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Will We Survive Or Fade Away As The Dinosaurs Have.

by mynoblebear
posted 11-27-2009 10:50 PM

45 replies so far

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3584 posts in 3397 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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18292 posts in 3704 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 3136 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,

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744 posts in 3920 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 3313 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 4034 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 3401 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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2656 posts in 3555 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 3136 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,

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555 posts in 3310 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 3780 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

5913 posts in 3223 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 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

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722 posts in 3136 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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742 posts in 3696 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 3487 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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722 posts in 3136 days

#16 posted 11-28-2009 07:25 PM

The cold hard truth can slap you right in the face. We all must pay attention to what we purchase and ware it was made.

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

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1200 posts in 3570 days

#17 posted 11-28-2009 10:30 PM

About an hour from me there is a US family owned furniture factory that has out lived the big box factories and has had only a small lay off during this recession. They also buy most of their lumber from the same vendors as I do is what I’ve been told. I’ve been in their offices and shop more than one time…Their shop is full of Bridgeport equipment. The last time I was over there and went out in the shop one of the guys yelled at me…Hey Bruc! Made With American Pride !
Driving back home I wondered if our politicians and the CEO’s would yell the same thing to all the fine people that have lost their jobs in the furniture industry due to their going to the Asian market.
Go Here

-- Bruce Free Plans

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722 posts in 3136 days

#18 posted 11-28-2009 10:45 PM

Thank you for sharing a success story that I for one hopes that they continue to grow and prosper.

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

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77 posts in 3144 days

#19 posted 11-29-2009 03:22 AM

Stupid question time. What is studio furniture? I have never heard that word used before. Can anyone help?

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88 posts in 3228 days

#20 posted 11-29-2009 03:38 AM

I’m just a woodworking hobbyist, but I can tell you I go out of my way to buy american, and I don’t mind paying more for it. More now than ever domestic manufactures need support; if they all go out of business and there is nothing left to purchase but cheap crap then we all lose.

-- Chuck, Washington D.C.

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18292 posts in 3704 days

#21 posted 11-29-2009 03:59 AM

I have always gone out of my way to try to buy American. A friend who was active in the AIM union at Boeing was responding to members complaining about the company shipping work over seas. He told them he went out to the parking lot and it looked like they were overwhelemingly infavor of overseas products. He wouldn’t buy a VCR because there wasn’t one made in USA. That was 20 yrs ago, it’s almost too late now to turn the tide back.

-- 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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5726 posts in 3260 days

#22 posted 11-29-2009 04:29 AM

On the thought of domestic versus foreign production, I had a choice between a Ford F150, and a Nissan TItan, Both were high quality pickups with all the bells and whistles I wanted. I opted for the Ford as it was built in the U.S. of over 90% U.S. production content.

My favorite pieces of furniture are those made by small independent shops, mostly Amish. I can buy Amish made furniture in styles that are far more pleasing than the import stuff, and the price difference for a complete room of furniture is usually around 10% higher for domestic built. That extra money spent though means I don’t have to replace the furniture before it is paid off. Not a bad bargain from the way I see it…

Those that want quality will buy domestic, the problem is the large manufacturers taking their production overseas is going to leave a lot of consumers ignorant of the small manufacturer alternatives..

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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2180 posts in 4034 days

#23 posted 11-29-2009 04:50 AM

Theres a reason foreigners are kicking our asses. They are out competing us.

Our little soft panzy asses sit around and demand a “living wage” as some kind of right without a single thought to the “killing cost” that it really represents. Why doesn’t all of America just cut his neighbor to his lefts grass for a thousand bucks and lets pretend we created 100 million jobs at a living wage?

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

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88 posts in 3228 days

#24 posted 11-29-2009 05:07 AM

They are outcompeting us because they pay 8-year-olds 50 cents an hour. Don’t want any part of it.

-- Chuck, Washington D.C.

