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Old 04-10-2011, 10:16 PM
Neo Neo is offline
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Default Pinewood / Palochina Furniture


Hi guys,

Can I ask for some advice and information? I am actually a bit embarrass asking this.

I bought a house from a village developer, and it is currently being built. My budget is a bit tight as I would soon have it renovated after the unit is turned-over to me (e.g. security fence/gate, tiles, etc) which would cost me at least PHP200,000.

This would leave me with a very limited budget for the furnishings. I would really love to have solid wood furniture like mahogany. I really love to see the natural grain of solid wood.

I've been to some furniture manufacturers and I really couldn't afford them right now.

But then I always see pinewood/palochina furniture near the roadside. There are 3 shops near my place. One shop seems good based on the pieces I've seen, the constant arrivals of customers, and the number of carpenters working on different projects. Some look like IKEA pieces as I brought an IKEA magazine/catalog with me and showed it to the senior carpenter.

I know that they rarely use dovetails and dowels in joints. They mostly use nails. I've tried the pieces they have ready for delivery to/pickup by customers. Surprisingly, at least to me, they seem to be stronger and less wobbly than the Malayasian rubberwood furniture I've tried at SM. They also treat the wood.

Their prices for their usual design (last price):
Sofa Bed - PHP2,500
Queen-size Bed with Headboard - PHP3,000
6-seater Dining Set - PHP4,000
Double Deck Bed with Ladder (36" x 75") - PHP3,000
Single 36" x 75" Bed with Headboard - PHP1,400
Sala Set (3-1-1) with Coffee Table - PHP4,500

I can have my pieces customized. I just have to submit my designs. There would also be more support and reinforcement in my designs (e.g. a 6-legged sofa or bed instead of 4, at no additional cost). All the mattresses, foams, I'd be ordering direct from Uratex, and I'd be doing the covers and upholstery.

The only issue is that the surface, though quite smooth when not yet stained/varnished, becomes a bit rough when finished.

My next option is to have customized unstained pieces, and I'd be doing the finishing myself. The quoted prices would be less PHP200-300 per set.

These would be interim furniture only, and I would replace them one at a time with the pieces I really like as soon as I have the funds. I just want my house to be presentable with solid wood furniture and not look empty for the house blessing and reunion.

I also consider them my "green furniture" as they are made of recycled wood from wooden crates.

My question is, would this be a good idea? I could have solid wood furniture pieces for less than PHP20,000 (which is just a Malaysian rubberwood bedframe at SM). And with my customized designs and accompanying fabric pieces, these would not look as inexpensive as their price.

Also, I've never done prepping and staining furniture. What is the best way of doing the finishing?

Thanks and more power,
Neo

Last edited by Neo; 04-10-2011 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:40 AM
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jarod jarod is offline
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Default Re: Pinewood / Palochina Furniture

If you could make sure of the durability of the items even after the blessing and reunion by having them restrengthen the pieces, I think it would be more practical to acquire them and just change them one by one as you get the funds.

Or you may buy the hardwood furniture that you need for the blessing and reunion and just buy the other ones afterwards. At least your house looks great by then without them knowing that you sleep on the floor

Been there, done that
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:26 AM
joey81 joey81 is online now
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Default Re: Pinewood / Palochina Furniture

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Been there, done that
After 10 years, still doing that. Hopefully things will change in the next couple of months, with help from PHM.

BTW, very sound advice, Kuya Jarod. The first option gets my vote.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:24 AM
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jarod jarod is offline
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Default Re: Pinewood / Palochina Furniture

Might also be good to post some sample works if you can Neo as I am also very interested specially on the wood as I get a hard time looking for bigger and cleaner pieces from the Pier.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:11 PM
Neo Neo is offline
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Default Re: Pinewood / Palochina Furniture

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Originally Posted by jarod View Post
If you could make sure of the durability of the items even after the blessing and reunion by having them restrengthen the pieces, I think it would be more practical to acquire them and just change them one by one as you get the funds.

Or you may buy the hardwood furniture that you need for the blessing and reunion and just buy the other ones afterwards. At least your house looks great by then without them knowing that you sleep on the floor

Been there, done that
Yes, Sirs Jarod/Joey81. That is actually my plan. Replace them one at a time as funds become available.

