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(CNN)   Ikea: "We build furniture for the 99%"   (features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com) divider line 203
    More: Interesting, ikea, Bulk purchasing, furniture  
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10585 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Dec 2011 at 11:42 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-12-09 01:03:57 PM  
I'm not going to entirely renovate my house using Ikea, but they do have good stuff at a low price.

Whenever I knock Ikea, my mother always reminds me that before Ikea, ALL furniture was crazy expensive. When you bought a table, you bought it for long term use and usually handed it down. That's also why a lot of older people use plastic to cover the couches. Growing up, my parents never had a table they used for less than 20 years and always had counches for at least 10 years and they were well into "upper middle class".

I still have plenty of Ikea furniture (my whole dining room set is Ikea - the table + chairs were probably around $800 which is a steal compared to Crate and Barrel/Macys/Pottery Barn/etc. Just mix it in with other pieces and no one notices that it is "just" Ikea.
 
2011-12-09 01:05:21 PM  
Will never understand the hate for Ikea stuff. I've never had much of an issue with quality, since differences are usually pretty clear based on their price points. Of course the dresser for $99 isn't going to be as good as the one they have for $349.

Either way, it's all generally affordable. While a lot of the bookshelfs and similiar storage items don't necessarily hold up well if you move a lot, the silver lining is that you don't feel terribly constrained by having to find spots for the furniture in the new place...opens up a lot more options in places to live with not a huge associated cost.

If anything, my annoyance is that I consistently find items that get discontinued shortly after I buy them, so I can never get matching things.
 
2011-12-09 01:06:05 PM  

Shazam999: urban.derelict: Bullsh*t, anyone who's ever stepped foot into an Ikea would recognize their outlandish prices for their outlandish CRAP

Going into a Crate and Barrel would make your head explode.


Restoration Hardware.

It is to C&B what C&B is to Ikea.
 
2011-12-09 01:06:37 PM  

This text is now purple: Shazam999: urban.derelict: Bullsh*t, anyone who's ever stepped foot into an Ikea would recognize their outlandish prices for their outlandish CRAP

Going into a Crate and Barrel would make your head explode.

Restoration Hardware.

It is to C&B what C&B is to Ikea.


He'd go nuclear in there.
 
2011-12-09 01:08:05 PM  

Rich Cream: So, now I'm looking at an ad for Ikea on an ad for CNN on an ad on FARK.

This is getting ridiculous.


It could be worse, you could be in thread discussing an ad for Ikea on an ad for CNN on an ad on FARK.

jfbnr24: Why only divorced men? The divorced single women no longer have a husband to build it for them?


Divorced women get the house and furniture in the divorce settlement. Divorced men need new furniture.
 
2011-12-09 01:12:03 PM  

algrant33: Cajnik: "OMG, we just got one and it's an hour drive from the Hill in Boulder, but I totes love that place"

Haha. True. Going to the Julbord tonight, that should be fun.


I'm working at the Julbord tonight. Part timer at Ikea New Haven. I love working there. Great for extra cash. Is the one you're going to the new geothermal store? Or is that in Denver?
 
2011-12-09 01:15:15 PM  

Happy Hours: Yeah, cat trees are ridiculously expensive. If I had any carpentry skillz at all I would make them myself and sell them to people with more money than me. ($10 worth of wood and $5 worth of carpet scraps put together nicely can easily fetch $150).



I made a simple scratching post for my gf's cat last year: 16" x 4" dia. wood log (from her dad's wood pile), 100' of 1/4" sisal rope, staple gun, and a 2'x2'x3/8" piece of scrap ply for the base.

Cheap and easy, except it took about 3 hours (admittedly, while watching a hockey game) to wrap the damn log in that farking rope. Staples every few wraps to 'save' my work. Almost not worth it, considering the cat took the prime scratching spots down to 50% wear in a few months.

I've since learned that the key to cheap sturdy cat trees: SONO tubes. Pick up a few at Home Depot (they're designed as concrete forms for in-ground supports), wrap 'em in carpet scraps (as you said), cap the ends and fasten on a platform or two and bam!: (part of a) cat tree. You can even get the huge 2' dia. ones and line the inside w/ carpet for a cat tunnel.

It still takes skills to build the fancy shapes, but a simple tube wrapped in carpet is a good place to start.
 
