Improve the Past, or Recreate a Fatal Furniture Flaw — 5 Comments

  1. Why build something you know will fail if you can envision a way to capture its spirit yet make it last at the same time? Question answered.

  2. I couldn’t agree with Beth more. The definition of insanity is repeating a behavior and expecting a different result. Reproduce the piece and allow for material movement.

  3. Unless you are creating a copy for a museum, or for a client that wants an exact reproduction; make it to the best of your ability, improving the construction where you can and retaining the design.

  4. 1. How long would it take to fail, if built faithfully like the original? If a relatively long time, put a note in a secret pocket: “I told you so!”

    2. If for a rich customer who is willing to pay for faithfulness, charge him/her 20X what you would normally charge.

    3. If for YOU, do it the right way, and be happy it will last a long time without failure.

    I am with Beth. I believe that learning IS a major part of our journey. Learning should include everything from the early Egyptians, or even earlier times, to the most modern pieces. Did the Ark *really* survive intact? Or did some early incarnation of a mortise and tenon get a bit loose, but still held? Will my finger joints fail before I die? My daughter will be pretty upset at me if they fail before I die; if they fail afterward, her upsetness will fall on very deaf ears. Dead ears, actually. 😉

  5. Depends on who’s commissioning it and what they expect. Faithful copy – inform them of what will happen and let the cards fall where they may. Perhaps because the hinge is unseen, it can be fixed to one or the other part and the other end attached in a manner that allows shrink and swell.

    For me – the panel would “float” in it’s mitered frame, the construction allowing for the nearly 1″ of possible change in size. Exactly how much is going to depend on the time of year it’s constructed and the environment it’s going into.

    Or – make it a veneered panel. Some veneer over MDF could capture the look and perhaps be invisible to anyone that looks.

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