Repair The Furniture Or Toss It?
A piece of furniture does not always readily relay its quality. Sometimes, we find ourselves with various pieces of furniture and we just don’t know what they’re worth (if anything), where they originally came from, or even if they’re worth repairing. Before you throw it away or even consider recycling the furniture, there are ways to determine if it is worth repairing and keeping.
Quality Materials Last
Furniture crafted from solid wood is not always easy to spot, but there are ways to tell if the materials are subpar. First, look at the joint construction, a quality creation will not betray any glue that might have been involved in the production of the piece. Make sure to look for phrases like “solid wood,” or even “sturdy plywood.” Pressboard is not a quality material, and sometimes manufacturers use terms like “softwood” or “hardwood” which refers to the actual type of tree, rather than the construction.
A Professional Furniture Maker Crafted the Piece
Generally, people don’t buy much custom built furniture anymore because of the easy-to-obtain and inexpensive pieces of manufactured furniture that have flooded the market. If you know the furniture in question was custom built, you can bet that the piece is one of high-quality and worth repairing. Watching the Antique Roadshow, as many folks do, constantly showcases how some ordinary piece of furniture is discovered to be hand made by one of yesteryear’s craftsman.
Even if the piece isn’t ‘wobbly’ in either the frame or the legs and not needing much repair, it’s truly remarkable how refinishing and or the addition of well chosen veneer can transform an ordinary and tired looking table or chairs into it’s former glory of a family heirloom.
The Furniture Came Fully Assembled
A furniture maker that takes pride in his work won’t want the end user to put his piece together incorrectly, so you can bet that if you purchased something fully assembled, it’s likely good quality. Of course, this isn’t a hard and fast rule (and sometimes you might not even know if it came fully assembled, if, for example you’re purchasing recycled furniture), but it is something to consider. A good sign that the piece came fully assembled is the existence of dovetail joints. Though, again, not a hard and fast rule, dovetail joints are indicative of hand crafted and therefor is almost always of a superior quality. This is easy to determine by pulling out a drawer or opening a door. These joins are not glued or nailed. The shape of the join is the same shape of a dove’s tail.
You Get What You Pay For
Although this adage is becoming less and less true, it’s still true when it comes to quality furniture. If you’re considering recycling furniture that has been in the attic of your home or a family member’s home, and you know that it’s been around for ages and that a family member paid a lot for it, it’s probably worth saving. Or, the piece has traveled with you across country as you’ve relocated and it never seems to lose its durability and integrity. These are signs that even though the piece might not be labeled antique, it is still worth remodeling the furniture or repairing it. At the very least having a professional woodworker clean it will reveal some of the original finish and luster.
Furniture Maker Plum Studio – Experts in Remodeling Furniture
Located in Seattle, Washington, Robbie Bumpus, Master Craftsman at Plum Studio, can handle any type of furniture restoration and knows what to look for to help clients decide on restoring their pieces. With a background as a furniture and cabinet maker, Robert specializes in refinishing, inlay, staining, veneering, structural and surface repairs, and much more.
Contact Robert Bumpus today if you have any questions about whether or not to toss it, repair, refinish or restore the antique furniture.