Ehh
2011-12-09 01:17:45 PM  
 
2011-12-09 01:17:54 PM  

jfbnr24: Cajnik: "OMG, we just got one and it's an hour drive from the Hill in Boulder, but I totes love that place"

AFW is so much better and the prices are reasonable for the quality difference from IKEA.


You go to Hell, you Jake Jabs shill. You go to Hell and you die.
 
2011-12-09 01:18:36 PM  
Ikea is totally in the pocket of Big Allen Wrench!

www.electricwingman.com

BOW DOWN TO YOUR GOD, IKEA.
 
2011-12-09 01:20:46 PM  
I'm slowly moving out of my IKEA phase. They furnished my last apartment for about a grand total, but so far the only thing left intact is the entertainment center. The dresser, bookshelf, couch, and coffee table are trashed, and the bed, nightstands, and dining set are well on their way.
 
2011-12-09 01:26:51 PM  

urban.derelict: Bullsh*t, anyone who's ever stepped foot into an Ikea


img838.imageshack.us
 
mrh
2011-12-09 01:30:08 PM  
I can see if you just need some temporary throw away furniture for a dorm room or something that you are only going to use for a year or two, but even then, guess what? Go to a garage sale or a church rummage sale sometime and you can get used funiture for the same purpose that's better quality and something you might actually want to hang onto for a few years that's going to be even cheaper than Ikea.

It's not just the quality of the stuff is crap... IT LOOKS CHEAP AND CRAPPY.

But it goes into feed our current mentality... everyone wants a high paying job with great benifits... but then no one will spend a dime on anything unless it's dirt cheap.

And then people wonder why all the jobs are going overseas. It's been typically the low skill manufacturing type jobs for the time being.. what do you think is going to happen when the higher skilled higer paying jobs start to follow the same trends (Lawyers, accountants, doctors, etc. etc. etc.) Soon if you don't HAVE to be physically present to do the work, someone from half way around the world will have the skills to do it, and for a fraction of the cost. And technology will soon start to remove the requirment of physically "being there" so that almost ANY job can be done half way around the world.

As long as there are more people in this world, than there are jobs (last I heard, every job in america could be sent to China, and China would STILL have more people than jobs), the world isn't being brought up to our standard of living... we're being brought down to a lower standard of living. Why do you think avererage employee wage (adjusted for inflation) has remained stagnant over the last 20-30 years? All this only makes the divide between the 99% and the 1% that much greater.

But it's not the 1% that is totally to blame (they are to blame for being short sighted.. if there aren't people who have jobs that pay enough to buy the products and services companies produce, then there IS NO ECONOMY). But we all share in the blame. If people would shop more on quality... instead of on price alone... then companies wouldn't have been so quick to do everything as cheap as possible (which means moving your job overseas).
 
2011-12-09 01:31:07 PM  
"warns against things like setting high salaries because you'll attract people who are only in it for the money"

just curious but I'm assuming he's referring to the manager group and not the actual workers... I don't hear of people working at ikea for the money...
 
2011-12-09 01:32:41 PM  

Generation_D: Particle board
Particle board
whats it like
particle board
falls apart
nobody cares
particle board.


Is it a shelf
or is it a chair?
nobody knows
particle board.
 
2011-12-09 01:34:11 PM  

Ehh: Obligatory: Ikea's U.S. factory churns out unhappy workers: A union-organizing battle hangs over the Ikea plant in Virginia. Workers complain of eliminated raises, a frenzied pace, mandatory overtime and racial discrimination. (new window)


But like Wal*Mart, the faithful still go to worship at their chosen alter of consumerism regardless of the behavior of the church itself.

IKEA has the formula down pat.
 
2011-12-09 01:35:00 PM  

Lollipop165: before Ikea, ALL furniture was crazy expensive


Yeah, but most of that stuff is still around. Ikea particle board crumbles like Feta after a couple years.

Lollipop165: When you bought a table, you bought it for long term use and usually handed it down.


You say that like its a bad thing.
 
2011-12-09 01:35:21 PM  
No IKEA builds what it builds because of Euro VAT taxes -- assembly counts as an extra "value add."
 
2011-12-09 01:36:02 PM  
What a co-incidence! That's the exact same percentage of the parts that are in the box when you buy their furniture.
 
