to make beveled edges. The substructure would almost have to plywood or mdf. I’d be inclined to use top quality Baltic birch plywood. You just can’t bevel all the edges of real wood and glue the top down on all four edges.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3883 posts in 1013 days


#17 posted 658 days ago

You’ll have to be very careful with wood selection if you plan to build from solid wood.

Wenge? Maybe zebrawood. Hard to tell though from such a crappy picture. You’d think that a $1400 piece would warrant better than a cell phone quality picture.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Luke's profile

Luke

538 posts in 1927 days


#18 posted 658 days ago

I fourth veneer. I don’t like using it myself but given the design issues and wood movement it really does make a lot of sense. Also given a slightly brighter light on the photo I’d say it was zebra wood. Pretty popular in modern design right now.

-- LAS, http://www.abettersign.com

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

886 posts in 743 days


#19 posted 657 days ago

Here’s a better shot:
http://29armstrong.com/tables/darwinizm-side-table#

From the designer’s site:
http://www.izm.ca/darwinizm-side-table.php

Zebrawood does seem like a better guess, but according to the tear sheet on the designer’s site, it is in fact walnut.

Google has cool feature allowing one to paste a url to an image, or upload an image, which is then searched out. Check this out, using the image from the original post:
https://www.google.com/search?tbs=sbi:AMhZZisxs5hMaBWNkCLMHvDqHAz28ZRSdZaFMbBoUzYtAQmj3K8vHzncjhHcHvUdX5tmlitfe-jl6RyoA_1dVz_1HmFQrKEi2g7NQMmDhI_16L0lJJSlOeBB1sce-LHpCG-TIuHIyrZA7LSaWbIodElrhXBWO3PGbhhAnqHJrWMO63LwdsYpNMILWaCT4-oTbRbs4Y0eg96afuQ1uvDYVp9XyMn-GVB-Nw2UPQMYRg-sdRPJUKOEVZOS9a1wJKVWx8tojBHTSDDYYa_10fwrtqSgXMB66jMKHIhHbNkle7t9gV4Rep5nN2NjQvSuCeoItS24gw_12un19AYoOZLGyW0SL-eA2oNuh8a8Aj0Z6Do5LOGoIaIKt_13-bBIkVkWDbKteH_1B00XaBfIEZrWF2uiTQNGdIdbXZhiDgnVnSQzE9ej53_1HIPXIh8qtyrblsoHtsjTt61u1nV_1GhlfJ6cYYIlvbSDFon6U19ox0CMA2lfuqC7epp1lK6w0QMV1sLID1g_1PJECcyqfVngDbOKfdG81SfrOMZH6RltZSXE8f664sM05oKYuMXqa-XCBCu0TQzM_1-MD-joKQkeh20TAWmup6zCMm8ocILWCXNELxJ3GCx-UJkeYnkvQRCsDN0c4uTMtMb0fHdDHKfoVgvsibFD0D4y74qmyB-G12ZjBnBxjEgPM6Z3LssRGlXtOfCekFrcnjen9pqm623VRiYBpp_18XwT90MAej5R74IImGxLBG8994L5xLOSUN8STqiAeolByTxtGkR3tKXRj_1GRmbc3O6BFSNyHzzhJ2cmVa-uT3e3inTetPNpYNZlNRbyx73A_1uo88brHP2QrUZwGu5DGvWlv_11cybMW3ebOzJD0sqiAKwJwwvEy31HMFh7IBRyL6w0FzMLLSx2xLZlyILVtOpKPC2j7HrI9z1PvPT68CLveKUcCF5bOot5f1ZEn4_17rAD5Y7FoOnaQRPNAr0HhjsRuQF-UsBOExG2fsb63zAdtW4aDNaCiOu70rSkZ2Fe3in5PzvP4cwYBRXjYyXmXVa4ZTptwIeRZuw23jJhda4NHmCIuCTwcoKi-0xAYNRGk7HtEhZVr3_1zIkSSuxob&btnG=Search&hl=en&safe=active&tbo=d&bih=911&biw=1680

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View Don's profile

Don

491 posts in 1875 days


#20 posted 657 days ago

I’ll work with the clients and see what wood type they would like to see and go with a veneer….YIKES! I’m a veneer virgin so we’ll see how it goes.

