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Thread: Old Tech vs New Tech

  1. #121
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    I have a cupboard that is "Ikea quality", as in MDF instead of real wood, assembly in five minutes etc. Inherited - and originally bought in 1963. Repainted ten years ago. Looks in perfect shape, save for one or two spots that i should really slap some paint on some time.

  2. #122
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Count yourself lucky! That seems like an outlier compared to similar products from my sample of families. I definitley am in the slow process of eliminating the MDF where possible.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  3. #123
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Remember that the hard wood/pine furniture and the MDF furniture are designed/targeted towards different people.

    That dresser that your parents bought when you were 8 cost way more than the MDF stuff your wife got at 25.

    If you plan to stay at one location or maybe move every 15 years then the hard wood stuff is the way to go.

    But, like when I was in the Corps. I moved every 3-4 years on average. Fine furniture moving cross country gets dinged, scratched and loosens up. Not worth the investment.
    Also have to look at what pieces you re buying. The entertainment center from 1990 will have to either be re-purposed or its useless.

    Adult bedroom furniture is worth the added expense,if you can afford it.China cabinets and maybe the dining room table are worth the added expense.

    Most other stuff isn't. They will get replaced every 5-10 years in the average household. That's where Ikea comes in.

    As a society, we have moved past handing down grandpas favorite rocking chair
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  4. #124
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    True, true. If you're intending to move a lot or are otherwise cash-strapped, the MDF is the preferred option. It's also substantially easier to transport than bulky heavy furniture. Though in those cases I am going to stick with minimal furniture and minimal crap in general. I'll take something more substantial in the house.

    But that might not be a majority opinion...the IL Ikeas are packed with a LOT of settled couples and families, and located in some decently high-income areas. I got pulled in there recently because my wife's friend wanted some "quality" furniture. No idea why, because she has disposable income coming out of her ears and has no plans to move. At that point I'd be doing a tasteful bachelor pad condo with a small number of high-quality things, not filling up an entire 2400 sq. ft house with MDF because reasons.

    Actually that might be part of the problem: buying a huge house and feeling the need to fill it up with tons of furniture that I need RIGHT NOW and need to get for cheap. I know that's how ended up with a lot of the stuff I'd rather get rid of.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  5. #125
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    Part of the problem is also availability. I already have to drive 30 minutes to the next Ikea (or 45 minutes to reach two others...).

    Offhand, within the same distance from me (say 15-20 miles) there's about:
    - one upper-range portfolio place where they don't have qualms about openly displaying five-digit pricetags (got a free MP3 player though with my last purchase there almost 15 years ago...)
    - one place with a mid-range portfolio, i.e. higher than Ikea (got quite some stuff from there, and yes, it's MDF)
    - one mid-range place that i've never been to because it'd be on the other side of the mountain which is 45 minutes by car during rush hour (... or 10 minutes by train)
    - one mid-range place that people boycott due to how they treat their employees
    - one place only selling massive wood in a style not exactly what i'd want in my flat
    - five places with a rather low-end portfolio (as in, it'll probably fall apart right after assembly)
    - about five companies that do custom furniture design and inhouse production (for the appropriate prices)
    - five or so DIY stores which do have limited selection on furniture

  6. #126
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    That might be a thing. I'm definitley not in a retail space drought near me. We've got way too many freakin' furinture stores. You'd have to pass up each of the department stores, too.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  7. #127
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    I'd only go to IKEA for Swedish meatballs and lingonberry juice, and the selection of Swedish foods up at the front of the store.

    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    I got pulled in there recently because my wife's friend wanted some "quality" furniture. No idea why, because she has disposable income coming out of her ears and has no plans to move. At that point I'd be doing a tasteful bachelor pad condo with a small number of high-quality things, not filling up an entire 2400 sq. ft house with MDF because reasons.
    If she thinks particle board furniture made of sawdust held together by glue, extruded by a machine, with veneers glued on the sides is "quality", she doesn't know what quality is.

    But then again, I think two McDoubles, bottom buns removed, then slapped together to form a McQuad is a quality burger. So maybe I shouldn't talk.

    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    College student stuff is great second-hand for the bachelor lifestyle, but good god that stuff is crap for us married suburban couples. Dishware and silverware, fine: we had close to 80 pilfered dishes and something like 200 forks/knives/spoons. But the minifridges, cutting boards, chef's knives, dressers? I'd pitch all that. My clothes dresser I've had since I was 8 has held up better than the IKEA shit my wife got when she was 25.
    Well, I'm a forever bachelor, so that second-hand college student stuff ought to be forever good.

