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Thread: Desks

  1. #1
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    Jun 2020
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    Default Desks

    Hello
    We are looking at Hooker DEsks. I love the look. Not crazy about the MDF particle board mentioned and the fact that they are no longer made in the US.
    I had a hooker partner's desks years ago that i think was solid. I regret selling it.
    Do i have to be concerned with quality of these mdf desks? What about toxins in the composite woods?
    I need an executive looking desk and willing to spend a bit but don't want to pay for Kittinger or such super high end lines.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Desks

    Hooker furniture was the first USA company to go 100 % imported in all their product and that was in the early 1990's, they have been out of USA-production for about thirty years. At first it was all Chinese, however they now have a mix of product from Vietnam, India and once in a while, Italian. I like what they build bang for the buck ( $ 2K to $ 3K) and as you have seen there is a substantial price leap from imports to dometic desks once you do a quality USA-made unit (typically $ 6K to $ 9K). There is not much in the middle, I have looked. The product is solid, but its not heirloom quality. Tends to be heavy to move around. I can't address toxins as far as outgassing and the like, that requires lab testing or you can simply buy into internet lore on that and believe those opinions. Suffice to say in today's world large, publicly held companies can't sell products that sicken their customers, they get massive class action lawsuits that are devastating if they do. Most everything from every furniture maker passes the various California Propositions (and there are many of those) that are out there and those are deemed to be non-toxic.
    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

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Desks

    Quote Originally Posted by drcollie View Post
    Hooker furniture was the first USA company to go 100 % imported in all their product and that was in the early 1990's, they have been out of USA-production for about thirty years. At first it was all Chinese, however they now have a mix of product from Vietnam, India and once in a while, Italian. I like what they build bang for the buck ( $ 2K to $ 3K) and as you have seen there is a substantial price leap from imports to dometic desks once you do a quality USA-made unit (typically $ 6K to $ 9K). There is not much in the middle, I have looked. The product is solid, but its not heirloom quality. Tends to be heavy to move around. I can't address toxins as far as outgassing and the like, that requires lab testing or you can simply buy into internet lore on that and believe those opinions. Suffice to say in today's world large, publicly held companies can't sell products that sicken their customers, they get massive class action lawsuits that are devastating if they do. Most everything from every furniture maker passes the various California Propositions (and there are many of those) that are out there and those are deemed to be non-toxic.
    Thanks for your reply.
    SO i guess my Old Hooker Seven Seas Partner's desk was an import too? I probably bought that around 2001. It definitely was better quality than what I'm seeing now. My Hooker Later file that i still have is all solid wood made in the US. I bought that around 2002. # 153-10-009. It's all solid wood with cherry finish.
    Although their pieces still are nice looking. I am specifically looking at the Europen Renaissance with the burls. I pretty much took the desk apart and looked at it. A lot looks like wood. The drawers look like plywood. There is a piece or two of particle board that i can see. The drawers have some sort of vinyl wrap on the inside or something. It's weird. Looks almost like shelf contact paper. And that's when i noticed the smell. Hard to describe what it is.
    Last edited by LisaL; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:11 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Desks

    Hooker kept a small USA facility up until 2007, but they didn't make much product there. I should correct that 100% and say about 90% to 95% was imported starting in the 90's.

    Yes, you are going to see shortcuts. A lot of them! You are looking at this desk, yes?

    https://www.hookerfurniture.com/item...-562&catalog=5

    That desk is made in Vietnam and I would sell it to you for $ 2,562 + shipping costs / delivery. Cash.check pricing. If you want it made properly, and in the USA, I have a woodworker in Rhode Island that can do a great job. Price will be about $ 12,500, give or take and it will be heirloom quality. A Karges/Kindel desk would be similar in price.

    I've said it many, many times. You can have a price point or you can have quality, but you can't have both. So you have to decide what fits in your budget and your expectations.

