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Selecting Case Goods

casegoodsCase goods (also known as hard goods) are furniture items mainly made from wood such as tables, chests, chairs, desks, dressers, armoires, etc. However, case goods can also incorporate other “hard” items such as hard plastic, wrought iron and brass and other metals, and glass and marble for table tops, etc.

When you are shopping for case goods, there are a number of different types of woods to select from. They are classified into hard woods (such as cherry, mahogany, maple, birch and oak), soft woods (such as pine, cedar and fir) and wood products (such as plywood, particle board, etc.). When selecting wood furnishings, it is helpful to be familiar with the construction method used and to be aware of the long term durability of the product.

Some things to look for when selecting well constructed and durable furniture are:

1. How sturdy is the item? (Put your hand on the edge of the item and press up and down – does the item wobble or does it stand firm?)

2. How are the pieces joined together and is a strong joint used? (A strong joint would be a dowel joint, a mortise and tenon joint, or a tongue and groove joint, but not a butt joint.)

3. Does the wood grain match up where it should?

4. Do drawers and doors open easily and properly?

5. Is the piece finished off nicely? (For example, is any stain evenly applied?)

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