    How'd you end up with 200 fork/knives/spoons?
    Last edited by Ironduke; 25 Jun 18, at 18:08.
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  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    If she thinks particle board furniture made of sawdust held together by glue, extruded by a machine, with veneers glued on the sides is "quality", she doesn't know what quality is.
    It's the Chicken McNuggets of furniture, to stay with the metaphor...

    They cancelled the McDouble over here btw because it was apparently cutting into their profit margin - people were buying it instead of the twice-as-pricey regular "large" burgers. They replaced it with a DoubleCheeseburger, which is basically a McDouble with an extra cheese slice - and a price that's one-third higher (which is exactly at the point where your McQuad would cost more than any other burger at McD here, while at the old McDouble price two came for the price of e.g. a quarter-pounder w/cheese Big Mac...).

  9. #129
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    It's the Chicken McNuggets of furniture, to stay with the metaphor...

    They cancelled the McDouble over here btw because it was apparently cutting into their profit margin - people were buying it instead of the twice-as-pricey regular "large" burgers. They replaced it with a DoubleCheeseburger, which is basically a McDouble with an extra cheese slice - and a price that's one-third higher (which is exactly at the point where your McQuad would cost more than any other burger at McD here, while at the old McDouble price two came for the price of e.g. a quarter-pounder w/cheese Big Mac...).
    I think the problem with the profitability of things like the McDouble lies with people like me. It seems McDonald's at least had the expectation people would buy fries and a soda with their dollar menu burger. I never do. I don't see the value in forking over a few extra dollars for $0.03 worth of deep fried potatoes and $0.05 worth of syrup blended with carbonated water. Besides, they're empty calories with no nutritive value. I'd get two or three McDoubles by themselves and nothing else. If you're going to eat cheap and eat McDonald's, that's the best value for the money.

    It used to be the Double Cheeseburger (double meat, double cheese) was $1. Then because of rising costs and lack of profit, this was reduced by one slice of cheese to create the McDouble for $1. Now, McDoubles are $1.49 and Double Cheeseburgers are $1.99. The McDoubles are still a fair value, but I really like it when McDonald's runs its two for $2 promotions. Then, I can get my McDoubles for the old price of $1 each.

    I think Wendy's has got it figured out a little bit better with their 4 for $4 deal. Burger, chicken nuggets or chili, soda, and fries for $4. They might be losing money on the burger, but the rest of the items in the 4 for $4 deal all have a healthy profit margin.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 25 Jun 18, at 19:33.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

  10. #130
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    I'd only go to IKEA for Swedish meatballs and lingonberry juice, and the selection of Swedish foods up at the front of the store.


    If she thinks particle board furniture made of sawdust held together by glue, extruded by a machine, with veneers glued on the sides is "quality", she doesn't know what quality is.

    But then again, I think two McDoubles, bottom buns removed, then slapped together to form a McQuad is a quality burger. So maybe I shouldn't talk.


    Well, I'm a forever bachelor, so that second-hand college student stuff ought to be forever good.

    How'd you end up with 200 fork/knives/spoons?
    200 spoons come from my wife's college days. Random purchases and gifts, dining hall accumulations, people bringing them over and not taking them back, roommates who didn't take their stuff back.

    We had new silverware when we got married, so all of the old spoons and stuff were donated to younger siblings. Same with plates/bowls. Now, if only they will buy food...
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  11. #131
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    Actually that might be part of the problem: buying a huge house and feeling the need to fill it up with tons of furniture that I need RIGHT NOW and need to get for cheap. I know that's how ended up with a lot of the stuff I'd rather get rid of.
    I think nowadays people are buying a few rooms too big. Lots of rooms in these suburban homes never get used. I notice most dining rooms never get used, people instead eat at a smaller table in the kitchen. There's usually a living room and a family room, but the living room never gets used. Sometimes there's a guest room, again, rarely used. Dishwashers are often used as an extra cupboard, which kind of defeats the purpose of buying one in the first place. The basement is too big, and gets filled with things such as home theaters and pool tables.

    Why anyone would want a pool table when there's perfectly good pool tables at the bar, is beyond me.

    It doesn't really make sense why people would buy a house, half of which goes almost wholly unused. One has to pay more on their mortgage for all that extra house, pay extra in utilities to heat and cool the rooms, pay extra property taxes, and pay extra to furnish these unused/seldom used rooms.