Barry – I apologize if I got your hackles up with my original post, it wasn’t my intent.

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

886 posts in 743 days


#21 posted 657 days ago

Don,

None necessary. Sorry if I misunderstood your original post.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1426 posts in 994 days


#22 posted 657 days ago

Maintaining the appearance of that design is impossible to do in solid wood. Plus, engineering the slot is a challenge. Veneer over 3/4” baltic birch is the only way.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1602 days


#23 posted 657 days ago

You could use mdf but it would be nice to have half a sheet of BB ply left over for jig making etc

View Don's profile

Don

491 posts in 1875 days


#24 posted 657 days ago

Just going through the Lee Valley site looking at veneer types…..

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View Don's profile

Don

491 posts in 1875 days


#25 posted 657 days ago

Hmmmmmmmm, chatted with clients and they want it made from solid wood. Not in love with the veneer idea.

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3883 posts in 1013 days


#26 posted 657 days ago

From the designer’s website…
constructed from high-quality veneered substrate that also enables entry-level pricing
I think they are telling us it is sheet stock with veneer.

It would look nice with frame and panel sides and floating top; or solid panels joined with box joints.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

962 posts in 1323 days


#27 posted 657 days ago

Throughout my career this is how the conversation goes, “I found this great table at such and such store, can you make it cheeper?” My answer has always been, “I can’t buy the materials for that price, no.” Your guy said, “I know it’s going to be expensive, just let me know…” Charge him for it. In my experience, if you charge less than what you can get, your next job or referral from this customer will pay less than what it’s worth.
I’ve said this many times, pricing has no reality. In custom woodworking you should get what the market allows, in this case it obviously allows for $1400. The company that is selling this peice has spent a lot of time and money on figuring out what it’s worth, you shouldn’t get any less. Believe me when I tell you that you will work a lot harder on this table than the factory that made the original and you should be paid for your expertise.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View Don's profile

Don

491 posts in 1875 days


#28 posted 657 days ago

Where’s my ‘Like’ button when I need it??

Thanks everyone for their posts. I’ve enjoyed reading all of them thus far.

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

886 posts in 743 days


#29 posted 657 days ago

Jonathan’s design could be executed with GOOD walnut plywood.

Barring that…

We have an excellent local veneer company, Berkshire, that ships. At Steve Latta’s suggestion, I’ve also dealt personally with B&B Rare Woods.

If you show Dave at B&B what you want to do, he’d probably find you what you need.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1791 days


#30 posted 657 days ago

You gonna glue those, Jonathan?

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

886 posts in 743 days


#31 posted 657 days ago

The design could easily be pocket screwed or glue-blocked from inside.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1791 days


#32 posted 657 days ago

Pocket screws won’t work because of the beveled edges. Glue blocks wouldn’t work because you still have the same problems with wood movement.

The moment there is expansion across the grain, it blows out all the mitered seams. You couldn’t even make this design work with dowels or fasteners directly through the sides.

The least amount of expansion will take the sides out of alignment, There is zero room for error when beveling edges like that.

My $.02.

EDIT: I see Barry is talking veneer-covered plywood. Lots of possibilities that way. But if you do that route, you wouldn’t need to bevel any edges.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

886 posts in 743 days


#33 posted 657 days ago

I was thinking along the lines of veneered plywood with the blocks and screws.

You could also zip a spline inside each corner, or build the box with screws or nails (gasp! ;^)) from the outside, and apply the veneer last.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1791 days


#34 posted 657 days ago

BTW, the scenario here is that you build this table out of solid wood exactly as designed. You get $1400 for it. You get a call in 4 months because all the beveled edges are splitting and you have to figure out a repair, which you can’t do. You give a refund…or get sued.

That’s not something that a businessman should do. You have to be careful when making promises just because you want the job so badly.

It’s also why they invent man-made materials and veneers.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2404 posts in 2160 days


#35 posted 657 days ago

The dimensions are 12” X 16”. This makes the diagonal 20”. Find a tree with diameter at least 20” and you won’t have to make any joints. It will be SOLID wood – about 65 lbs if made of black walnut. Just cut the trunk to the desired dimensions and hack out the slot!

