Industrial Furniture: Difference Between Good and Bad Quality
You often are tasked to buy furniture for your home and/or office but are always told to get the ‘good stuff’ or forever end up with a sub-par table to eat and dine on. You have so many choices to pick from, conventional furniture, industrial furniture, retro, modern etc. etc. You can already see how hard it is to get furniture let alone good quality.
Well how do you, a common layman, who might only buy furniture once every blue moon, tell the different between the good stuff and the bad stuff? There are always sellers who take advantage of the lack of knowledge of people and will try to con you out of a good deal.
There are a few set ways to tell the differences between the various types of qualities in furniture and especially in tables. But let us first understand how to tell the good from bad quality of furniture.
Look at the Finish
The finish is a dead giveaway of any bad piece of woodwork. A rule of thumb is that the furniture is probably is as cheap as the finish on it. It could be the lacklustre shine, the colour of the natural wood peeking through or even certain nails or bindings showing through.
A lot of companies will call it quits when finish sanding your tables or furniture with a 60g sanding disc. That is just not enough for a good quality end product. You could have the best made piece of woodwork in your hands but bad or insufficient finish sanding will kill it.
When finish sanding, we go the extra mile all for the sake of quality. We use 60g to 120g finish sanding discs and could spend hours getting just the right output on your product. But if we feel that it is insufficient, we will go through the grit and use 150g-180g discs as well because that is our dedication to you as the customer and more importantly to the art.
Weight is a Big Factor
Usually when buying furniture people will think that the heavier the better. Well that is not necessarily true since a lot of people will try to swindle you. A heavy ‘hard-wood’ table will maybe only be dense chip board that weighs much more than normal wood. So you should always totally examine every aspect of the furniture you are going to buy.
But now that is out of the way we can look at that the different types of wood quality available and how to identify them. There are three types: High medium and low. We are going to assume that you as a buyer are somewhat familiar with the terms used in the woodwork architecture as we are going to use them a lot here.
Materials in High Quality
The wood used in high quality industrial furniture is kiln dried. Kiln dried wood is top of the line timber and should always be chosen when going for high quality products. Kiln dried wood is not only cost efficient, but it is also free from impurities such as bugs, odours and is overall less like to have any form of distortion. It is made sure that this wood is completely dried and that there is no moisture left inside the wood.
The right type of wood is selected for the right items. Wood is selected on its quality rather than anything. It is also made sure that the grain and colour of the wood are the same.
High quality furniture does not make any sound. It is solidly built, and does not squeak. The look and feel should immediately be telling of the quality. Even the unseen parts of the constructed table are made to be smooth and are completely tip top. This is pretty common in industrial furniture.
Unlike high quality construction, the materials used here generally do not care for the moisture content within the wood. Cheap or easily accessible forms of wood such as poplar or spruce are used. Laminates are also very common within the mid-range furniture selection. Usually you have to look out for medium density fibrewood veneered with normal wood as well.
The general look and feel of low quality furniture gives off a bad feeling. It makes plenty sound when touched or moved. The unseen parts are hidden using a fibreboard or even compressed paper. Low quality industrial furniture and tables cannot usually withstand a lot of weight either.
The ‘Wow Factor’ that You Should Feel
It is said that great quality speaks for itself and nowhere is that truer but here. How should you, average joe, look out for great quality industrial furniture?
Well the answer is quite simple if you have a keen eye and a bit of information by your side. Always ask if the industrial furniture you are buying is kiln dried or not. If it is not well you can already see the quality going down a notch in a year or two.
Carefully examine the finish. The finish as we said before is a dead giveaway of quality. The sanding alone should tell you if great care was taken care of it during the finishing process. And if it is a well finished product then you can immediately tell right away.
Check movement and especially the joints. The joints should not wobble, if they do then you can be sure that weak quality jointing processes were used. The finished table should not make a sound other than a hearty knock when you put your knuckles against it.
Ask of the origin of the wood. As a general rule of thumb, kiln dried wide plank Canadian timber is one of the best ones you could go for, if you are keeping price and excellent quality in mind.
These factors should combine in such a way that you as a novice in furniture can immediately speak of its quality.