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117127 posts in 3605 days

#25 posted 11-29-2009 05:55 AM

I can’t help but think when reading the post here if the comments and concerns here are the same they had overseas some 300 years ago when this new country called the united sates of America started having products of there own and even those products started making there way back to Europe. We all want to think that people love quality and American made products. But I feel people who can afford and really know quality are limited. So does this mean most people don’t recognise quality and are not willing to pay for quality products .Yes ! Does that mean it’s tough to sell American woodworking products ? YES! Although it’s tough out there and there are millions of people that would rather buy that , table,chair, book case made from particleboard, poplar, fir or what ever cheap material that can be had and made to look like fine shiny furniture(to consumers who don’t know the difference). We still have hope because even there numbers are much less there are still people who want what we have to give, American , beautiful plus quality. All we have to do is remember who we are and were we come from .That good old USA stock were we never say die. So when someone ask you what you do, say” I make American qualitywith American wood products that I’m proud of and you will be proud to have it your home too.
Maybe Corny and long winded but the way I feel.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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#26 posted 11-29-2009 07:04 AM

SAD SAD part is WE are exporting most of our precious lumber there to China.

(“So does this mean most people don’t recognise quality and are not willing to pay for quality products .Yes !”)

I Beg T Differ!!!!!

Most of America HAS to shop particleboard Wallymart because they work at Mickey dee’s , Not because they do not recognise Quality!!!! all our jobs got exported to the 8 year olds, I think .25 an hour because they work 16 hrs and make $4 a day.
So there miles125 go compete!!!!


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35126 posts in 4429 days

#27 posted 11-29-2009 07:17 AM

I’m glad that I have the skills to make a lot of my own items that I need. If I can just keep my wife from wanting it today so she looks at the Wally wood.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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2180 posts in 4034 days

#28 posted 11-29-2009 04:54 PM

Americans have always competed in the world with our independance driven ingenuity. Now we just want an overly burdensome nanny govt to make the meanies stop competing with us whilst they choke the ingenuity out of Americans by making them non self reliant and touchy feely idiots.

Make it so an American can easily go into business and keep the vast majority of what he earns and the chinese kid making 25 cents an hour becomes a non issue.

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

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722 posts in 3136 days

#29 posted 11-29-2009 06:19 PM

I thought I might answer the question asked by ( Westside )

The question was what is studio furniture.

The answer is furniture and or wood products that are made in a small shop with one to three craftsmen working in it. The owner considers himself more of an artist than a wood product manufacturer. The shop is to small to produce product in an assembly line as in a factory. And for a variety of reasons sales will not allow him to grow.

The items produced in a studio shop are sold in galleries, craft shows and furniture and furnishings shows.
You will not see them in department stores or large furniture outlets that the masses go to.

I cannot figure out why the large retail outlets do not take opportunities like we are in right now to give some of the little guys a chance to succeed. They do not have to show the studio furniture in every store nationwide. Keep sales within what the studio shop can produce and as they grow start showing there work in more outlets.

What I experience instead is a well constructed set of barriers preventing you from even presenting your product to a large outlet for sales. And when you do you can tell that they sent you a form based rejection letter. When you see that you can tell no one even looked at what you had or even considered the possibility of showing your product. If they gave you a half effort they might find that you have the ability to produce a product that they can no longer get and they now that there is a market for. In my world presenting an opportunity is better than sending a rejection.

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

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1105 posts in 3323 days

#30 posted 11-29-2009 07:15 PM

a1Jim touches on a big point, the US devastated Switzerland in late 1800s when Waltham started making “production” watches in the USA. Chicago at one time was the center of watch sweatshops that had cheap labor rates compared to craftsman in Europe. New York and Georgia were slammed in Europe for their supposed sweatshop labor rate practices in making clothes. We just smiled and gloated with our national pride.

Don’t paint China with one color unless you swear to never allow an Ipod, Iphone or other Apple product into your house. And forget about allowing Nike in either. Hug that big cathode tube monitor and forget about a flat screen. Blackberry is “assembled” in Canada from all Japan/China parts. Most every newer cell phone is entrirely components made in China.

