The Wood Whisperer: To Build or Buy?


Cost, time and a spouse’s patience help determine the course of action.
By Marc Spagnuolo
Pages: 24-25

From the November 2009 issue #179
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It’s a dilemma nearly every woodworker must face. Whether you are a weekend warrior or a woodworking pro, eventually you will ask yourself, “Should I build or buy?” I know for many, the thought of building their own furniture was the reason for getting into woodworking in the first place, and buying furniture is borderline sacrilegious. But we need to be realistic. We simply cannot build everything. For the pros, time is money and working on a personal project means one less commission for a client. And for you hobbyists, well, you barely get enough shop time as it is. But building things for our own homes is really at the heart of what we do. The need to surround ourselves with our own creations is natural, instinctive and very important to us. But things such as immediate gratification and cost are always there to confuse the decision-making process. There has to be a better way!

That’s the thought that ran through my head as my wife and I pondered the furniture (or lack thereof) in our new house. Here’s a small sampling of some of the things we need: a kitchen table and chairs, entertainment centers for both the family room and bedroom, office furniture, a coffee table, a closet organizer and a new bedroom set.


From the November 2009 issue #179
Buy this issue now