Creating Discount Home Decor for Your Budget
Buying Rugs on Sale
How to Buy Sale Furniture
How to Buy Used Furniture on Sale
Secrets to Find Kitchen Displays for Sale
Finding Your Sale Carpet
How to Buy Used Furniture
There is a gamut of things to consider
when you go to buy furniture that is pre-owned. These have mainly to
do with quality and the condition and being able to recognize you are
getting a decent shake. Much will depend on your budget but before
even leting price into the equation, look at:
- Makeup of Wood vs. Particle Board/Fiberboard and Veneers.
Clearly there is no substiture for authentic, solid wood. This
is a major benefit in buying used, your chances of getting the real
tend to leap,
which is also inherent with price. While used furniture orginating
from later years has been made from particle board. As a precaution
though when determining whether
has been used is always not so obvious, give some of the more artful
reproduction techniques that have evolved in furniture manufacturing.
The less desired, particle board construction,
the lower end of the market, might be indicated by a bubbling on the
surface, signs of exposure to conditions of high
water. In more severe cases resulting in swelling.
Too, the density of particleboard tends to loosen around screw holds
and points of stress. When the composition of the underlying wood
or board is not so obvious, check
for yourself the
ends (remove the shelfs to see) and
Although having attained such common and widespread usage, particle
board does offer some environmental benefits like for material recovery,
and economies .
of this furniture
relies on the quality of the outer laminate and the production
methods of adhesion of this layer -- true laminates offer improved
troublesome -- both are difficult to repair.
The fiberboards are another material to look out for
when buying used furniture. These are pressure treated amalgamations
of sawdust and wood chips.
Referred to as MDF - medium density fiberboard and HDF -
high density fiberboard, fiberboard composites are typical among visually
accessible panels; notorious at
rear bookcases, etc.
Veneers, these slim wood layers, are a somewhat
happy medium between the laminates and real wood. They help preserve
they are not as repairable as real wood.
Whatever the type of wood/artificial substiture, view all resting
places on the furniture being considered and elsewhere, for common
wear and abuse patterns, marks, or hopefully a pleasant surprise.
- Joinery - dovetail joints are the sturdiest
available but mitres (angular perimeter cuts) and mortise
and tenon joints (chiseling hollow or cutting through) all
reveal quality craftmanship. Economical solutions rely on securing
cams, by direct screws & straight glueing.
- Slide Tracks & Drawers - expect
older tracks like for the drawers to be rudimentary, providing rougher
operation than metal and plastic rollers. Tracks that slide on bearings
glide freely and endow long life when is noticable on every slide
-- operate all doors and drawers for yourself.
- Hinges & Door Hardware - doors should swivel
on a smooth course without hints of bumping. Any
hinges or hardware, in need of replacing, might be available at
centers like Home Depot who carries a limited range of such hardware.
For refined searches, check your cities builders hardware. The
and drawer pulls are the simplest part to modify, buying new ones can
assimilate a questionable piece of furntiure into your existing decor. If
you are not confident that a permantly mounted hinge that is conspicuously
morticed into the wood, cannot be matched, don't buy the furniture.
- Legs/Cross Bracing - Grab each of
the legs and braces and check for fit that should be
firm and without wobble. If it does wobble though be aware that this
isn't necessarily a downfall for an aged piece, however.
the skills of the local furniture shop, or, if you are confident
skills; gently knock the component pieces apart, clean out and sand
the post/recess areas the come in contact with the failed glue bond
-- and then reassemple with quality wood glue like Titebond, securing
with cloth web clamps.
Normally a specialized request for other stores,
the cloth clamps are available at Rocklers Woodworking (an indespensible
resource for furniture repair) and are reliable tough nylon, a cinch
to tighten and loosen, and these handy straps have corner guides
through which to distribute the hold. They
are reasonably priced at $6.99 each when on sale and extend to 15'
lengths, making them suited for larger cabinets and dressers as well
- Legs that are corner blocked preferred.
- Fabric/Upholstery - the removable covers are best,
zippered for the cushions. Set in the seat, lay your arms about
the handrails. Test the firmess that it meets to your liking;
there should be a consistency of firmness. Search for signs
of internal support
extending springs or slats underneath.
- Framing - kiln-dried hardwood is optimal. The
amounts paid should be set for softer woods accordingly.
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