CEO of corporations only work for the shareholders, who include the 401K accounts of normal people. Not having the profit rise so stock price increase and paying dividends will cause their credit rating to fall. Higher cost of credit and they become uncompetitive and then need to down size or fail. Finding that next couple percent reduction in parts is getting harder and harder, even in China.

dbhost – Although I retired from a Ford competitor, I support the F-150 for reasons you give, but actually Toyota has higher US content. Most GM/Ford/Chrysler have most of their components manufactured in Mexico for “final assembly” in modules on US soil. Toyota and Honda have brought Japanese supplier to the US and had them build their component facilities in the US.

I am not totally negative. My thought is that the jobs going off shore are those that developing countries, like 1800s and early 1900s USA usually take. What will make LJs and reasonable people happy is that the true inventiveness, uniqueness and custom craftsmanship are going to stay. This means that the items requiring fitting to a certain room, specific styles, designs you won’t see in neighbors house, and customer service cannot be off shore produced in a viable manner. Times are changing dramatically again in the world of manufacturing and unless that is accepted you will be forever bitter. (and yes, making a wood product is manufacturing even in the quantity of one)


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18292 posts in 3704 days

#31 posted 11-29-2009 10:55 PM

CEO’s do not work for share holders, they routinely ignore their initiatives and vote. They work for Wall Street analysts, meeting their numbers and bonuses.

noblebear, The problem selling at big retail is that it is all about numbers and product turnover. One of a kind doesn’t fit that model very well :-((

-- 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 3136 days

#32 posted 11-29-2009 11:41 PM

Point well taken. CEO’s are in a position that they just do not care and they can not allow their self care. If something does not fit into the box through it in the trash. Unfortunately that may be ware I am doing my shopping in the near future. Because they through me in the trash.

When I worked for a stair company working on multi million dollar homes for years and every one of them were constantly crying to get their house done before some precious date in time. Management did not understand why I did not care about their precious schedule. Instead I valued my quality of life. Working 12 to 14 hours a day 6 days a week for those ungrateful types without so much as a thanks gets very old very quick.

Self centered self serving financially fortunate people really should wake up and show some appreciation for the sacrifices that the people that create the things that they enjoy every day. For some reason they seem to take it for granted from my experience. Me Me Mine Mine Now Now Complain Complain. Fore crying out loud is it so hard to show some love. This forum is full of it. That is positive reinforcement.

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

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#33 posted 11-30-2009 09:07 PM

Unless you’re trying to produce low-end impulse purchase trinkets, I think today’s woodworker is far better positioned to target the end user and would be well advised to avoid wholesale. With shipping, warehousing and other overhead factors figured in, the small one-off custom shop should be able to be competitive. I think the secret is working smart and avoiding the bigger-better machine trap and all the debt that comes with it. One-off production is simple work and most of the high-dollar machines I see people buying are designed for high-volume mass production work.

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722 posts in 3136 days

#34 posted 11-30-2009 09:36 PM

I would like to hear more input on how the little guy can grow and help rebuild the domestic wood industry. It is easy to say what dos not work and what will not work. What I want to know is what will work. I grew up with in a low income project and I have grown my woodworking skills to a point that people tend to give me nothing but positive complements. However I still have nothing and I still like to think that I can grow all of my efforts into something that I can at least call a living or in my opinion all of my effort to this point in time was for not. It would be a shame for someone with my skills to collect toll at a bridge for the rest of my life simply because that is ware the money is. A skilled craftsman is something that this incredible nation should embrace not waste.

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

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#35 posted 12-01-2009 04:02 PM

Wow, what a subject. Guess I’ll jump in…. LOL

About companies going overseas. I think the primary motivator to that is the highest corporate tax rate in the world, combined with union pressures. My wife works for a company that will not go into a market in which unions are prevalent. Simply stated, they don’t want to become unionized. You may think that is mean, unfair, or whatever.

No, it’s smart. Why would you want a union to come in, and then be able to blackmail the management into more money and benefits – at the threat of walking off the job? We’ve seen what unions have done to the auto industry. Here’s the kicker: the company my wife works for has been in the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For for the the past 10 years, being number 1 once. They treat their employees so well, they don’t want to unionize. I know, I worked there, in the stores. Why would I want some union to come in, and screw that up?