-- “That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet. ” ― Emily Dickinson

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jap

1226 posts in 687 days


#36 posted 657 days ago

how many board feet in that? -chuckv

-- Joel

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1053 days


#37 posted 657 days ago

Pre-assemble and pre-finish the interior shelf components. Glue and screw a plywood box. Use Bondo filler to hide the screws. Veneer the outside. Finish – Lovely table.

About $375 in time/materials.

BTW the RETAIL markup for this is 100%. The wholesale markup is about 60%

$375 X 1.6 = $600
$600 X 2.0 = $1200

Anyone know the conversion to Canadian from USD?

It’s in the ballpark I suspect.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Don's profile

Don

491 posts in 1875 days


#38 posted 657 days ago

Canadian dollar is $0.9998 to USD so par.

I told the clients about wood movement causing joints to open up or splitting and he said he would prefer solid over veneered….splits and cracks would add character.

I’m not certain they know what a veneer is…
“I’m just thinking if someone dropped something sharp/heavy on it and it chips, I’d rather have it solid wood to maintain that “authentic” look, rather than have the veneer chip off”

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

886 posts in 743 days


#39 posted 657 days ago

If you re-engineer this table for solid wood, you’re going to need to make changes to the top, possibly to include an expansion gap all around the panel.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2404 posts in 2160 days


#40 posted 657 days ago

jap – It looks like about 22 1/3 bf. I would round up to 25.

-- “That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet. ” ― Emily Dickinson

View Don's profile

Don

491 posts in 1875 days


#41 posted 657 days ago

what about re-designing the top so it ‘floats’ above the main body?

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

886 posts in 743 days


#42 posted 657 days ago

Anything that would eliminate the trapped top would work.

But it would also substantially change the ultra-clean look.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

886 posts in 743 days


#43 posted 657 days ago

Jon,

I agree… I’m guessing the makers of the original are pushing “solid wood” to include void-free baltic birch ply.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3710 posts in 2000 days


#44 posted 657 days ago

David Marks, check him out in Wikipedia, is a wood artist and built many items with veneer for the exact reason of keeping the good wood for other projects. One table he built used a ply core and a resawn exotic wood for the veneer on both sides saving enough wood for a couple more projects! His veneer was 1/16” thick!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1602 days


#45 posted 657 days ago

This is interesting, well it is if you’re a total wood geek and haven’t got a life…

I just cannot see how this could be constructed from anything other than a man-made board.

View Don's profile

Don

491 posts in 1875 days


#46 posted 657 days ago

Truth in advertising – my oldest son bought a cuckoo clock from Sears several years ago for his mom. When I looked at it I was disgusted at the quality of it. Checked on the Sears site and surprise…it was made from real wood!

I emailed Sears, told them I was a wood worker and was appalled at them trying to pass this crap off as real wood. I told them they should either pull the product or put some truth into it. They changed the description to ‘cherry finish’ and eventually pulled the product.

-- -- Don in Ottawa, http://www.donebydon.ca

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1791 days


#47 posted 657 days ago

Cool chart, Renners. Yep, rule of thumb, 1% change in size for ever 4% change in moisture content (MC) for flat sawn stock. That’s nearly 1/8” movement on a 12” board, depending on species. The figures are complex for individual species and types of cuts but it can be accurately predicted.

@Jonathan – A 40% change in relative humidity equals a 6% change in MC. Finished wood delays the movement, but doesn’t prevent it. Finishes aren’t vapor barriers…the wood will acclimatize to the humidity.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1602 days


#48 posted 657 days ago

Jonathan, I am not at all surprised at the figure for hard maple – there were instances of dance hall walls being pushed apart by maple floors here in Ireland. I was trying to find the movement for basswood which is amongst the more stable varieties, but alas, to no avail.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7431 posts in 2281 days


#49 posted 657 days ago

Done in solid wood this way of laying it out would have some
stability. Arrows indicate grain direction.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

886 posts in 743 days


#50 posted 657 days ago

Am I the only one who has a “season” board?

It’s a furniture grade board that you dimension to a specific width, say 12”, and write the date on it. Every so often, say monthly, you measure it again and write the width, temperature, and RH. If you compare the board to where you are in the seasons, you predict where the properly dried board in your hand is headed, regardless of species.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

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