2011-12-09 01:38:20 PM  

PyroStock: Rich Cream: So, now I'm looking at an ad for Ikea on an ad for CNN on an ad on FARK.

This is getting ridiculous.

It could be worse, you could be in thread discussing an ad for Ikea on an ad for CNN on an ad on FARK.




That was voluntary.

/it could always be worse
 
2011-12-09 01:38:31 PM  
Two words:

Wood Glue.

Buy some Elmers Wood Glue Max, and use it where all the bare particle board surfaces meet.

Tadaaaaaa!!! 200% stronger.

Just double check that you're assembling it correctly before gluing. I like to get it mostly assembled, then glue before tightening everything.

I've got IKEA stuff that's made it though 5 moves and 10 years. Dorm, apartment 1, apartment 2, apartment 3, rental house, first home. Still work great.

Never rely on friction to hold anything together.
 
2011-12-09 01:39:41 PM  

algrant33: That's called SKORVA, you're supposed to pick that up at the same time as the rest of the bed. It's $10.
/bed construction FAIL



I have a SKORVA, it runs down the center and is what the slats sit on.

The problem is that the slats are barely long enough to reach both the outside edge and the SKORVA, creating a gap that they sometimes fall through.

The hollow metal tubing I used sits on top of the SKORVA, snugly filling the gap between the two slat pieces.

/reading comprehension fail
 
2011-12-09 01:48:20 PM  
nelsonal: "They are a great example of why increasing taxes on the rich means no real rich people will pay a dime more in taxes."

Hence, VAT.
 
2011-12-09 01:50:26 PM  
Here's what I don't understand....

Why is it that I can go the Home Depot and buy some 2x4s and sheets of wood and build something for a (TINY) fraction of the cost, that will outlast all of the furniture I've seen people spend tons of money on?

I'm not even particularly handy or anything either. I did this as a poor guy in college - but the crappy table I threw together in four hours in my parent's garage has lasted for over a decade, against some horrible treatment. It probably cost me $20 dollars.

If I spend $200 on a dinning room table - it *looks* better.....but it'll be falling apart in no time if you treat it the same way as my home made table. I'd expect it to be twice as strong/last twice as long *and* look better. But someone has decided that $200 is a 'cheap' table? I don't get it.

My wife and I had one of those cheap platform beds that wasn't really all that cheap. Over $100 dollars to have a mattress sit on it. After about a year; it broke and was breaking in several places. Again - some 2x4s and plywood - about $6 dollars worth and it was rock solid/reinforced and lasted for another 4 years before we moved and gave it away.

I've given serious consideration into trying to make and sell furniture (particularly dining room tables) because of these experiences. I'm probably too lazy though.
 
2011-12-09 01:54:06 PM  
"We build furniture make crap for the stupidest of the 99%"


FTFY
 
2011-12-09 01:54:08 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Why is it that I can go the Home Depot and buy some 2x4s and sheets of wood and build something for a (TINY) fraction of the cost, that will outlast all of the furniture I've seen people spend tons of money on?

I'm not even particularly handy or anything either. I did this as a poor guy in college - but the crappy table I threw together in four hours in my parent's garage has lasted for over a decade, against some horrible treatment. It probably cost me $20 dollars.


Not everyone has 1) the skills, 2) the time, 3) the inclination, 4) the tools and 5) the workspace.

I live in a top floor apartment. Even if I were inclined to build something, would it even be feasible?
 
2011-12-09 01:55:42 PM  

jfbnr24: buntz: furniture for college kids and divorced men

Why only divorced men? The divorced single women no longer have a husband to build it for them?


I think the implication is that women, divorced or not, can figure out furniture and such better than men.

/Which, yes, we generally can--we receive training called enculturation from nearly birth on the damn topic, whether or not we like it.
//It's also why we get annoyed when guys don't do laundry. We very often forget that no one ever taught you how to work the washing machine, when we've been doing it since age ten.
///As an aside, I don't actually approve of this, I think men should be just as able as women to run a household, but I didn't really get consulted when we designed American society.
 
2011-12-09 01:57:56 PM  

PsiChick: jfbnr24: buntz: furniture for college kids and divorced men

Why only divorced men? The divorced single women no longer have a husband to build it for them?

I think the implication is that women, divorced or not, can figure out furniture and such better than men.

