What do quality factory furniture makers use for a finish these days?

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On 26 Feb 2005 04:09:52 GMT, the inscrutable Ed Clarke

OK, sent. I think this one came from a William Morris book.
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On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 08:15:08 -0800, Larry Jaques

Man, Larry, going from bad to worse. I'm sure the craftsmanship is outstanding, but nothing on that piece flows well. The base looks like a reasonably elegant tapered piece was trying to grow, but got crushed by a falling flat table with a shelf on top of it before the base had a chance to mature.

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On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 21:35:38 -0700, the inscrutable Mark & Juanita

Let's see what Ed has to say about the other one in the pic I emailed to him. If he likes that one, send your real email addy to one of us and we'll send a copy. (I got sick and effin' tired of fighting spam, pukey ducks, christmas sh*t, and virii in ABPF so I don't frequent it any longer.)
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The Morris version is a much better design. You can see both the Ugly Liberty Sideboard and the Morris Liberty Sideboard at:
http://www.cilia.org/~clarke/Craftsman
Click on the links. It's easier to compare if you use Firefox and open both pictures in tabs, or open both in a new window with IE.
The Morris version has a unifying feature with the supports on the side of the table and the display openings on the top shelf. These pieces seem to be designed to go together rather than just having a random bookcase stuck on as an afterthought.
I'm not sure, but the Ugly version seems to have the base door on the right opening as in an oven. The hinges are on the bottom? What's that all about?
The round bulls-eye glass in the center door on the Ugly bookcase part do not seem to be a good feature. You can't see through the bulls-eyes and there's no light behind them so why even use glass? The 4 over 4 glass on the Morris piece let you use the center as a display cabinet.
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I can find no modern furniture that is as well designed and emotionally
satisfying as that made by the Arts and Crafts movement in the early years
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Ed Clarke wrote:

Nope, sorry, Morris one still looks like some hybrid that was hit with the ugly stick, right down to the uneven height doors.
PK
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I fear that I have to agree. You can polish a turd to a high gloss if you freeze it in liquid nitrogen, but when all's said and done, it's still crap. The Morris piece is carefully crafted ugly. It is, however, less ugly than that first piece of firewood.
So why do I feel so guilty about criticizing Morris? I guess that even he had off days... Here's another one:
http://www.treadwaygallery.com/ONLINECATALOGS/Sept.2001/ac.images/libertysideboard2.jpg
I guess they're all ugly. Do a google search on images for "liberty sideboard".
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Yep, looks like the whole idea of that design was misplaced. Some were just more ugly than others.
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Here's one from that collection that makes the "oven door" model look like it may have been modeled. With the exception of the hardware, everything else is the same as the initially posted ugly guy: <
http://www.millineryworks.co.uk/images_furnexhibs/Arts&Craftsexhib/LibertySideboard.jpg
This one's not so bad: <
http://www.fitzdecarts.com/images/English%20antiques/English%20Antique%20Furniture/LibertySideboard.JPG
BTW, you were right about the oven door, here's ugly again: <
http://www.puritanvalues.co.uk/8337.jpg
I didn't go through all 124 hits on images.google.com, but of those I did look at, it was kind of funny how many of the pictures were taken outdoors. The settings almost appeared to be alleys, backyards, or garages; sort of like these were things that had been tossed out. :-)
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wrote:

I meant to say "modified", as in the original was modified later.

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On 27 Feb 2005 17:58:32 GMT, the inscrutable Ed Clarke

Yes, our tastes do vary. I wouldn't have a period piece in my home, period. (Bad pun alert!) Queen Anne can keep her legs while Sheraton, chippendale, et al can keep their stuff. I'm not fond of any of it.

I picked up that picture from a book on Morris, but don't know if he had any design input for the Liberty sideboards. YMMV.
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I kind of agree. The Morris version falls under the category of "not in my house", but I can see some of the features with which some people may find it esthetically pleasing. The ugly version falls under the category of "who on earth would want that thing in their house". You hit on a lot of the things that make the difference, the lack of side supports make the top on the ugly sideboard "disturbing" while it seems to be a part of the Morris design.

