It used to be that teak garden furniture was a luxury item. Not anymore. There’s a glut of cheap teak on the market, all imported from the Far East. People buying these are overjoyed at first that they can get something so special for so little. They are of course, quite dismayed after a while when they see that their new purchase just doesn’t behave the way they’ve always known teak to behave.
They come back to the store with complaints about warping, cracking, and even rotting furniture sometimes. Of course, this can happen if you just look at the label and believe what they tell you. It isn’t enough just to have it be “teak” garden furniture. You have to know something about the process they’ve used in the manufacture.
Should you choose machine made furniture or handmade when you buy teak garden furniture? More to the point, should you buy furniture that is only partly made on machines?
It might surprise you to learn that it’s the machine made stuff that is more expensive – roughly twice as expensive as the handmade variety. Machine made furniture requires capital investment of course, and a good bit of training and quality control. All of this costs money. Machine made furniture is stronger because when they glue wooden parts together, machines are able to press parts together to offer total high pressure contact over the glued area. It’s difficult to do this by hand. When they make joints on a machine, the joints fit perfectly. When are made by hand, they have to often make do with an approximate fit.
It isn’t even good if it’s partly made on machines. That only means that they use things like drills and power saws. Continue reading