/Which, yes, we generally can--we receive training called enculturation from nearly birth on the damn topic, whether or not we like it.
//It's also why we get annoyed when guys don't do laundry. We very often forget that no one ever taught you how to work the washing machine, when we've been doing it since age ten.
///As an aside, I don't actually approve of this, I think men should be just as able as women to run a household, but I didn't really get consulted when we designed American society.


I disagree. I think the implication is that the man got cleaned out by the divorce and is left to furnish a bare apartment in a hurry for cheap.
 
2011-12-09 01:59:34 PM  

lohphat: IKEA pays only 3.5% corp tax by sheltering profits offshore in The Netherlands. ^

They are the 1% and 99% of you are suckers.


SHHHHH! You'll upset the hipsters so much that after they find out how much cash Apple is sitting on they might commit mass suicide.

/always amazed at what IKEA gets away with because of liberals endless love affair with Sweden
 
2011-12-09 02:01:32 PM  
Fark_Guy_Rob: "Here's what I don't understand...."

Laziness. Lack of access to tools/workspace. And recourse when the damn thing breaks.

Also, don't discount delegation as a psychological tool. An IKEA table breaks because it's IKEA crap.
A table that you made yourself breaks because you probably had no idea what you were doing when you made it.
Most people are not Ok with trying and failing. They're also not alright with letting their shrew harpy wife point out how shiatty everything they made is.

/i've seen that more than once
//thankfully i married far better than that
 
2011-12-09 02:02:21 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Here's what I don't understand....

Why is it that I can go the Home Depot and buy some 2x4s and sheets of wood and build something for a (TINY) fraction of the cost, that will outlast all of the furniture I've seen people spend tons of money on?

I'm not even particularly handy or anything either. I did this as a poor guy in college - but the crappy table I threw together in four hours in my parent's garage has lasted for over a decade, against some horrible treatment. It probably cost me $20 dollars.

If I spend $200 on a dinning room table - it *looks* better.....but it'll be falling apart in no time if you treat it the same way as my home made table. I'd expect it to be twice as strong/last twice as long *and* look better. But someone has decided that $200 is a 'cheap' table? I don't get it.

My wife and I had one of those cheap platform beds that wasn't really all that cheap. Over $100 dollars to have a mattress sit on it. After about a year; it broke and was breaking in several places. Again - some 2x4s and plywood - about $6 dollars worth and it was rock solid/reinforced and lasted for another 4 years before we moved and gave it away.

I've given serious consideration into trying to make and sell furniture (particularly dining room tables) because of these experiences. I'm probably too lazy though.



I'd be interested to know how you got enough lumber for 6 dollars to build a bed frame. 60 dollars maybe. 6? No.

I build enough stuff to know that's an exaggeration.


I get your point though.

I buy IKEA because it looks nice, then just reinforce it with glue and better brackets as I see necessary. Looks good and holds up.
 
2011-12-09 02:06:18 PM  

RexTalionis: PsiChick: jfbnr24: buntz: furniture for college kids and divorced men

Why only divorced men? The divorced single women no longer have a husband to build it for them?

I think the implication is that women, divorced or not, can figure out furniture and such better than men.

/Which, yes, we generally can--we receive training called enculturation from nearly birth on the damn topic, whether or not we like it.
//It's also why we get annoyed when guys don't do laundry. We very often forget that no one ever taught you how to work the washing machine, when we've been doing it since age ten.
///As an aside, I don't actually approve of this, I think men should be just as able as women to run a household, but I didn't really get consulted when we designed American society.

I disagree. I think the implication is that the man got cleaned out by the divorce and is left to furnish a bare apartment in a hurry for cheap.


Eh, I wrote an entire paper on how The Graduate was about a guy overcoming autism. My interpretations are known to be screwy.
 
2011-12-09 02:06:31 PM  

Cajnik: "OMG, we just got one and it's an hour drive from the Hill in Boulder, but I totes love that place"


I'm going on an IKEA run right after I finish my kale chips at Next Door!
 
2011-12-09 02:12:11 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: Here's what I don't understand....

...
I'm not even particularly handy or anything either. I did this as a poor guy in college - but the crappy table I threw together in four hours in my parent's garage has lasted for over a decade, against some horrible treatment. It probably cost me $20 dollars.
...



