View Poll Results: Buy or make?

12. You may not vote on this poll
  • Make

    6 50.00%
  • Buy teak

    3 25.00%
  • Buy dark brown

    3 25.00%
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Results 16 to 26 of 26

Thread: Economics of woodworking?

  1. #16
    Make your own chairs -get a new wife. Problem solved.
    "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." Aldous Huxley.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Northern Illinois
    I doubt the chairs from Target will be as good as yours but, if you arenít very experienced making chairs they will take a long time to make. Will your wife be more satisfied with yours? Can you match them exactly in both color and design? Do what gives you the most satisfaction in woodworking. Sounds like buying then might be a quick solution. If they donít last maybe thatís justification for making them later.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Upstate NY
    The furniture is in an enclosed porch. We use it when we entertain large groups in warm weather; about once every two years. Otherwise it is pretty much a space for her to decorate. She loves to decorate.

    I made a set of chairs for the breakfast table we have used every day for 15 years. They still look good, but will need to be reupholstered soon. They were A LOT of work.

    For me, the maple syrup analogy is appropriate. I started woodworking because we needed a cabinet in the master bath and absolutely nothing was available, so I learned how to make it. I've made a lot of furniture for this house and my old one; it was all intended for the exact place and function I needed..
    I have also made a quart of maple syrup. It is an awful lot of work and tastes like commercial syrup. It was a fun experience, but I won't be doing it again.
    I see the chairs that way. Mine would match the table and be rather nicer, but the wood would cost maybe $100 and take at least 25 hours to build.
    My wife wanted me to make the chairs, but then found the Target chairs and thought they would be adequate. I was inclined to let it go at that, but wanted your thoughts.

    But why aren't people doing the poll?

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Quote Originally Posted by Wade Lippman View Post
    But why aren't people doing the poll?
    Probably because non of the three choices match our individual point of view on the situation. That's one of the problems with polls, unfortunately, when they don't have an "other" choice.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Wayland, MA
    It's important to remember that one's wife is called "she who must be obeyed" for a reason. Do what she wants and build something you want to build-- it's a win/win.

  6. #21
    Interesting question for me. I am now at the point (and age) where I have built most of the furniture in our house. Now, as I complete a piece I cannot help but wonder where it will end up, as my children will not want it all. Like most folks in here, there is no comparison between the things I build out of good material and nice joinery and the things you can buy from most ďfurnitureĒ stores that are too often stapled-together particle board, drawers on flimsy slides, ironed-on edge banding etc.

    (I sometimes walk through local furniture stores to look at what is trendy in terms of design. It makes me shake my head when an eager commissioned salesman keeps pointing out to me what fine quality he is offering in pieces that have hardly a drop of glue in them).

    But as my grandchildren move through their teen years I realize much of my furniture will end up in an estate sale, and it seems an ignominious end for all that careful cutting and fitting. So I have to admit I am doing it for my own satisfaction: I would venture that the chairs might be considered in the same light.
    Life is too short for dull sandpaper.

  7. #22
    For the situation you describe I would probably buy them. My biggest reservation is the strength of the target chair. If really large people will or might use them, I would lean more towards making them. The joints of the target chairs are not going to be better than dowels and might be less. I have a brother that is 250+ and has had chairs fail when was just sitting in them. Not sure I would want him in a Target chair.

    The only chairs I have made are from a plan in WoodSmith. The joints are all on right angles. They still take time but aren't bad. I've made 8 so far and have about that many more in the not too distant future. I will do no more than 4 at a time. 8 at once would be a struggle to keep going. I like all the aspects of woodworking but I need the satisfaction of finishing something in less time than it would take me to build 8 chairs.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Jacksonville, FL
    Do both.

    If SWMBO likes the Target chairs then buy them. Take them apart, stain to match then reassemble with glue or any other technique to make them more stable and last longer. best of both worlds.
    A Stickley fan boy.

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Wilson View Post
    Interesting question for me. I am now at the point (and age) where I have built most of the furniture in our house. Now, as I complete a piece I cannot help but wonder where it will end up, as my children will not want it all.
    I've actually gotten to the point where I wonder what to do with some of the pieces of furniture I have built that are in our house now. Several pieces I have made were to fit certain places and situations that no longer are relevant, like an armoire that fit in a specific place in my mother's house when the wife and I lived there, or the mission style, quarter sawn white oak entertainment center that was designed for a CRT television. It is now too small for modern flat screens, while being far too deep than needed.

    You don't really want to get rid of the stuff, but you don't really need or want it. The armoire fortunately went back to my mother's house, but I'm still not sure what to do with the entertainment center once it gets replaced this summer/fall with one more appropriate for today's technology. You can't give entertainment centers away these days; even charities often won't take them. No one wants them, especially if they don't work with modern flatscreens.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    East Virginia
    I suspect the only cost-effective way to make chairs is to make them by the thousand...or to sell them for a thousand apiece.

    That said, I'm skeptical that you can get much of a chair for $100 from any source.

    TL;DR: Go with what your wife says.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I made some chairs a couple different times. They came out great, I was proud of them. They were a lot of work (the design I came up with everything was a compound angle), and repetition (6 of everything! over a hundred compound joints). I enjoyed the first 2 sets more than the other 4...

    Other times I have needed chairs and found some that I liked good enough and just bought them. Some of these I am still using as well.

    Either way can work.

    So if you want an excuse to make chairs, make them. If there are other projects that are more interesting, buy the chairs and move on.

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