The Roaming Woodworker – Home Goods

Article - February 19, 2009

If you guys are anything like me, woodworking is nearly always on your mind. Even when you’re out shopping or at dinner, you just can’t help but observe the woodwork that surrounds you. I even go to the extent of photographing things with my phone if I find them particularly inspiring, or funny, as the case may be. So I decided to start a new series of posts titled The Roaming Woodworker. There is no particular goal with this series, other than to share some of my observations. If we can get inspired or learn a lesson along the way, all the better!

Recently, Nicole and I took a little trip to Home Goods. “Quality brands at discount prices!” or some crap like that. As I followed exactly 3 paces behind Nicole, sipping my Dr. Pepper and enjoying a nice day dream, I began to notice a number of furniture pieces that caught my eye. Most of the pieces were painted MDF (snore), but there were a few noteworthy things.

The first thing I saw was this cutting board/prep table made from a double layered glue up. Those are very lovely cracks. Wonder if they charge extra for that design feature? Notice that all cracks originate from the glue joints. Most times when I see a cutting board crack, it occurs along some weak point in the wood and NOT on the glue joint. Also notice the wide open pores in that wood? Salmonella anyone?

I thought this was a pretty neat chair. It’s almost like the body was made from wooden Legos. I would be interested to see the glueup strategy that results in a design like that. Or maybe someone just glued it up one little piece at a time? haha!

Something like this always amazes me. A nice chest of drawers with serpentine drawer fronts and a nice paint job. If I remember correctly, the price on this guy was $200. Can you imagine making that for only $200?? I couldn’t! There would be a significant amount of labor in the drawers, let alone creating the nifty bubbled finish. That’s the power of the manufacturing process I suppose. Inferior materials or not, its still pretty amazing.

Not much to say about this one. I just really like the curves. The top, the drawer, and even the doors follow the same curved profile. Pretty.

Now THAT’S a butcher block!! And not just any butcher block either. A genuine Boos Block! I was actually very surprised to see this monster sitting there. If you’re not familiar with Boos Blocks, they are pretty much the standard in butcher blocks. Watch just about any show on the Food Network and you’ll see their boards in use. The $999 price tag actually seems pretty good since this style block runs about $1599 on the John Boos website.

This is one of those pieces that I like to stare at for a few minutes and ask myself, “How would I make that?” I don’t necessarily like the blunt and over-emphasized upturn of the top, but its fun to contemplate the construction challenges. Boy that top reminds me of something……..but I just can’t put my finger on it. :)