And you still don't understand why some people don't do that? Ever wonder why IKEAs are (usually) located near very urban areas? Probably means the customers lack the resources to build furniture.
 
2011-12-09 02:18:25 PM  
I bought a cheap flarke when I was in university.

Not only was it not square, a few years later my TV that had been on it since day one went straight through.

:\

I got what I paid for.
 
2011-12-09 02:21:02 PM  

ddelorm: Fark_Guy_Rob: Here's what I don't understand....

Why is it that I can go the Home Depot and buy some 2x4s and sheets of wood and build something for a (TINY) fraction of the cost, that will outlast all of the furniture I've seen people spend tons of money on?

I'm not even particularly handy or anything either. I did this as a poor guy in college - but the crappy table I threw together in four hours in my parent's garage has lasted for over a decade, against some horrible treatment. It probably cost me $20 dollars.

If I spend $200 on a dinning room table - it *looks* better.....but it'll be falling apart in no time if you treat it the same way as my home made table. I'd expect it to be twice as strong/last twice as long *and* look better. But someone has decided that $200 is a 'cheap' table? I don't get it.

My wife and I had one of those cheap platform beds that wasn't really all that cheap. Over $100 dollars to have a mattress sit on it. After about a year; it broke and was breaking in several places. Again - some 2x4s and plywood - about $6 dollars worth and it was rock solid/reinforced and lasted for another 4 years before we moved and gave it away.

I've given serious consideration into trying to make and sell furniture (particularly dining room tables) because of these experiences. I'm probably too lazy though.


I'd be interested to know how you got enough lumber for 6 dollars to build a bed frame. 60 dollars maybe. 6? No.

I build enough stuff to know that's an exaggeration.


I get your point though.

I buy IKEA because it looks nice, then just reinforce it with glue and better brackets as I see necessary. Looks good and holds up.


If it is an exaggeration; it's unintentional. I admit I didn't document any of these....but I *did* document the cost and performance of a homemade squat rack I built out of 2x4s. It was, literally, $14 dollars. The cheapest squat rack I could find in at any of the sporting-good stores was closer to $300. Everyone called me crazy - but that sucker held 225 pounds in weights + a heavy bag + myself + a vacuum and carpet cleaner without any problems. I used it at home three times a week for well over a year and it never had the slightest problem (I moved after that)

For $14 dollars.

When the cheapest store-bought produce I could find was *at least* 15 times more. And, I'm not pretending that I know the first thing about working with wood, or about mechanical engineering. I'm sure the design was less than optimal. Probably not even close to optimal.

// Video evidence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOUaR5zaFvs
// I don't claim to be strong or have good form
 
2011-12-09 02:22:16 PM  
Doh - forgot the picture.
a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net
 
2011-12-09 02:22:29 PM  

Wizard Drongo: I'm starting to get to the point I want to design and build my own, but it's getting the initial step of starting it that's hard.
Inspiration: http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2011/09/how-to-build-a-victorian-libr ary.html
I need a Library too...

Ace's Pretty Pirate Kitty: Wow, thanks for the link, that looks like fun!


Interesting, and that's nice work. I'm gonna need to do that one of these days, too. If you're considering building a library, the latest issue of Family Handyman has a project complete with hidden compartments and the like. Cheesy magazine, but they give you full cut-lists and lumber plans with their projects, which saves heaps of time, if you are interested in building something they've printed.

Lollipop165: When you bought a table, you bought it for long term use and usually handed it down.


Dunno if it was the president, but I remember an Ikea interview a few years back saying exactly that -- they don't want to make furniture with which you'll eventually burden your kids; they want to make stylish things you're not afraid to experiment with, use, and toss when your mood changes.

That said, some of their stuff can be worlds better than much more expensive pieces.

Magnanimous_J: You say that like its a bad thing.


... well, it is and it isn't.

If you have money, exquisite taste and an unchanging sense of style, then good for you, and go get yourself some heirloom pieces. If you don't have much money, then what? And if you spend a fortune and your taste changes, who wants to be stuck with a bad decision for 30 years? ( ... he says as he is in the middle of ripping out a -horrible- 70s bathroom that was most certainly someone else's "great idea"....) Or, worse, your *grandmother's* bad decision, too guilt ridden to chuck it? And who wants to have a hand-down piece of furniture, anyway? I mean, chances are, your hander-downers kept their underwear in it / farked on it / wouldn't want you to feel guilty about having to preserve it, anyway. Ewww.

