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Designer Side Table $1400 + tax

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Forum topic by Don posted 11-06-2012 04:37 PM 3057 views 2 times favorited 125 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don

497 posts in 1990 days


11-06-2012 04:37 PM

A co-worker asked me if I could make this side table he saw for him. I told him to get a picture for me and I’d take it from there.

He got a picture for me, I did some digging and found that a local furniture store has them for sale. A few emails later and I have a price from them…$1470 + tax (CAD). I thought this was a bit high for a smallish side table but it’s from one of THOSE furniture stores.

My biggest shock came when I found it is only a Walnut veneer, not solid wood! The finished product will look like this but made from solid wood….and not $1400 either.

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


125 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1906 days


#1 posted 11-06-2012 04:44 PM

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

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casual1carpenter

353 posts in 1223 days


#2 posted 11-06-2012 05:10 PM

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

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Don

497 posts in 1990 days


#3 posted 11-06-2012 05:17 PM

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

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Loren

7822 posts in 2395 days


#4 posted 11-06-2012 05:35 PM

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

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1906 days


#5 posted 11-06-2012 05:36 PM

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

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1717 days


#6 posted 11-06-2012 05:37 PM

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

View Swyftfeet's profile

Swyftfeet

169 posts in 919 days


#7 posted 11-06-2012 06:39 PM

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

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Don

497 posts in 1990 days


#8 posted 11-06-2012 11:26 PM

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 OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

907 posts in 858 days


#9 posted 11-06-2012 11:30 PM

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.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1717 days


#10 posted 11-06-2012 11:44 PM

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

497 posts in 1990 days


#11 posted 11-07-2012 12:13 AM

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

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

View OggieOglethorpe's profile

OggieOglethorpe

907 posts in 858 days


#12 posted 11-07-2012 12:28 AM

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…

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1717 days


#13 posted 11-07-2012 12:33 AM

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

View Don's profile

Don

497 posts in 1990 days


#14 posted 11-07-2012 12:43 AM

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

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OggieOglethorpe

907 posts in 858 days


#15 posted 11-07-2012 12:54 AM

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.

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