Re: My personal review

Page 1 of 2  
My "Beware" indicator is when the customer explanation starts with, " All you gotta do is". When I hear those words, I think to my self, "Then why don't you do it if that is all you gotta do." And sometimes those words slip out of my mouth if my response does not get through to the customer...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 06:38:01 -0500, "bentcajungirl"

This is the foam technique, with a high density dam around it ?

So what's wrong with them ? Is the technique possibly sound, with a variation ?
What did you use for foam ? the article describes a base of high desnity foam with a border of the same, yet they're different colours. I was wondering if these really were meant to be the same foam ?
IMHO, I'd have gone for traditional horsehair and batting for chairs of that sophisitication. Never did like foam.

OTOH, "made my living" often means that you know how to turn a profit out of the market, rather than you are producing the best possible product (and these are all too often contradictory - it doesn't mean that you couldn't, or wouldn't rather be doing it). I'm trying to make my living on furniture and totally failing - I just don't have the grasp of either pricing, or production to a timescale and budget. There's no money in doing it "right" when your client group is too fond of Ikea !
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I didn't read into Andy's response what you and Perry apparently did. I didn't find his response to be objectionable. Just a statement that to stay in business often means doing things not exactly the way you'd do them if you doing it for yourself. Actually, I was waiting for Perry to make the apology.
todd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I must admit I too was a wee-bit taken aback by Perry's response because I had not detected any ill will in Andy's post either. I think Andy meant well, but perhaps his choice of words just wasn't what Perry wanted to hear at that time. I find both Perry and Andy to be very worthwhile contributors to the group; I'd hate so see it turn nasty.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I don't think there was any ill will in Andy's response. But dumb-f##k nitpicking. Which is about as useless as ill will. I have no tolerance for whining. I stated in my OP that I used the EXACT materials and EXACT technique. I took the trouble to post my findings. If I was only worried about friggin' profits, then I would have done it a cheap crappy way, and had no concerns about posting my personal review. By the way, most profit LOSS is from the kind of customer that is like Andy. Time wasters, questioning things they know nothing about. Anybody who thinks I am going to apologize can just turn blue and wait. Perry bentcajungirl

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
This nit-picking post was typed and sent before I saw you had the unfortunate rotten luck to live close to a bad upholsterer. I guess we are both guilty of generalizing....eh? Truce. Perry bentcajungirl

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 10:14:53 -0500, "bentcajungirl"

So what _are_ the exact materials ? They don't specify whether they used chemically blown or mechanically blown foam for the high density stuff, and that makes a difference.
And you still haven't said what was wrong with these chairs. Too hard, too soft, too noisy, took a permanent set ? What ?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Styrene foam, also known as closed cell foam. (It *is* listed in the article.) Different colors don't mean anything, just different manufacturer or batch.Whether is chemical or mechanical is not something I care to investigate (These are dining room chairs, not space shuttle seats.). I'll go out on a limb and say I don't know. Anytime you use a combination of closed cell with an open cell (urethane) there will be a definite difference in the "hand". There is a dead feel. My legs feel the bump where the urethane foam ends and the closed cell starts. Not uncomfortable, but annoying. I don't like the idea of just 1/4" plywood. Not with the give cutouts in it either. The finished heights of the chairs with seat inserts in place is 18 1/2", so it's not a height discrepancy. The better scenario, aw heck, it'll take longer, there go my profits, is to use a perimeter frame of something at least 1/2". Woven webbing (synthetic or natural...let's not split hairs here.) The most important component is the foam, density and firmness are not the same thing. A high density foam that an experienced upholsterer knows to cut a tad big and compress to get just that right lifelike feel. Not too big or your work will cup. Cover with a light layer of polyester and then wrap crisply with muslin then cover with final fabric. Depending on the style of chair, seat, fabric and intelligent input from the customer, the seat inserts can be made slightly rounded. Or sewn with a welt and vertical side walls. What makes a good upholsterer and a good satisfying job is not necessarily something that one can put into words. It's an artistic thing, something nitpickers have a hard time grasping. These seat inserts have a dead feel. Military, sparse, minimal....yuk. The customer is to pick them up this afternoon and we'll see what he thinks. Perry bentcajungirl
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Geez.....You have NO CLUE about the PRACTICAL applications of foam density in real life. I am talking about *density*, not height. The "bump" is the percieved difference in the densities of the two foams, as one would rub their hand over the surface. A 1/2" of urethane foam is not as tall as 1/2" of closed cell under use. Period. Yes, I understand the oversizing of the urethane, that's a common technique. I did it with this set of seats and I do it all the time. It's not rocket science. Perry bentcajungirl
wrote:

as
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I just read where you said you also had a nieghbor who's a mortician. I bet you think he screws things up too. Mmmmmm, wonder what he'll do with you as a customer???? :)) ( I hardly ever use smiley faces) Perry bentcajungirl
wrote:

height,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 20:30:46 +0100, Andy Dingley

I missed that the first 2 read-throughs. The center is 5/8" while the outer is 1/2". But that raspable outer rim has to have a yucky, stiff, cardboardy feeling to it.
-- "Not always right, but never uncertain." --Heinlein -=-=- http://www.diversify.com Wondrous Website Design
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
bentcajungirl spaketh...