Expensive, non-disposable things are great... for some things. Some tools, some vehicles, some furniture. But cheap, reasonably-well-built things can be as useful, or even more useful, too. The Ikea approach is as valid as "nicer" furniture (and, some might argue, far more valid than a $300,000 couch (new window)).

If you need to hang a picture, buy a $5 hammer and some nails. If you need to build a house, buy a $100 hammer and a nailgun. Horses for courses, as they say.
 
2011-12-09 02:22:56 PM  

Magnanimous_J: Lollipop165: before Ikea, ALL furniture was crazy expensive

Yeah, but most of that stuff is still around. Ikea particle board crumbles like Feta after a couple years.

Lollipop165: When you bought a table, you bought it for long term use and usually handed it down.

You say that like its a bad thing.


I'm not saying it like it is a bad thing. When I first moved to my first apartment in 2002, everything I owned was Ethan Allen hand-me-downs that my parents had bought in the 80's and for the most part they held up great (I still even have a bookshelf from my hand me down days)

But you did need to get "classic" items in order for them to last and if you wanted a new item you had to shell out a lot of dough. It was a waste to get something more trendy. I was happy to take my parent's couches and shelves, but I don't want my mother's table; It's pretty but certainly not my taste.

I realize that Ikea won't last forever. But for $800 I can get a cute dining room set that will last 8 years ($100/year) which I can update rather than spend $6,000 on a dining room set (that's the cheapest offered at Ethan Allen) that will need to be "classic" so that it can stay much longer (60 years) to equal the value. I'm not living for another 60 years and I'd rather "hand down", say, jewelery than a table.

It kind of reminds me of all my friends who register for $10,000 china for their weddings. #1 - It isn't like they are entertaining the Queen here and #2 - they always say "oh its to hand down to MY children!". Um, your mother also has a nice set of china, but you don't want that. And your daughters may not want your china. So why are you spending this money?
 
2011-12-09 02:25:28 PM  

Lollipop165: I realize that Ikea won't last forever. But for $800 I can get a cute dining room set that will last 8 years ($100/year) which I can update rather than spend $6,000 on a dining room set (that's the cheapest offered at Ethan Allen) that will need to be "classic" so that it can stay much longer (60 years) to equal the value. I'm not living for another 60 years and I'd rather "hand down", say, jewelery than a table.


Bob's Discount Furniture? I'm sure there should be one local to you.
 
2011-12-09 02:28:18 PM  

MrSeabass: Fark_Guy_Rob: Here's what I don't understand....

...
I'm not even particularly handy or anything either. I did this as a poor guy in college - but the crappy table I threw together in four hours in my parent's garage has lasted for over a decade, against some horrible treatment. It probably cost me $20 dollars.
...



And you still don't understand why some people don't do that? Ever wonder why IKEAs are (usually) located near very urban areas? Probably means the customers lack the resources to build furniture.


No, you are misunderstanding me.

I don't understand why the commercial stuff I buy is crap compared to the crap I can build. I'm not saying everyone should build furniture....I'm questioning why professional companies and individuals selling furniture can't build stuff that is both cheap and durable.

Keep in mind, I'm paying retail prices. A large company should be able to do it for less and with a tiny fraction of the labour costs *and* make something better than what some inexperienced guy can throw together in an afternoon without any training or education.
 
2011-12-09 02:28:37 PM  

ringersol: Also, don't discount delegation as a psychological tool. An IKEA table breaks because it's IKEA crap.
A table that you made yourself breaks because you probably had no idea what you were doing when you made it.
Most people are not Ok with trying and failing.


That is an awesome point, and one I've never seen anyone else make. Fair warning, I'm stealing it. Thanks.

ddelorm: I'd be interested to know how you got enough lumber for 6 dollars to build a bed frame. 60 dollars maybe. 6? No.


THIS. Ikea (and, to be fair, any big-box type place) is --filled-- with shiat you couldn't build from raw materials for the price. Astonishing what power is had by buying in bulk, it seems.

Fark_Guy_Rob: I built out of 2x4s. It was, literally, $14 dollars.


