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Thread: Rustic hickory dining table and chairs

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    La Crosse, Wisconsin
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    69

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    I think I know the answer to this but I'll ask anyway. Could you make a living with huge projects like this or are much smaller faster turn projects more profitable over all?

    BTW I'm totally jealous of your skill and knowledge. Much better than just "nice work" in my humble opinion.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Diamond Lake, WA
    Posts
    1,602

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    Yes, a person can make a living at this. I do cabinetry and furniture. The challenge is pricing your work so you are not taking Santa Clauses job but are also creating REAL value for the customer. Most of selling this type of work is educating people on what I create versus what they can buy in the store. I tell them I don't cut corners and I over-engineer so the piece will last many lifetimes.

    A lot of factory furniture is designed to break after a certain amount of time (like many other consumer products) so you have to come back and buy it again. I'm not saying all factory furniture is made this way but look at the RTA items made from particle board. It looks really nice. If you decide to move it chances are you could have some structural problems with it. I've got an RTA desk I purchased about 5 years ago, and the entire surface has the particle board showing through the paper "cherry wood" vinyl added to it to make it look nice. When I bought it, it looked really nice. The projects I do won't have this issue unless it is abused by the owner.
    Don
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    www.dlwoodworks.com
    ***********************************
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Timmins, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,825

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    Quote Originally Posted by maverickx50 View Post
    I think I know the answer to this but I'll ask anyway. Could you make a living with huge projects like this or are much smaller faster turn projects more profitable over all?

    BTW I'm totally jealous of your skill and knowledge. Much better than just "nice work" in my humble opinion.
    I know my margins are MUCH better on larger jobs like a kitchen, big millwork job or a dining set.

    For a one day job I might spend 2 hrs meeting with the customer, a few hrs doing drawings and pricing - to do say 8 hrs working I can charge for.

    For a job that will keep me working for a full 3 or 4 weeks - I might spend the same time (or maybe a few extra hours) doing the meeting/drawings/pricing. What is more efficient?

    I would assume Don's business is similar, seeing as we both do furniture and cabinetry, and millwork.

    Im not sure of the US factory furniture market - but up here in Canada, it is still possible to buy GOOD factory made, North American furniture. BUT... NO one is stocking it, and it is every bit and more $$ than getting something custom made from a smaller custom builder. The wait is the same too. All the chain stores stock absolute junk. All imported from China, Vietnam, Malaysia, etc and most looks good from 20 feet away but things like chairs have a half life of 6 months, lol...

    Long live the custom furniture builder!!

    Don, thanks for answering my questions. Looks great.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    SOUTH CENTRAL COLORADO
    Posts
    1,120

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    Very nice table. I have a question regarding finishing a slab table and you look like someone who has the answer. I just bought a slab of bubinga that is 42 inches wide and 85 inches long. Its been ripped and glued back together and has a small amount of live edges. I am sure that the finish is lacquer and it has a satin shine. I would like to increase that shine to either semi or glossy but need to do it by hand. Any suggestions?

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Diamond Lake, WA
    Posts
    1,602

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    The pictured table was finished using MLCampbell Satin Conversion varnish. I've got a bubinga coffee table and matching end tables. The tops are from a slab similar to the slab you describe. I finished my bubinga tables using Tried & True hand rubbed varnish. About 10 coats to begin with. I will scuff the surface with a white nylon pad about every 5 years and add another coat of the Tried & True. The surfaces look today like they did when I first finished them about 15 years ago.

    As far as your situation, I don't work much with lacquer, any more, other than small stuff finished with a Deft lacquer rattle can once in awhile. I'm not sure about what needs to be done to put subsequent layers of lacquer over what is already there. Guess it depends on how long the finish has been on it. If the finish is thick enough, you could rub it out starting with 2000 grit wet/dry automotive sandpaper, then finish up with rubbing compound. That would most likely bring a much higher shine out of the finish. But there has to be enough on the wood to pull this off. I've done this in the distant past using lacquer. I'd put 5 or 6 thick coats down then rub it really smooth. Then scuff it and put 5 or 6 more coats on. The rubbing down of the finish probably removes at least 2 or 3 coats of finish in the process. By the time you get done spraying on 10 or 12 coats and rubbing it out you will end up with about 5 or 6 coats left after the process. I used to do that when I lacquered my Z28 Camaro's back in the mid 70's.
    Don
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    www.dlwoodworks.com
    ***********************************
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

    If you make something idiot proof, all they do is create a better idiot.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    SOUTH CENTRAL COLORADO
    Posts
    1,120

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    Thanks for the education. I checked on the board last night and the furniture maker that i am getting it from, re-sanded it and refinished it. Now i am not sure what type of finish that it has on it, but i like it.

    I have looked at many stands, wooden and metal. My taste is metal with a flat or powder coated black. Unless i am doing a wrong search i can not find a lot of vendors who are making them. Any suggestions?
    Last edited by cowboy1296; 08-24-2016 at 10:29 AM. Reason: more info

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