$ Rescued from a hack, a fine Oak Mission couch/chair , enjoy it now with a full 5 year warranty
We all fall into that trap. Call a tradesman, supply your specs for the job, and ask for a quote. The quote seems good, and you discuss it with them, and all seems on the up and up, and you are left with a feeling you’ve handed it to a professional.
Yup, we’ve all been there, then woken up to find ourselves in a nightmare.
Here’s my story.
I had a lovely mission oak setee and armchair. They needed to be reglued, finished, and reupholstered. This set here.
Since I’m always very busy here, thought I could use some help to get this couch done…. so I dug up this guy on Kijiji.
Ok, we met, we chatted. He sounded serious enough, and looked like he would know what he was doing. Generally I like to have work done here in our spacious shop, at least till I’m comfortable with the workmanship… but in this case he mentioned that it was best, for personal reasons, to work out of his home. I understood and agreed.
He pointed to his other work in past… and I noted that he had various articles up for sale on kijiji now…. so went along with him on the plan.
Looks legit enough eh? I mean, i’ve been in this biz for over 30 years, done and seen it all…. I couldnt’ get fooled, could I ?
Tthe job was simple. To reglue and sand down the couch and chair ready for finish and upholstery. Can’t get any simpler. His quote was very reasonable, only $140.00 and he would pickup and deliver back. I was very pleased and hopeful of getting a good job done and this couch on the shop floor asap.
A couple of days before Christmas ( yup, guess he could use the christmas cash, I guess ) I got a call that the couch was ready and could he deliver now? I said sure.
To my surprise this is what I got. the couch returned here, looking WORSE than when he first got it. Note the pictures, arrows, and circles and ovals indicate shoddy workmanship or errors or job not done. He scored a big 0 on a scale of 1 to 10 for workmanship. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such a shoddy job done in my entire 30+ year career with antique furniture.
I’ll let the pictures tell the story.
What to do now? I asked. He stood around telling me how he had pre-tested the couch and it looked OK when he finished. He was standing on it, with the large gaps in the frame showing, indicating how he tested saying “see it held together when I tested it like this”. I was dumbfounded.
In my apprenticeship such a job would have relegated me back to the floor sweeping day 1 scenario again from my mentor. We stood there for a few moments, and I understood he wanted to get paid for the job. I felt sorry for him and his situation so I forked over $70 and said “at least you sanded down the frame”. I should have looked closer, eh? Even the sanding scored a fat 0 in quality.
When he left with his $70 cheque… I asked whether he would be available for other work if I required. He said “Yes”. I guess he didn’t get the sarcasm intended, really.
I was trained, and have a personal commitment, to doing jobs right. And if not right the first time, to “make it right” (as Holmes would say) before handing it back to the customer. This guy went to another school, it seems 🙁
Needless to say, I had to tear apart the couch again, and the chair, reglue everything, ensuring all parts rebuilt and new dowels in place so a proper result could be attained. I then handed the couch to my upholsterer to recover in a nice chocolate brown leather seat and here’s the result.
THIS JOB now carries a full 5 year warranty on materials and parts! Why? because it was done fully in-house, with proper materials, techniques, and quality control.
You can purchase this now on our website, or come in person to check out this fabulous Mission Oak quartersawn set. It’s only $1100, and carries a rich history with it (now). 🙂