I'd like to know where you got more than 5 2x4s for $14. No, really, I'm'a gonna need 2x4s, and they're ~$2.50 each last I checked. FSM help you if you need bigger dims or PT.

The particle board in even the cheapest Ikea stuff is usually cheaper than if you went and bought it by the sheet at the ol' Depot. And melamine? Criminey. Sometimes, I'd bet it's cheaper to buy an Ikea kit and use it as raw materials for something else you're building.
 
2011-12-09 02:32:02 PM  

RexTalionis: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: I have a POÄNG chair from 1989 which has held up nicely.

Hey, I got a POÄNG chair, too. Those things are great. I'm always surprised that the damn thing hasn't snapped under my weight, considering it's just two thin planks of wood holding me up.I might have to upgrade the padding, though.


I don't shop at stores that imply that their customers are thieves. That said, they pay taxes like the 48%, what with the shelters and all.
 
2011-12-09 02:32:16 PM  

TripcodeMel: So I'm basically saying that they'd be above ratty IKEA furniture


My tastes are way above IKEA. Unfortunately, as a divorced single mom, my pocket book is not. I just had to get my dad and brothers to build it for me :-)
 
2011-12-09 02:33:12 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: I don't understand why the commercial stuff I buy is crap compared to the crap I can build. I'm not saying everyone should build furniture....I'm questioning why professional companies and individuals selling furniture can't build stuff that is both cheap and durable.


Oh, you can get furniture that is so far beyond your ability to build that you probably can't even conceive of it. However, the price tags come with three-, four- or five zeros... before the decimal point.

However, you can't build cheap-grade furniture by the millions of units cheaper and better than a manufacturer. And you may not be counting the value of your time. And the cheapest-grade Ikea crap is going to be better made, to better tolerances, and be easier to assemble and cheaper, than anything you can assemble from Home Depot in a garage.

Cheap and easy to ship / assemble have a giant market. $30,000 armoires don't, but they're out there if you know where to look.
 
2011-12-09 02:33:28 PM  

RexTalionis: Lollipop165: I realize that Ikea won't last forever. But for $800 I can get a cute dining room set that will last 8 years ($100/year) which I can update rather than spend $6,000 on a dining room set (that's the cheapest offered at Ethan Allen) that will need to be "classic" so that it can stay much longer (60 years) to equal the value. I'm not living for another 60 years and I'd rather "hand down", say, jewelery than a table.

Bob's Discount Furniture? I'm sure there should be one local to you.


I have a black lounge chair in the "cocktail/bar area" of my apt from there that isn't comfortable but looks nice... but otherwise their quality is the same as Ikea. I remember they used to be VERY gawdy; I'm happy that it looks like they've toned down their gawdiness a bit since they started selling online.

IMHO, mixing and matching different companies works best for me so no one company sticks out.
 
2011-12-09 02:35:29 PM  

Fark_Guy_Rob: If it is an exaggeration; it's unintentional. I admit I didn't document any of these....but I *did* document the cost and performance of a homemade squat rack I built out of 2x4s. It was, literally, $14 dollars. The cheapest squat rack I could find in at any of the sporting-good stores was closer to $300. Everyone called me crazy - but that sucker held 225 pounds in weights + a heavy bag + myself + a vacuum and carpet cleaner without any problems. I used it at home three times a week for well over a year and it never had the slightest problem (I moved after that)

For $14 dollars.

When the cheapest store-bought produce I could find was *at least* 15 times more. And, I'm not pretending that I know the first thing about working with wood, or about mechanical engineering. I'm sure the design was less than optimal. Probably not even close to optimal.

// Video evidence http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOUaR5zaFvs
// I don't claim to be strong or have good form


Throwing something together with 2x4s is okay for many projects (hell, I've got two huge wood work benches in my garage that cost me a total of $200 or so, with large pegboard backs, 3/4" ply tops, 2x4 construction, and 1x shelves on the top), but when you start talking about actual furniture that you'd want to use, your costs go right out the door.

Bookshelves and tables aren't horrible, but dressers and anything with drawers gets very pricey very quickly, especially with real wood.

Sure, you can buy finished wood in proper dimensions and use that for projects (oak, mahogany, etc), but if you're going to do any amount of actual finished work, it makes more sense to use rough lumber. But to do that properly the investment in tools gets up there. Quality table saw, planer, jointer, miter/cut-off saw, drills and drill presses, mortise and tenon combo, hand tools if you want, sanders, etc.