    OR - you hunt around for an antique one, You can pickup a very nice one for not much money that will be 60 to 100 years old and still in pretty good shape. Here's one at an auction house about ten miles from my store. These are typically not in perfect condition, but usable.

    https://auctions.potomackcompany.com...refno=+++76060
    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

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Desks

    Quote Originally Posted by drcollie View Post
    Hooker kept a small USA facility up until 2007, but they didn't make much product there. I should correct that 100% and say about 90% to 95% was imported starting in the 90's.

    Yes, you are going to see shortcuts. A lot of them! You are looking at this desk, yes?

    https://www.hookerfurniture.com/item...-562&catalog=5

    That desk is made in Vietnam and I would sell it to you for $ 2,562 + shipping costs / delivery. Cash.check pricing. If you want it made properly, and in the USA, I have a woodworker in Rhode Island that can do a great job. Price will be about $ 12,500, give or take and it will be heirloom quality. A Karges/Kindel desk would be similar in price.

    I've said it many, many times. You can have a price point or you can have quality, but you can't have both. So you have to decide what fits in your budget and your expectations.

    OR - you hunt around for an antique one, You can pickup a very nice one for not much money that will be 60 to 100 years old and still in pretty good shape. Here's one at an auction house about ten miles from my store. These are typically not in perfect condition, but usable.

    https://auctions.potomackcompany.com...refno=+++76060

    Yes, that's the one. Thank you for the info you provide on this forum.
    I love antiques, and would happily furnish that room with an eclectic mix. But the hubby views them differently than I do.
    I have tried contacting Hooker regarding their chemicals and construction, and they haven't responded. Interestingly enough, I contacted LExington regarding an item in their Tommy Bahama line, and they fully stated that they use UF glues although they meet the carb requirements.
    Not sure if i am happy with any amounts, no matter how small. Very sad that's it hard for Americans to get quality products. You have to be rich or settle for furniture that can harm you.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Desks

    Quality products ARE available to Americans, make no mistake about that. However, many don’t want to pay the rate for the work and quality.

    An average American woodworker building high quality items makes $ 50 an hour shop time, about half that of an auto mechanic. They are not wealthy and truth be told they most all have a passion for their craft, its not a money maker. I’ve met and known dozens of them over the years. Time and materials account for the rest. There’s a lot of hours to build a desk like that by hand, they get expensive. In Vietnam, the labor rate is about $ 2 an hour, and there is no OSHA, no EPA, no Social Security, no Worker’s Comp, no Health Insurance, and so on. China the same. The lumber in a desk like that, using domestic hardwoods and a burl veneer would probably be about $ 2,000 before any board was even milled. To make the desk maybe 100 shop hours. This is all before any kind of margin markup.

    Unless you are building with solid lumber throughout the piece, you are going to have a lot of bonding glue involved. And we have already seen how much solid lumber costs. The home you live in is full of plywood, in the subfloor is all glued-plywood, and also in the roof sheathing and the engineered joists holding everything up It’s also in every piece of upholstery you sit on. You are literally surrounded with it if you think about it. I have never seen a home built in the past 100 years made of solid wood, perhaps its out there?

    FYI, the standard you are looking for is this one:

    https://www.epa.gov/formaldehyde/for...-wood-products

    And the Hooker Furniture policy statement to that affect:

    https://www.hookerfurniture.com/compliance.inc
    Last edited by drcollie; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:02 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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Desks

    I did look at the hooker desks. It seems that there is some sort of covering on the desk drawers. It almost look like a contact paper of some sort with a little bit of texture. Are there any that just have the wood finish?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Desks

    I don't know what desk you are looking at, however the Hooker desks in my store do not have contact paper on the drawer internals.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    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
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    Default Re: Desks

    I don't know if it is specific to the renaissance or what but here is a photo that i snapped when i was looking at it. The pencil drawer is wood but the side drawers have this tweed like covering on them.

    Click image for larger version. 

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