Perry, not all of us have access to the article and you did start this thread... in a woodworking group not an upholstry group, so we may not all follow you as well as you like. I for one am confused. You say the technique in the article doesn't work (you feel a bump), but you haven't explained why. Without access to the article and what was specified, I don't know what material was specified. (fyi: I think we all understand the difference between density and thickness).

Clear.
I don't understand what you're saying... you don't know what? How can a color difference be 'mechanical'?

Clear. Two different densities, compressing differently.

You think the seat is too thin, especially with cutouts. Clear.

What is not a height descrepancy? I don't get this part.

You're suggesting that you should have beefed up the seat and added webbing across the cutout? Why would 'you' do that, send it back to the customer, they built the chair... right?

I was tracking up until the 'lifelike' part. What living thing is the foam supposed to feel like? (yeah, I'm just being an ass on this one)
<snip>

I agree with you Perry and it isn't just upholstery, it's every job that requires effort, experience and talent to do correctly.
--
McQualude

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 14:09:58 -0500, bentcajungirl wrote:
<snip of another abusive message>
Now that Bay Area Dave has his meds balanced, you're going all barmy? Is someone robbing Perry to calm Dave?
<G,D,&R>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Can I venture into No-Man's Land to ask for a source (or explanantion) on the best, or better, way to upholster the seat?
Ed
snip

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
pixelated:

Ditto to all. I'm glad they kissed and made up. ;)
-- "Not always right, but never uncertain." --Heinlein -=-=- http://www.diversify.com Wondrous Website Design
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 14 Jul 2003 08:10:28 -0500, "bentcajungirl"

Oh go and learn to read FFS !
If I wanted to insult you. you'd have noticed. If I've offended you unintentionally, then I apologise unreservedly because that certainly wasn't my intention.
This is just a generalised gripe. HTF do I do good work (which as we all know, takes an absolute age) when the market won't pay more than the equivalent rate for China. I just can't compete with that, even if I live on just rice and noodles (because I have to import them !)
Now if you've managed to survive in this market for 15 years, then you're doing better than I am. As it happens, I live next door to an upholsterer who has been doing it since the '50s. I don't like his work at all (it's certainly not how I'd do it) because he does everything with a slab of foam and spray glue. OTOH, you're damned lucky these days to have a client base that can appreciate the difference, let alone be willing to pay for it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Andy, I appreciate your reply. And my daily bane is to deal with burned customers of other upholsterers. Upholstery is a dying art. There are few of us left, and even fewer that take the time to do good solid quality work. It's tough to make a profit and keep your head above water when supplies costing 100.00 cost 41.00 to ship. In 15 years, I have amassed a terrific customer base. When I first started, the kind of customers that would come in, their first question was "how much". Now, my customers just ask "when can you...?" They know I am not the fastest, (I don't like the look of "fast" work) they know I travel quite a bit. They know that first of all, I have to be happy with the outcome of a piece, *then* they can have it back. Perry bentcajungirl
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Perry,
A can really appreciate your line of work. Let me explain...
About 2 years ago, my wife and I looked into getting two wing chairs reupholstered. The estimates ranged from a low of $250 per chair to a high of $600 per chair. These were two chairs that are over 10 years old and brand new probably wouldn't cost over $200 each, so it seemed kind of excessive to me. So there they sat in our living room with blankets covering the holes in the fabric on the arm rests (Damn cats!).
A few months later I saw that our local adult night school was offering a 6 week upholtery course for $70. Being handy, I figured why not give it a shot.
I was able to do both chairs for about $200 (actually I have not finished the second, but I already purchased the materials). I found that upholstry is not rocket science and if you learn the tricks of the trade you can do a pretty decent job yourself. That said, I now understand why it costs so much and can't imagine why the estimates we got were so LOW! It's labor, labor, labor. My instructor also explained why I can buy a chair for less than I can have it reupholstered for. Reupholstery requires each piece to be custom cut where the factories can turn out hundreds, assembly line fashion.
As a testament to how hard it is to make a living doing this, my instructor supplemented his income... teaching upholstry classes at night school. I think if your customers could see what is involved in your work, they would not question the price you charge.
-Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chris Powers writes:

Even small chair factories turn out hundreds. My stepson works in such a place, as a finish upholsterer. He is fast, very, very good, and has no desire to open his own shop--at least that I know of. He makes more where he is, and while he works his butt off, he probably doesn't work as hard as he would have to doing custom upholstery.
Charlie Self
Facts are stupid things. Ronald Reagan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Good observations, Chris and Charlie. If I didn't live frugal, and within my means, then upholstery wouldn't even begin to cover my living expenses. My van is 15 years old, and I bicycle for fun. Live a modest lifestyle. And then throw in some combative yo-yo off the street that just upsets the artistic karma.... The tools for a good upholstery are just as expensive as a good woodworking shop. Plus the knowledge in the care and feeding of these machines. Trying to "train" your customer base. No weekends, evenings are off limits. If your shop is at your home, nothing is worse than someone who stops by pretending to visit and then mentions upholstery "oh, by the way, I've got this sofa.....) So many people have in the last decade bought crappy furniture, unknowing, and then I have to be the bad guy to tell them this sofa is crap, they are better off buying a quality piece of furniture that will serve them well and call me in ten years when this one's covers need changing. Just as in fine woodworking for out, the public can be a bear. Perry bentcajungirl

place,
open
while he

doing
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.