Once you've got that, you've got to have the space to use them. Even a two car garage can get cramped pretty easily if you're working on something big. Then there's the time. Cutting the wood to the proper dimensions, dry fitting, gluing, sanding, and finishing.
 
2011-12-09 02:37:27 PM  

SFSailor: ringersol: Also, don't discount delegation as a psychological tool. An IKEA table breaks because it's IKEA crap.
A table that you made yourself breaks because you probably had no idea what you were doing when you made it.
Most people are not Ok with trying and failing.

That is an awesome point, and one I've never seen anyone else make. Fair warning, I'm stealing it. Thanks.

ddelorm: I'd be interested to know how you got enough lumber for 6 dollars to build a bed frame. 60 dollars maybe. 6? No.

THIS. Ikea (and, to be fair, any big-box type place) is --filled-- with shiat you couldn't build from raw materials for the price. Astonishing what power is had by buying in bulk, it seems.

Fark_Guy_Rob: I built out of 2x4s. It was, literally, $14 dollars.

I'd like to know where you got more than 5 2x4s for $14. No, really, I'm'a gonna need 2x4s, and they're ~$2.50 each last I checked. FSM help you if you need bigger dims or PT.

The particle board in even the cheapest Ikea stuff is usually cheaper than if you went and bought it by the sheet at the ol' Depot. And melamine? Criminey. Sometimes, I'd bet it's cheaper to buy an Ikea kit and use it as raw materials for something else you're building.


I picked them up at the Home Depot (this was in Fort Collins, CO and, as far as I know, was not on sale or anything special). It was the cheap bin - whatever the longest length they had was - I can't remember if it was 8/10/ or 12 feet (I had a pickup truck so I didn't have to worry too much).

I didn't include the price of the screws, now that I think about it). I used a combination of wood screws and drywall screws because that's what I had lying around.
 
2011-12-09 02:38:30 PM  

Shazam999: Aidan: Happy Hours: Hah - I bought a couple bar chairs at Big Lots...

Ah, Big Lots. If you glance upthread, you can see me biatching about Broyhill. Their stuff looks FANTASTIC, but is utter shiat. And that's what Big Lots carries. Sigh.

lolwut? Broyhill makes great stuff. What makes it utter shiat?


I don't know if it's changed over the years or what, but the Broyhill stuff that Big Lots carries is very nice looking... But it's all very flimsy panelling, not strongly put together. Veneers only... We ended up with a kitchen table that looks like hell - originally $1800 according to the price tag... For 1800 I expect something that doesn't sag in the middle, that doesn't chip the veneer at the edges, nor take impossible to remove scratches.

When I looked at a... sort of a vanity slash dresser thing? it was the same. Veneer, no protection at the edges, inside was a minimum of bracing elements for that veneer or panelling and already some damage at the edges (although it was a Big Lots, so that might have been shipping damage?). The ornamentation looked fairly well put on, but the hinges and shelving seemed structurally unsound. Very little extra engineering involved.

In short, I love the Broyhill look, which is amazing considering I hate most furniture styles, but their quality is unspeakably shoddy for the prices I was seeing.
 
2011-12-09 02:41:30 PM  

Lollipop165: RexTalionis: Lollipop165: I realize that Ikea won't last forever. But for $800 I can get a cute dining room set that will last 8 years ($100/year) which I can update rather than spend $6,000 on a dining room set (that's the cheapest offered at Ethan Allen) that will need to be "classic" so that it can stay much longer (60 years) to equal the value. I'm not living for another 60 years and I'd rather "hand down", say, jewelery than a table.

Bob's Discount Furniture? I'm sure there should be one local to you.

I have a black lounge chair in the "cocktail/bar area" of my apt from there that isn't comfortable but looks nice... but otherwise their quality is the same as Ikea. I remember they used to be VERY gawdy; I'm happy that it looks like they've toned down their gawdiness a bit since they started selling online.

IMHO, mixing and matching different companies works best for me so no one company sticks out.


Not for me, my apartment looks like a mishmash of cheap target assemble-it-yourself furniture, Ikea, beat-up ancient coffee tables, and a folding dining table that probably came from Walmart.
 
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