You guys complaining about CEOs and them just cowtowing to Wall Street – well, it’s there job to get the best returns for the owners of the companies – the stockholders. Do any of you criticizing CEOs have any Mutual Funds or stock investments? The higher the stock price the more your portfolio is worth. That’s not to say I support these dogs that “cook the books” or use some other unethical means to enrich themselves – I don’t. I think many are overpaid; but it’s up to the board of trustees for the company to determine what kind of compensation these people get. If they are screwing up, then the stockholders need to have them removed. But please, stop with the jealousy and envy. I see so much of that; someone is “bad” because he had 5 million in bonuses this year. Yes, but he also may have raised his company sales 5 percent over last year – shouldn’t that be rewarded?

China. As I get older, the more I find myself not liking them. For one, they are thieves – literally. Anything original we make here they will duplicate and sell here at much lower cost. They pirate DVDs and CDs like crazy. But they also have a workforce that will (or have to) work very cheap. That’s a big selling point to a business – cheap labor – as it usually is the biggest cost of doing business. Cheap doesn’t always mean the best, I get that. Their furniture is usually crap, with a finish that rubs off in 5 years (and is usually very dull and ugly). They own electronics – they are just better at it, and I don’t have a problem with it. Quick story: I know the guy that owns Sentry Safes – you’ve seen them everywhere. He was building them here locally, then went over to China to have them made and then shipped back here (can you imagine the costs of shipping SAFES?). After a while, he found out they were stealing from him, and relocated back here again locally.

Us jocks. We need to make the best stuff out there, and sell it at a price we can live with. If we are serious about making a living at selling clocks (furniture, cabinets, etc), we need to figure out how to do production runs of this stuff to make it more profitable. I’m investigating that myself. I know the Stickley plant, about an hour from me, has a quasi-assembly line for their stuff. They use custom machinery to do the big stuff, like cut a circular 5’ table out of a bunch of glued up boards—in one cut. The finishing work is done by hand – where quality really counts.

Since becoming a serious woodworker, I’ve learned about quality issues, and about the worth of paying for it – locally if possible. But I’m also aware of the pressures that a large company faces today in America as well.

-- Have a blessed day!

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#36 posted 12-01-2009 05:43 PM

I read recently that the U.S. has gone from being a manufacturer/builder based economy to one founded on the service sector (as a result, I am sure, of the information age we are in). I think there is a lot of truth to this, and although that is not necessarily all bad, it is rather sad. It would be nice to see more “Made in the U.S.” labels on products, but the economics of it all make that increasingly more difficult as time goes on.

-- Woodworking is not a's a joinery !!!

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#37 posted 12-01-2009 06:18 PM

I had to pass up an opportunity to show some of my work recently in a new gallery in Santa Barbara California. The chines gallery owner was a bit to open saying that he could get anything made over seas using some native gorges wood. He also was in a disagreement about money owed to the landlord before he even moved in. I could not help to think that this gallery owner would have my furniture mass produced in china before he even sold one for me in this country. The frustrating part is that Santa Barbara area is full of homes in the 20 million range. My kind of patron. I really did not know what to do and I do not know what to say to him if he calls me. On the surface he seems to be a good person.

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

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#38 posted 12-02-2009 09:34 PM

Rick: The shakers also didn’t beleive in sex. That’s why they faded away.

No the custom and short run top quality furniture maker will never completely go away. There will always be room for us. We just have to remember the people who buy from Big Lots and WallMart and the like will never be in the market for original high quality work. Even if they somehow come up with the money they just don’t get that there is a difference! Somebody earlier said that we “have to fish where the fish are”. A very concise way to state our sales activities.

I also agree with Cloetguy. Even then they’d have to pry pretyy darn hard.


-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

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#39 posted 12-04-2009 03:31 AM

BY BY America!!!!
Unless U be the the TOP TWO !!!!! SEE YA !!!!
Plutocracy is where we be !!!!
God bless the extinct working man and woman in the USA. God help the USA.


