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post #1 of 11 Old 04-19-2015, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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Considering taking up woodworking

I'm considering taking up woodworking to make furniture out of teak or walnut. But first I wanted to know if it was economically feasible. Is it possible to get a sheet of pure teak or walnut say 36" across by 60" long? 1/2" thick or so? If so what would it cost.
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-19-2015, 09:41 AM
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There isn't anything economical about making anything out of teak. If you are just getting started I would use a cheaper wood until you were sure of yourself before trying teak. Walnut is fairly high and I think teak is 7 times the price of walnut. I would suggest you make a few things out of maple or oak before venturing into walnut. When I work with walnut I cut out all the sapwood. I consider it a defect and when you do that it just raises the cost of working with it. I get my walnut for a hardwood wholesaler for about 4.75 a board foot. I buy the FAS grade of wood and loose 20 to 25 percent by the time I make it into parts which would make it close to 6.00 a board foot in parts. Teak runs about 32.00 a board foot but there is much less waste.

Last edited by Steve Neul; 04-19-2015 at 09:49 AM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-19-2015, 11:14 AM
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Not only would your choice of material be costly, but if you are "considering taking up woodworking", good tools would also be very expensive! Even starting with a smaller wood project would require wood tools and (some) woodworking knowledge - and extra material, as we all make mistakes with lumber. Best to plan your work - then work your plan. Be safe.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-19-2015, 12:49 PM
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they dont really make wood 36" across.... now... the loggers in here are going to disagree with that... they take gigantic rips from near the base of a tree, and uhhh maybe they could get 36"? on a teak or walnut? I have no clue. but the cost would be astronomical, and there would be challenges for sure.

Large sections like that are either done with a veneer, or as thinner boards glued together into a panel. And wood is typically 3/4" thick. they rough cut it around an inch, and by the time you mill it down to flat and smooth, its 3/4". They call it 4/4 lumber (4/4ths of an inch rough cut). you wont see 1/2" anything, but you could have the thicker wood planed down. It would cost more for 1/2" than 3/4" for that reason.

Whatever you build, you can be certain that you could buy a comparable substitute for less. But you build it because they dont sell what you want, or you enjoy the journey.
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-20-2015, 04:20 AM
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I find great wood on the curb, someone toss,s an old desk or dresser bam ! oak teak all kinds I keep tools in the truck just to take things apart .
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-20-2015, 04:23 AM
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Tools ? Estate ( tag ) sales , get a low number head right for the celler .
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-20-2015, 06:31 AM
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Gotta ask yourself.....intrinsic or extrinsic motivation?Pretty simple concept.

Personally...I'd work on learning how to "restore"(ugly word in the wrong hands,haha) certain pcs of existing furniture.

Start with cast-off pcs that no-one cares about......think,junk.Then pay your finishing dues and slowly,methodically work your way up the antique "food chain".Eventually....you'll be back to a point of "junk".You know,the pcs with missing veneers or from a "bad" time period....the stuff the "expert" refinishers don't want any part of.

You'll learn more,and faster about the ins/outs of the furniture biz this way than just about any other way than I can think of?To your OP,better make friends with some plywood manufacturers.......or have pretty deep pockets.Good luck,ciao.

Those who say it cannot be done shouldn't interrupt the people doing it.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-20-2015, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by BWSmith View Post
Gotta ask yourself.....intrinsic or extrinsic motivation?Pretty simple concept.

Personally...I'd work on learning how to "restore"(ugly word in the wrong hands,haha) certain pcs of existing furniture.

Start with cast-off pcs that no-one cares about......think,junk.Then pay your finishing dues and slowly,methodically work your way up the antique "food chain".Eventually....you'll be back to a point of "junk".You know,the pcs with missing veneers or from a "bad" time period....the stuff the "expert" refinishers don't want any part of.

You'll learn more,and faster about the ins/outs of the furniture biz this way than just about any other way than I can think of?To your OP,better make friends with some plywood manufacturers.......or have pretty deep pockets.Good luck,ciao.
In my mind "refinishing" is an entirely different skill set than building.

At this point in my woodworking journey through life I have never just refinished anything.

George
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-20-2015, 08:13 AM
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"Economically feasible" are not words normally associated with woodworking.

There is a lot of expense and learning associated with learning to make things out of wood. Most of us started in woodworking because we wanted the achievement of making products. The thrill of standing back when a piece of furniture was finished and saying "I did that." Sometimes we build something just because it cannot found commercially.

George
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-20-2015, 08:23 AM
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refinishing is not restoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by BWSmith View Post

Personally...I'd work on learning how to "restore" (ugly word in the wrong hands,haha) certain pcs of existing furniture.

Start with cast-off pcs that no-one cares about......think,junk.Then pay your finishing dues and slowly,methodically work your way up the antique "food chain".Eventually....you'll be back to a point of "junk".You know,the pcs with missing veneers or from a "bad" time period....the stuff the "expert" refinishers don't want any part of.

You'll learn more,and faster about the ins/outs of the furniture biz this way than just about any other way than I can think of?
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
In my mind "refinishing" is an entirely different skill set than building.

At this point in my woodworking journey through life I have never just refinished anything.

George
The whole point of "restoring" mentioned is to get familiar with the joinery, construction and refinishing while learning on a non-valuable piece of "junk" where any mistakes won't ruin a valuable piece. Rather than starting from scratch and build something it would also be beneficial to repair or restore an existing piece.

As any woodworker knows, finishing is an art and science unto itself with all the various chemicals, solvents, compounds, processes and application methods...spray guns, turbines, etc. Practicing on an existing piece would also have the advantage of learning the process on a piece which is not of high value. If the process doesn't turn out that well, not all is lost..... just sayin'

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #11 of 11 Old 04-21-2015, 09:23 AM
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George I had/have a professional cabinet shop for goin on....wait,cancel that....OVER 40 years.

Got a HUGE collection of books ranging from first edition stupid expensive furniture reference books to just about every home boy "how to" build ___ book.

Also have countless friends in every facet of the industry(all forms of WW'ing,finishing).And can say this in all sincerity......all the above dosen't come up to even the "halfway" point of seeing it all when one starts to actually crawl under existing furniture/cabinetry.I still get slackjaw at the "stuff" I see looking at antiques and commercial pcs.,new and old.

And that's good AND bad.Seeing Borg,China made cabinets....and worse yet,having to fix that BS...is an eye opener.It isn't in any book that I've ever read?Crawling around,carefully...respectively studying 18th century antinques,am astounded at the craftsmanship/joinery.....BUT,there too have seen questionable approaches.....actually,a lot of them.You see most of the good stuff ain't in museums,but that's for a different day.

None of this can be taught.....yeah,you can read the books.Yeah,go take some classes.Yeah,yeah....work in the industry for 40 years,yada,yada,yada.It boils down to having a brain,and going exploring.Then either copy(ripoff)...or run like H*ll WRT build techniques.Everything needs to be "finished".You started it....finish it.Heck,slop some pollypropelene...or burn't motor oil on it.Unfinished wood is asking for trouble.

Those who say it cannot be done shouldn't interrupt the people doing it.
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