As to the second suggestion, that would not be possible. As our reunion is a 2-day affair where all family members sleep over at the host's house. And the kids even stay longer. Actually, the kids (3rd generation) have seen the model unit already, and have already expressed that they want to sleep over and stay frequently, once my house is finished.

Strengthening the pieces is actually my priority. And my designs would be unlike the conventional ones that the shop sells. It would be more functional and can be modernized.

I guess I just have to know how to prep and stain these pieces, and I would be needing your advice how to do it. I'm thinking of oak/dark oak stain. Or wenge, but the grain may not be very visible. Any advice on this?

Thanks again.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:11 PM
Neo Neo is offline
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Default Re: Pinewood / Palochina Furniture

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Might also be good to post some sample works if you can Neo as I am also very interested specially on the wood as I get a hard time looking for bigger and cleaner pieces from the Pier.
I will try to upload the pieces I've seen at the shop, Sir Jarod. They are the more conventional ones. Not really to my liking. The shop cannot do curved wood (I dunno the exact term). So I'd make sure that my designs would be based on what they can do, and on the available sizes of wood they get. Mostly straight lines.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:42 PM
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jarod jarod is offline
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Default Re: Pinewood / Palochina Furniture

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...but the grain may not be very visible. Any advice on this?
Best thing is to get a scrap and try.

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Originally Posted by Neo View Post
I will try to upload the pieces I've seen at the shop, Sir Jarod. They are the more conventional ones. Not really to my liking. The shop cannot do curved wood (I dunno the exact term). So I'd make sure that my designs would be based on what they can do, and on the available sizes of wood they get. Mostly straight lines.
With prices that cheap, get a simple piece that you could somewhat torture test at home to get the actual durability as the item incur everyday use.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:50 PM
Neo Neo is offline
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Default Re: Pinewood / Palochina Furniture

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Best thing is to get a scrap and try.

With prices that cheap, get a simple piece that you could somewhat torture test at home to get the actual durability as the item incur everyday use.
Nice suggestions, Sir Jarod. The shop uses Boysen wood stain. Is this good quality?

I might buy one of the chairs first.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:53 PM
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violaine violaine is offline
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Default Re: Pinewood / Palochina Furniture

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Mostly straight lines.
hindi ba yun ang gusto mo? ikea-like?

clean lines lang din ang gusto ko..a piece that is cheap to make, sturdy and functional.ikea that is.

it never actually occurred to me to make a secretary or a a queen anne one fine day.

i actually started it out on palo china...and papemelroti was a big influence.

btw..boysen has specific numbers on specific finishes..take the simple case of their sanding sealer..i think they have at least three types!

boysen stains are of good quality based on my experience but quite limited in terms of shades to choose from. of course i wouldnt recommend imported stains for a temporary furnishings as in your case.

what i do not like with pine is that they turn amber from light yellow in time...a sanding sealer serving years in hardware store shelves can yellow as well.so make sure you get the freshest stock.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:18 PM
balarila balarila is offline
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Default Re: Pinewood / Palochina Furniture

I have worked with Palo China for years making things from shelves to racks to a 75 gallon aquarium stand with cabinets. I love Palo China's blonde color and close grain with graceful curves of creamy mocha latte.

But working on (or buying furniture made of) PChina is challenging. I know of some people who bought dining tables, bric-a-bracs, bars, beds made of this crate wood. The furniture looked great the first year. Sometime within the2nd year, the joints loosen and putties come loose.

I ssume this deterioration is because the wood was never properly dried. Understandably so. The source wood was meant for crates.

My masterpiece was an aquarium stand with cabinets made of this wood. My aquarium is long gone and my cousin in law got the stand. The stand still stands (pardon the pun) today. Still looks good. But when you look at it closely, the joints all have gaps.

Palo China is also very soft. Little accidents can produce deep dents.

You mentioned that the vendor treats the wood. If, by that, you mean applying some coats of epoxy or polyurethane, the that would extend the palo China furniture's life a bit.

Having said all that, you mentioned that this will be your interim furniture. If interim is just a year (or two years on the outside), then, perhaps, Palo China is the way to go.
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