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Thread: John Buchanan Retiring - no more custom furniture

  1. #1
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    Default John Buchanan Retiring - no more custom furniture

    In my email this morning from John Buchanan:

    .....I have decided to discontinue making furniture, so will not be taking any more commissions for new furniture. After 46 years & a dismal market, I've had enough, so am going to do more hiking, fly fishing, and spending more time with my grandkids. Thank you for your business over the years.....


    For those of you that commissioned a piece by John, you have something special - he was the perfect balance of fine workmanship coupled with reasonable prices, and that is not easy to find. In my experience, there are not many woodworkers out there that give you that combination. There are plenty that tell you they can, but they fail to execute, either in form factor or finish. It takes a fine eye to know how to make the right dimension or curve when working off a photo or rough sketch. Thank you, John - it's been a pleasure and I will miss our conversations in the store when you brought pieces to me.

    I will not be sourcing another custom cabinetmaker, and John was the last of my Tiger (curly) Maple builders as well. FYI I still have half a dozen or so pieces from John in the store, including a very finely done tiger maple tea table and a flame cherry english butler style coffee table, as well as a cherry gateleg tea table. Get them while you can if you are interested, they will not be marked down.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    227

    Default Re: John Buchanan Retiring - no more custom furniture

    Sorry to hear that but a well deserved retirement I'm sure! I've loved some of the pictures of his work posted here and hoped to order something one day, but the needs and finances haven't aligned yet so I guess I've lost my chance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Oklahoma
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    Default Re: John Buchanan Retiring - no more custom furniture

    Duane,

    Although it is sad to see another master craftsman hang up his tools, I am happy for John that he will get to spend more time outdoors and with his grandkids. I am glad I had the opportunity to talk to him for a bit when I picked up my order a few years ago. If you get a chance, please thank John for encouraging me to get in touch with my roots (I never practiced carpentry even though the three generations before me were master carpenters).

    Although a talented apprentice easily surpasses my skill level, I have been working on the weekends on some interior projects. After John's encouragement, I did a lot of reading, and some trial and error, I am closing in on finishing my first carpentry project while having a lot of fun enjoying a new hobby. I also have found that old dogs can learn new tricks.

    I still some more painting to do before installing the shoe moulding at the base of the wainscoting.


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    13

    Default Re: John Buchanan Retiring - no more custom furniture

    Darn.. Do you have any resources or advice for locating someone who does good work?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: John Buchanan Retiring - no more custom furniture

    The Wainscoting looks great, Kevin, that's a fantastic way to get into woodworking as you don't have to have the precision with the painted wood items that you do with stained wood furniture, you can cover a few sins with paint. It looks great.

    I don't have a source for a custom cabinetmaker now, Alex, but if I were looking for one I'd go to Horton Brasses Facebook page - they supply the hardware to better furntiuremakers and run a contest for best work every month, then post it on their page. Then I'd check out some of the contest winners. See them here:

    https://www.facebook.com/HortonBrasses/

    Any woodworker who cares about his project is going to buy from Horton Brass in CT or Ball and Ball in PA, so you contact the hardware makers and they know who is good.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    29

    Default Re: John Buchanan Retiring - no more custom furniture

    I have always wanted a piece from John as well...

    Duane, do you still have the ottoman trays made by John? I'd love to have one if you do. if you don't, do you think you can ask John to make some as a last batch of souvenirs that he can make for his fans that didn't have the chance to own his pieces. The ottoman tray is very affordable, and still shows John's super craftsmanship.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: John Buchanan Retiring - no more custom furniture

    I still have several of John's pieces in the store, available for sale. Some of these are badly back-lighted, they look much better in person. I have appx a dozen of his items on the floor, here's the more interesting ones. Every one of these is hand-made, btw. Nothing is out-sourced (such as buying legs from a supplier, etc).

    While John says he's retiring no woodworker EVER sells their tools so I suspect if you were willing to pay a premium price to make it worth his while, you could have something made to your liking - though it may be very slow in coming. I'm speculating on this of course, but never say never.

    New England Tea Table - gorgeous board set, graceful, hand cut legs. Vibrant. This is the cream of the remaining items. $ 2,295 << SOLD 09/26/17

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    While you will look at the inlay, don't miss the handset antique glass from the 1800's, each one put in a water putty glaze in a separate mullion. Functional lock. $ 1,199 << SOLD 09/26/17

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    A nice, compact hanging wall cupboard for $ 990

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    This is easy to overlook to those not schooled in American Period Furniture. Note the balance on the piece, the deep skirt and heavier legs you don't normally see. It's perfectly proportioned. In Cherry. $ 999

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    Last edited by drcollie; 09-26-2017 at 12:45 PM.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  8. #8
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    Default Re: John Buchanan Retiring - no more custom furniture

    A couple more

    Flame Cherry - try to find a piece done in this lumber, this is a one-off. $ 1,199

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    I commissioned John to build this out of Albert Sack's book, in cherry, Wooden hinges on a REAL gateleg design, not faked in. $ 1,575

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    Last edited by drcollie; 09-22-2017 at 02:50 PM.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    681

    Default Re: John Buchanan Retiring - no more custom furniture

    For anybody thinking about this, I have a couple of Buchanan pieces in my house. They draw the attention of wordworkers like magnets -- people who know quality wordworking know how much skill and attention to detail goes into his work.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: John Buchanan Retiring - no more custom furniture

    John came by yesterday and brought me the final two pieces , and says he really is retiring. HOWEVER, he will always have his tools and says if someone wants to offer him an indecent amount of money to build something and can wait for up to a year to get it - he'll consider it. Mostly though, he's seriously done and has enough saved to live comfortably from here on out.

    By the way, if anyone is interested, this is where John bought all the wood for his projects. Chris Johnson has some of the best tiger maple in the business. if you are a serious wood working hobbyist, this is a good source, Chris is an honest guy.

    http://cpjohnsonlumber.com/
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

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