Construction Methods - Giancarlo Studio Furniture

Construction Methods: How Furniture Is Made: Giancarlo Studio Furniture employs an extensive knowledge of materials, engineering, and design to create the heirlooms of tomorrow. Building furniture is a precise science. Furniture that is not constructed correctly can last minutes rather than generations. The construction of furniture accounts for the greatest expense in any furniture maker's shop. Furniture makers at every price level cut corners in areas they know decorators, clients, and buyers will not notice. Unfortunately these bad practices are ubiquitous. This page highlights the defining characteristics of a piece of furniture in order to help distinguish the difference between high quality and poor quality furniture. 

 

Construction Methods

Building furniture is a precise science. Furniture that is not constructed correctly can last minutes rather than generations. The construction of furniture accounts for the greatest expense in any furniture maker's shop. Furniture makers at every price level cut corners in areas they know decorators, clients, and buyers will not notice. Unfortunately these bad practices are ubiquitous. This page highlights the defining characteristics of a piece of furniture in order to help distinguish the difference between high quality and poor quality furniture. 

 
 
Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Method Dowel Joint 0.jpg

Poor Quality: Dowels

Dowels are small, cylindrical pieces of wood used to join two components together. Dowels are usually between 10% and 30% the strength of a solid joint and are prone to "wiggling out" when faced with a low humidity environment or repeditive motion (think sitting in and getting up from a chair). Below are some examples of low quality furniture that is made using dowels. 

Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Method Dowel Joint 2.jpg
Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Method Dowel Joint 1.jpg
 
Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Method Screws and Nails 0.jpg

Poor Quality: Screws and Nails

Screws and nails represent some of the poorest building practices in the modern furniture industry. They are prone to breaking, tearing out of the wood, and loosen over time. Historically, wooden furniture that is held together with screws and nails doesn't retain its value.

Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Method Screws and Nails 1.jpg
Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Method Screws and Nails 2.jpg
 
Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Methods Corner Blocks 0.jpg

Poor Quality: Corner Blocks

Corner blocks are blocks of wood with angles cut into either end. They are used in conjunction with screws to hold a corner together. Corner blocks are almost exclusively used under tables and chairs where decorators, clients, and buyers are unlikely to look. The incorporation of corner blocks in a piece of furniture speaks volumes of its quality and is a sure sign that shortcuts were taken throughout the design/build process.

Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Methods Corner Blocks 1.jpg
Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Methods Corner Blocks 2.jpg
 
Giancarlo Studio Furniture Polyester Cloth Cover 0.jpg

Poor Quality: Cloth Covers

Polyester cloth covers on the undersides of chairs relay one piece of information, "We don't want you to see the hack job we did making your chair, so we stapled it shut." Quality furniture is view-able and open from every angle and the bottom surfaces should be just as beautiful as the top surfaces. Chairs that utilize these techniques of hiding joinery and materials hold no value.

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Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Methods Dovetails 0.jpg

High Quality: Dovetails

Dovetails are a complex, interlocking joint that resists failure even in the absence of adhesive. Dovetails are a beautiful, durable way  to join wooden parts together. However, due to their visual appeal, some furniture makers have developed tricky ways to "fake" this complicated joint. If a cabinet or case does not have dovetailed drawers, it does not hold any value. 

Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Methods Dovetails 1.jpg
Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Methods Dovetails 2.jpg
 
Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Methods Mortise and Tenon 0.jpg

High Quality: Mortise and Tenon

Mortise and tenon is a simple, strong method of manufacturing fine furniture. It involves two basic components: the mortise, which is a rectangular hole cut to a particular depth, and the tenon, which is a rectangular protrusion that fits inside the mortise. Mortise and tenon joinery has been used for centuries because it allows the furniture maker to take advantage of the full strength of the wooden parts.

Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Methods Mortise and Tenon.jpg
Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Methods Mortise and Tenon 2.jpg
 

High Quality: Press Fit Joinery

Press-Fit Joiner is a method of construction that requires the furniture maker to create the positive and negative form of a complex joint. The positive and negative pieces must fit and lick together precisely in order for the joint to be both beautiful and strong. This method of joinery is very difficult and is the pinnacle of contemporary furniture craft. 

Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Method Press Fit Joinery 1.jpg
Giancarlo Studio Furniture Construction Method Press Fit Joinery 2.jpg