That nails another disturbing element; the bottom of the ugly design is disturbingly assymetric and makes the bottom rail appear to be uneven and poorly constructed. That more than likely is not the case, but the design supports the illusion that the bottom rail is not straight.

I'm not sure if it is the bulls-eye glass that is disturbing so much as the proportions between the top and bottom shelves, and the short, wide rectangular dimension of the center door that don't "fit". I'm not sure, but I'm almost willing to bet that the bulls-eye glass wouldn't look half bad on the Morris design.
But then what do I know, I'm an engineer commenting on artistic esthetics :-)
BTW, thanks for posting both pictures, I set up Mozilla in two windows to let me alternate between them.
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On 27 Feb 2005 13:38:06 GMT, the inscrutable Ed Clarke

Ser gut. My favorite Stickley/Ellis bookcase is the #700 with the quad lights at the top of the door.

Maybe they let the floor manager decide what to build. Oops!

I'd use it for setting down a pile of plates before shuffling them back into the belly of the beast.

With white plates behind them, you might be able to see a bit, but they are mighty ugly, huh?
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Are you aware of "Popular Woodworking" February issue(#146)? The cover project is the #700 bookcase and the author is Robert W. Lang ( also the author of "Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture - 27 Stickley Designs For Every Room in the Home"). I've been in touch with him about this project - he forgot to specify that he used dark brown Briwax and to wait two weeks after shellacing the piece before waxing it. It also looks like he pinned the tennons in one of the pictures.
Briwax uses toluene as the solvent so the shellac needs extra curing time. Oh yeah, you need 55 board feet of QS white oak (includes 15% wastage ).
I'm going to build this before I start on the #719 with mitered glass. I have everything I need except the oak which I'll get next week.
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On 28 Feb 2005 02:19:02 GMT, the inscrutable Ed Clarke

Oops, I dropped an "h" in "sehr gut" there, didn't I?

No, I wasn't. I wonder if the issue is still available on newsstands. (calling Blind George's News Stand now...not open yet) I'll look for it at the library this week, too. Thanks for the heads-up.

I have his "More" book and the "Inlay" book from that series. It's very cool that the author is available for consultation.

Dark wax for hiding itself when it fills the pores?

Grok that.

FIFTY FIVE FEET? How big are those beasties? Checking scans...oh, 14" by 32" by about 5'. That's $275 in wood alone at prices here. Ouch! That's the kind of project where you want all of the wood to be from the same tree, so it all fumes to the same depth.

Pics, please. Maybe I'll get to that dictionary stand this week. I have the fuming tent all done and sitting on the back porch waiting for me.
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The problem is the back - shiplapped QS, 12 each 4 7/8 x 23 7/16. You could use QS plywood, but that's $100+ at Condon. I think I'm going with the original Ellis design. Instead of the 4 panes of leaded glass, I'll use a single piece of glass to get the thing completed.
I've been looking at stained glass supplies and techniques and those panes can be replaced later if I really want them. It sounds easy, but lots of things sound easy until you try to do them. 50/50 lead-tin solder, lead U track, lead H track, cut with a knife and solder together. Simple right? Unless your iron is too hot and melts the lead... or...
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Leon says...

The prices are astonishing. People really pay $3000 for a coffee table? I'm making a maple and walnut coffee table for my Mom's birthday and I could quit my day job if I could sell them for $500.
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But do you have the room and could you turn out at least 10 of those a month? $500 would be pretty cheap out of a one man operation. Also, marketing your product is half the battle.
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Leon says...

I could probably do 10 a month if it was standardized. If each was custom, it might only be 5 a month. I'm also assuming about 60 hours a week since working for myself isn't that demanding.
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Ok, that is the easy part. Do you have a market ready to buy every thing that you build in those quantities? Can you get by on 5 per month with "gross" sales of $2500.
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Leon says...

I don't know. I never tried selling any furniture. My sister has a crafts store. I may try to sell some things there just for the fun of it. I could get by on $2500 gross sales for a while. Of course then I would need to pay taxes on it.
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