    Then there's this tendency to accumulate massive amounts of possessions, many of which are stored in the garage, meanwhile, many people have to park in the driveway because all three or four stalls in their garage are jam-packed with possessions that go unused.

    As a bachelor, I'd rather own a condo than a house, and if I were to buy a house, it would be a small, cozy one in the city. My ultimate preference is, of course, not to own real estate at all though. At least not until I'm in my 50s. Then pay cash, and either build it myself or purchase only what I need, not a square foot more, and keep it sparse and spartan.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 25 Jun 18, at 23:19.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

  12. #132
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    I did the cheap Badcock furniture thing, the nearest Ikea store is in J-ville (270 miles). Prices are comparable

    I bought a curio cabinet for my models. Real wood one's started $1,100. Me buying the oak , ordering the glass, and building it myself was around $750. The cheap MDF one was $325.

    I wanted to keep dust off the models. My models are not award winning display things. Its going in my model room.
    And when we move I will probably take the glass, throw away the shell and build one later.
    Last edited by Gun Grape; 25 Jun 18, at 23:30.
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  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    I notice most dining rooms never get used, people instead eat at a smaller table in the kitchen. There's usually a living room and a family room, but the living room never gets used.
    Last single-family detached-home suburban-life house ad i looked at had a combined wall-less ground floor combined single room (!) with kitchen / dining / living room / lounge sections that was as big as my whole two-bedroom apartment. In every single house in that suburb. Seems to be the in thing over here these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    not a square foot more
    Problem we got here are the insanely rising rental prices. If you're sitting on an old rental contract you keep it. I mean, i could very well do with a room less. Say something nice and cozy, 400-450 square feet or so, one-and-a-half rooms plus a kitchen and bathroom... problem with that is that even if you can find something like that on the market it'll most likely be rented out to some college student at 2-3 Dollar per square feet. Who will then put it illegally on AirBnB for 40-50 bucks per night. Or the city picks it up and puts a family of 8 refugees in there. Or the mafia uses it as a registered residence for twenty or so Romanians.

  14. #134
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    "Addtional reinforcement needed" in addition to "some assembly required"! Not a ringing endorsement in my book!

    The furniture I need is in desperate need of a revarnish, and the dresser needs some new metal pieces, but the actual wood is in absolutely solid shape and the structural integrity is sound. Our various IKEA products are mostly in a worse state of repair, althought the wall mount thing is in good condition. Everything else is going to get tossed at some point (Except maybe the sofa table, because it sees minimal use.
    One thing I've noticed with IKEA furniture is that it doesn't do well with moisture. Seems to me the MDF panels gradually absorb moisture from the air over the years, and the boards tend to expand.

    I'd bought a desk, dresser, end table, and a three drawer cabinet from IKEA back in 2005. The desk didn't survive the first move. The dresser barely survived two, and the only thing holding it together were the drawers, which themselves were in such bad shape they'd slide off their tracks and were coming apart themselves. The end table and the three drawer cabinet survived just fine. Being smaller and more compact pieces probably had something to do with it.

    The best piece of furniture I ever had, I got from free off Craigslist when I first moved out to the DC area. A Navy officer had handmade a desk 30 years before. It had traveled the world with him at the Navy's expense to various places in Europe and Asia, and he only got rid of it because his wife had had their house repainted and the desk didn't match the new paint scheme. I figure he didn't want to go through the trouble of stripping the old paint off and re-painting it to make it match the new interior paint in their home.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 27 Jun 18, at 01:32.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

  15. #135
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    From what I understand, MDF and particle board in general both do really shittily when they are exposed to moisture. They are supposed to have water-proof finishes in most cases, but anything like that is going to decay with time. But you'll get moisture problems with solid wood, too.

    New bathroom fan means I don't have humidity problems in the bathroom anymore!

    Re: excess houses. Yeah. People buy way too much house, IMHO, though I don't think they realize it. My wife's friend has some 3000 sq ft monstrosity between her and her husband, and they complain about how they don't have enough space. What the hell?! How can you not have enough space? Plus people accumulate crap to fill things endlessly. Almost everyone I see with a basement has a basement that's in total disarray and used for general storage up the wazoo. We're reallllllly trying to avoid that in our crawlspace.

    The worst I've seen is my in-laws. They have a huge house, but the upstairs bedrooms are huge. That's all wasted space that you're paying to heat and cool. At least make huge walk-in-closets or something.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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