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722 posts in 3136 days

#40 posted 12-07-2009 07:27 PM

I must say that some of the comments in this thread are quite passionate. I personally think that the small to medium shops have room to grow when the economy turns around. I for one am in a forced holding pattern and if that is the way it must be than that is the way it is. I will not go away or fade away as the dinosaurs. I will continue to through my line and hook in the direction that the big fish are in and in time as fishing goes I believe that I will start to get some bites. Take note do not use a large hook in a school of guppies. Big hooks large bate and deep water will produce big fish. If you do not try you will not succeed.

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

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#41 posted 01-01-2010 05:31 AM

All pendulums swing and this one is no different. More people are becoming savvy to the low quality of IKEA/Pottery Barn/Walmart Chinese junk all the time. The mathematicians are already figuring out the price we really pay for this stuff which would include factors like filling landfills with junk that looks nice but breaks in a couple years, lead laden toys, tax incentives for box stores which means us taking up the slack, etc. There will always be a large group of Americans that either don’t or won’t consider these factors but there will always be a faction of people that understand the value of heirloom quality items and that group will grow rapidly as the thinkers in this country realize how badly we’re getting screwed. Folks are realizing it’s not even just American jobs but it’s American quality of life that is being compromised for instant gratification and slick marketing. Look at the curb on the next garbage day and see all of the furniture, vacuums, appliances, TV’s, and busted toys there are each and every week. Every one of those is a lesson learned. America will put two and two together lest our children/grandchildren end up speaking Chinese and using renminbi for lunch money. For my friends overseas please don’t think I’m on a domestic high horse. I feel that America led the world into this situation and hope that we take on the responsibility to help get us back out. It was fun while it lasted but it’s time to sober up and deal with reality.

-- Don't just talk about it, be about it.

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#42 posted 01-01-2010 05:51 AM

Sorry hangdog, but as long as corporations are running the show, there will be no American recovery. You are in the Chinese Centruy:-((

-- 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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#43 posted 01-01-2010 06:31 AM

I agree with papadans comment wayyyyyyy up top…i’d rather have home made canadian furniture in my home than and imported made in china crap

-- M.K.

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#44 posted 01-01-2010 06:41 AM

well im just a proud American..and wont get into the political part of this but i do believe that this country was founded by great people..and i think that yes were in a tough time now…and the people of this country will reap what they sow…but it will not fail…...i have my reasons which i cant say…but this country will not fail…and as long as those who work hard and make a quality piece of furniture…there is someone out there willing to buy…sometimes adjustments have to be made but success is the American way..its American thinking….we don’t give up…we don’t quite…we keep trying….....god bless America…...

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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111 posts in 3461 days

#45 posted 01-08-2010 01:19 AM

This is an awesome thread. I am really impressed with the level of understanding I see on this subject. An interesting twist to this came about when I visited the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem MA last month. They have a large collection of 19th century (1800 to 1900) original China “knock offs” of American made furniture. I was blown away by the level of quality of what we now call “early American” that U.S. sea captains were importing into this country right through the century. So this is not a new phenomenon by any means. In addition, there was also 200 and 300 year old Chinese style furniture that only master craftsman, carvers, and joiners could hope to build. There were displays of joints that almost confused me they were so complicated. My point is that as we consider the problems of low cost imports effecting our economy, we can’t think the Chinese are incapable of the highest quality manufacturing because they are. I think it goes back to what Rusted Knuckles said, we have to demand better goods, then ask ourselves where do we want to source those goods and how much do we want to pay. Another example is that China is now the largest supplier to the low end and medium quality stringed instrument market including violins and cellos. 500,000 instruments a year. They are now setting up to compete against the highest quality mfg in Italy by setting up a modified apprentice/master program. Will it work? At some point, customers who will consider buying the most top end violins will have a choice of either Italian or Chinese. What are the Italians going to do to make sure the answer is Italian? That is the challenge. Our challenge is what are we going to do to make sure that Americans buy quality and that quality should be American. I am not sure of the answer, but I do know this, since the Chinese historically do not innovate when it comes to manufactured goods then our future success lies in constant innovation of quality products. Just my two cents.

-- Langski, New Hampshire

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