How Can You Tell Quality Woodwork?

How can you tell quality woodwork? There are steps you must follow to figure out the quality of woodwork. I think it is really important for a consumer to stand back and look at what you are going to buy....

I think it is really important for a consumer to stand back and look at what you are going to buy. Back up in front of the piece of furniture and touch it in the following ways. Run your hands across the top, underneath the edges, and underneath the bottom. What do you feel? The top should be smooth to the touch. When you run your hands around the edges or the sides, there shouldn't be a rough feeling. Sometimes, you feel scratchiness, almost like stubble of a beard. Those are indications that the furniture was not sanded. Now after you have looked at that and gotten a feel for it, you want to stand up to the top, come up and look at the top and inspect the top of the furniture. How or what does the top of the furniture look like? When you walk up to a piece of furniture, you look down at the top and what do you see? Well, here are some things that you should see. Is the wood on the top of the furniture? Can you see small little pieces of wood formed together with little finger joints? That's called finger joint construction and generally speaking, it allows you to use more small wood parts that make it more affordable. When you finish that wood whether it is a light finish or a dark finish, you should be able to see those little joints.

Does the top run very uniformly? Do the edges appear to run at different grain directions? In other words, are they running across and all of a sudden you look at the edge and it is running up and down. That would indicate that this has been neared top. At that particular point you could have two different constructions on the edge. It could be a wood construction that's well done. Or it could be what they call a filled edge, and that is just basically where somebody literally painted on a veneered look, almost sort of like a plastic type of feel to that look. All of those things are determining what the sale price is because there is cost in doing more work to create a piece of furniture. So when you look at that veneer top or wood top, how does it appear to you in looking down at it? Can you sort of pick the edges off? Feel the flip edges of veneers and that type of thing. So at that particular point you should have an idea of what the construction of the material is, or the tops of the furniture you are looking at which is the most important thing.

Right now each of those various constructions are fine. They are all stable. What really happens now is that as your furniture ages, it starts deteriorating. This is a real thing. A piece of wood is cut out of a tree and the tree continues to live in some vague shape or form in your home. It absorbs moisture. When your house is humid, when your house is dry, it dries. It expands and contracts even though it is not a living thing. Over time and usage, the things that are better-built are going to last longer. And so are you buying heirlooms or you are buying things that you want to just give to your kids when they move out on you?

Now, let's move on. When you see the color, does the color look uniform across the top? When you walk around the table, looking down again at the color, can you see shifting light? This would indicate flip in the veneers which is something that the salesperson should be explaining to you. Light will hit the top of the veneered table and give you a different color from different angles. But the most important thing is that when you are looking at this color on the retail floor, is the color uniform from piece to piece? In other words, do you have dark spots and light spots?

As a consumer, when you get that in your home, it is going to age differently. Over time in a home, light will come in and out and the furniture will get either richer or warmer or start to get bleached out. If you are going to start with somebody delivering furniture to your house that is not uniform in color and appearance, it is going to age just like different people age.

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