Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

Hope Chests: How To Make Them Child Safe

Posted by Jay Frucci on Tue, February 04, 2014 @ 09: 47 AM



In my home, we have a new puppy! After mourning the loss of our beloved dog a few weeks ago, we just adopted Roxie, a reverse brindle boxer with white socks on her feet. Nine weeks old, she's playful and inquisitive, exactly what we needed.


Having a puppy in the house brings out the mischief in all of us. Roxie is going to be a big dog, so we bought a big crate for her. A couple of times this week, I've come home to find our five-year-old locked in the crate. "Dad," he would plead with a sheepish half-grin, "get me outta here!" When he'd crawled into the crate to cuddle the puppy, his two older brothers pounced on the chance to bolt the door.


Kids love to tease each other and hide in secret places. Like puppies, they have an irresistible urge to play - but they are often unaware of the risks. That's why we want to alert you to a potential danger you may have in your home: the hope chest.


From the 1920s until the late 1960s, hope chests were a treasured gift. In it, young women would store needlework, linens and even baby clothing in anticipation of marriage. Lane's hope chests were among the most popular. They were airtight with robust locks, perfect for preserving heirloom items.


But that meant they also were the most dangerous. Two children recently suffocated to death in a Lane Hope Chest in Franklin, MA. Once the lid closes on these well-made chests, they cannot be opened from the inside. Since 2003, seven children have died in accidents involving hope chests.


Most antique and consignment stores are aware of the dangers and have removed the locks, but there are millions of old hope chests still in use in homes with locks intact. Removing the lock is easy. As a public service, we've created a "how to" video to show you how to do it. Lane also is offering safer replacement locks for free.


So please, watch the video and spread the word. If you have a hope chest or know of someone who does - even if it is tucked away in a corner of the attic - remove the lock. You could save a life.


Lane Form to order new Child Safe Lock: Here

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Chair Construction: Quality Furniture Series #1

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, January 18, 2014 @ 12: 24 PM
chair topper pinit



I'm a chair snob. I admit it and I have learned to live with it. My goal is to turn you into a chair snob, too. Because I've had it with chairs that bend and break like matchsticks.


Making furniture is a difficult business these days. Competitive pressures have driven many old-line American manufacturers out of business. The survivors are being driven into a corner. To compete, many have shifted manufacturing to Asia, where they are using cheap labor and cheap materials. The result, unfortunately, is a cheap chair.


In our educational series, we're going to show you how to get the best buy for your furniture dollar when it comes to chairs. Once you've learned the telltale signs of cheap manufacturing, you'll never be a furniture-showroom sucker again.


Tip-off #1: high pressure laminate, or HPL. This is created by taking layers of wood products or wood waste - like sawdust or chips - and molding them under high pressure into a sheet of "wood." Is it wood? It's sort of like the difference between real cheese and Velveeta. HPL is the Velveeta of furniture.


How can you tell the difference between solid wood and HPL? Look at the back of the chair - from the side. You'll notice that the wood appears layered. Strips - some of them speckled - appear pressed together. HPL isn't nearly as strong or durable as solid wood.


Tip-off #2: the hex screw. That's a simple screw with a hexagonal indentation. Inexpensive to make and quick to install, hex screws are often shipped with furniture that you assemble yourself. Or, they may be used in furniture that has been manufactured overseas but assembled in the U.S. The problem is, hex screws loosen very easily. Over time, the chair gets wobbly and prone to breaking.


Not all furniture manufacturers have abandoned quality. Some are still making chairs with solid wood and screws built to last, but they will be expensive. You'll pay up to $1,000 for a high-quality chair. One made from quality wood but assembled overseas will cost $300 to $500. An HP-and-hex screw chair may cost $100 to $250.


In our showrooms, we carry chairs in all price

ranges. Come test your skills. Can you pick out the hex screws? HPL? Look for other markers, too. Is the chair seat finished and smooth on the underside? Take a few minutes to notice the differences. Then you can make an educated decision about the chair that meets your budget and your needs.

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