When the "heirloom piece" line is crossed.

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I know there's no hard and fast rules on this subject but I think common sense should have some bearing. The other week Norm built an absolutely gorgeous highboy from tiger maple. One look at the wonderfuly figured wood, gleaming brass fittings, elegant shape said it all: heirloom piece for sure - greatgrandkiddies will still be displaying this one.
Then Norm pulled out a drawer and you got a good look inside. It could have passed as a crude example from a pallet factory's seconds pile! How can anything so lovely have such an ugly and utilitarian interior?
Maybe I'm being hyper fussy but my inclination (were I able to craft to that standard to begin with) would be to take a great deal of care with the "hidden" components and make them almost as much a joy to behold as the exterior. OK, using good hardwood for cleats and dust frames and runners, etc. will cost more than ply or poplar. And maybe the economics of putting the NYW show together are tighter than we think. But I just feel that an exceptional piece should have exceptional (but not necessarily the same) standards throughout.
FoggyTown
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foggytown wrote:

On _The Antiques Road Show_ I've seen many antiques with poplar or white pine secondary wood appraised at several tens of thousands of dollars. But any part that showed in normal use, like drawer sides were well-executed.
I've also seen antiques in a store with quarter sawn sycamore for the interior drawer sides and one had birds' eye maple plywood for drawer bottoms.
I've read that at one time bird's eye was considered to be a defect and sycamore has poor dimensional stablity--it would almost have to be quarter sawn to be acceptable for drawer sides. So maybe both of those were examples of 'cheap' wood being used where it wasn't usually seen!!
--

FF


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Incubator of the MBA mentality ... the master did the parts that showed, the apprentice the remainder.
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wrote in message

Thats not the way I remember it when I was an apprentice.....
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"mike hide" wrote in message

Maybe you're not "antique" enough?
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Antiques are generally considered to have been made before 1830 . The reason being production machinery for the most part was not available before then so pieces were basically hand made .
By the way plywood [drawer bottoms] surfaced a long time after 1830
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Antique has nothing to do with how something was made. If it's more than 100 years old, it is considered antique. There are a few antique people still running (walking?) around.

reason
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"CW" wrote in message

100
That depends ... Your definition generally applies to North America where it may have some legal basis for customs and import duties. In Europe, England and other countries an item may have to be much older to qualify as "antique".
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"foggytown" wrote in message

Spoken like a man who never turned a hundred fifty year old antique around to look at the backside to witness the 19th century cultural equivalent of breast augmentation ... it's appearance that counts. ;)
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I don't care much for antiques, but I look them over at auctions to kill time. It is amazing how poorly made some them are; yet they go for thousands.
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On Fri, 03 Mar 2006 19:34:41 +0000, Toller wrote:

Could it be that their better-made cousins were pitched by their better-heeled owners?
Bill
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I know what you mean, but the nicest furniture we own is quite scary looking inside. As you say - almost pallet material.
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IMHO an heirloom is a piece that is functional and built well enough to last generations. Appearance has nothing to do with it. There are many people that do not appreciate the inner workings of furniture, they simply care about how it looks on the outside. Have you been in to the common furniture store lately? Open a dresser drawer and see if is even 2/3's as deep as the dresser caucus. If it has DT's, were they sanded smooth?
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see
For commercial furniture anyway, I'd guess it's a time and material cost cutting measure.
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Upscale wrote:

Sometimes you find drawers with the back inserted into a dado so that the sides extend an inch or more past the useable space in the drawer. I figured that was so that when the drawer was open 'all the way' it wouldn't fall out of the carcass.
Other than that, I agree it makes no sense to make the drawer shallower than the carcass.
--

FF


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The longer sides to keep the drawer from falling out very well could be the reasoning. Unfortunately if that is the case that practice is to make up for the wide margin of tolerance in the fit. When I build drawers there is no over hang and they will not fall out unless you pull them all the way out.
It has to be a cost savings measure.
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Leon wrote:

But if they are pulled out so the inside of the back is flush with the face frame (which of course is a lot farther than they need to pulled out ot get to whatever is in them) that puts a lot of stress on the back uppercorners of the sides and on the lower lip of the face frame. Leaving some overhang in the back would distribute that better.
--

FF


> It has to be a cost savings measure.


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This is true but I tend to overbuild to start with.
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Leon wrote:

Then we disagree. To me, an heirloom piece is an above-average example of craftsmanship and attractiveness. It goes beyond utilitarian. Take pocket watches, for instance. The best examples look as good inside the case as they do from the outside. Why? Nobody looks at the insides to tell the time.
FoggyTown
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If you like to think that. I don't know of any watch that does not look pretty darn good in side. They have to be pretty darn close to perfect to actually function. Furniture is an entirely different matter with tolerance requirements that are quite lax by comparison.
n. A valued possession passed down in a family through succeeding generations. An article of personal property included in an inherited estate. . The noun heirloom has 2 meanings: Meaning #1: (law) any property that is considered by law or custom as inseparable from an inheritance is inherited with that inheritance
Meaning #2: something that has been in a family for generations
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