Southeast Michigan Woodworkers

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 Post subject: Local furniture makers?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:38 am 
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Elite

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:07 am
Posts: 733
Location: Dearborn, MI
Good morning.

My wife is looking for a couple of dressers sizes appropriately for younger kids, maybe 3-4' wide. I'd like to support local business if the price isn't out of reach. Any suggestions on local makers? Or even a larger maker of solid furniture that will last?

And don't tell me to build it!

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:06 am 
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Obsessed

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:53 pm
Posts: 6711
Location: Monroe
Not completely local but we've bought a decent amount of Amish made stuff in NE Ohio including some things that we bought because it was exactly what we wanted and I couldn't buy the materials for what they wanted. Many of the real Amish places, on farms, not the fancier showrooms, will customize pieces. There are some delivery services that run sporadically to our area but its manageable as a day trip to pick stuff up.

There's a place here in Monroe that buys from several of the places down there (I've seen their truck picking up down there) and has numerous catalogs if they don't have something in the showroom. More expensive than dealing direct but more convenient.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:14 am 
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Elite

Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:06 am
Posts: 1107
Location: Trenton, Michigan
The White Furniture store in Wyandotte is now carrying Amish furniture. A well respected store downriver.
Steve.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:22 am 
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Elite

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:07 am
Posts: 733
Location: Dearborn, MI
I'll check out both -- thanks, guys. Matt -- what's the name of the place in NE Ohio? My brother is in Cleveland and could check it out for me.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:55 pm 
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Elite

Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:06 am
Posts: 1107
Location: Trenton, Michigan
For direct Amish, I have been to Shipshewana couple times and seen real nice stuff. In the downtown they have a multi-floor store for furniture and there are a number of places in the general area. It is south of Kalamazoo and not far into Indiana. I've found the best way is I-75 or US-23 down to I-80/I-90, then west.

Below is one of them.
http://www.weaverfurnituresales.com/Chi ... iture.aspx

Steve.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:00 pm 
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Master

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:09 am
Posts: 170
Location: Ypsilanti
Come on. The question was local furniture makers.
Is there really no one?
I've gotten away from custom work with rare exception, but surely...


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:01 pm 
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Elite

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 1:04 am
Posts: 312
Location: Howell
[quote="Mitch Bray"]Come on. The question was local furniture makers.
Is there really no one?



Local to SE Mich
JT Nicholas
517-304-5349
Howell, MI

_________________
American Heritage Lumber Company:
Providing reclaimed, vintage lumber. Various species available, including R. & W. Oak, White Pine, SYP, Beech, Heart Pine and more. Inventories change routinely, contact us today for your specific needs.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:10 pm 
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Master

Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:36 am
Posts: 107
That's kind of what I was thinking Mitch, my impression was someone in the club (local). If your looking at price I guess the Amish are the way to go. I have made bedroom furniture, all depends on what you want paint grade or stain grade?

You can see some of my work on Facebook /Luick Woodworking LLC

Located in Dexter

Mark


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:58 am 
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Elite

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:07 am
Posts: 733
Location: Dearborn, MI
Thanks for the ideas. Hiring a club member was certainly on the table so I'm in touch with Mark to build what we need. Looking forward to it!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:13 am 
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Apprentice

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:41 am
Posts: 28
Location: Adrian, MI
Zayd - Thank you for considering purchasing from a local craftsman and a club member.
I am SHOCKED that members of a woodworking club would recommend amish furniture. Are We not supposed to promote each other? Some of us woodworkers are working our asses of to make a living in the woodworking field. It is not just a hobby to some of us. This is disturbing to me. Commercial Amish furniture is all Mass Produced on a CNC machine, and it all looks exactly the same. Whomever suggested to buy amish furniture should be ashamed of themselves.
Zayd - Again Thank you. If you still need a price quote contact me - I will not personally be able to take the commission, but i have several members of our shop that are highly skilled and highly capable, and eager to make this. We are a network of woodworkers that promote each other using the motto "A rising tide lifts all ships."


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:07 am 
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Obsessed

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:53 pm
Posts: 6711
Location: Monroe
zayd wrote:
I'll check out both -- thanks, guys. Matt -- what's the name of the place in NE Ohio? My brother is in Cleveland and could check it out for me.


Sorry, missed this. There are literally dozens and dozens of small furniture shops along the backroads of Holmes and Wayne County. Basically south of Kidron, east of Millersburg, west of Walnut Creek south to about Charm or even a little further. Along the main highways there are numerous more commercial stores (hint, if they have a URL, they probably aren't what you are looking for) but the places along the backroads are going to be the family-run operations. These you are basically pulling down their driveway and going in one of their barns. Often those you'll find a small shop on site specializing in one thing like beds or dining chairs but they'll carry pieces from others too. When we go down there we'll usually leave on a Friday morning and get down there around lunch time. That gives us the afternoon on Friday and all day Saturday to drive around. Virtually everything is closed on Sunday. You'd find a variety of style and material as well, not just the traditional "amish oak" styles. The smaller places can often customize as well.

Over the years it has gotten a lot more commercial. You now see a lot of places specializing in various operations such as a finishing shop, a planing shop, etc and some small-scale factories. There's a lot more big furniture stores selling stuff of dubious origin. Yes they use power tools and even automation in the bigger operations. The smaller ones will often be running everything off compressed air or hydraulics. There's numerous sects each with different rules. Some, for business purposes, are pretty modern. Most of the construction is pretty similar to what most hobby woodworkers do. You won't find Bill Wells quality, but if you walked through my house I'd probably have to tell you which pieces we bought and which I made even if you start examining details.

This is the place we bought our bed. They had pretty much exactly what my wife and I envisioned me making. I don't remember the exact cost, but the cost plus a second trip back including a hotel room to pick it up was comparable to what I estimated for materials.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Berli ... 81.7941315

Mark is a really nice guy and would do great by you as well if custom is what you are after and it fits the budget.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:08 pm 
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Newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:00 am
Posts: 10
This is somewhat related:

My hardwood supplier of 30 years suffered a devastating fire at his Amish sawmill 7 weeks ago in Millersburg, Ohio. Mike Kaufman of Kaufmans lumber is not sure if he can rebuild. The Amish generally do not carry insurance and a business like Kaufman Lumber is not generally subject to the communal "barn raising".

Mike would pick highly figured walnut shorts for me at amazingly low prices.


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