Great Designs in Wood (21) - The Philadelphia Furniture Show and Pallet Furniture

On the way back from Saratoga Springs a couple of weeks ago, I made a detour through Philly to attend the 2012 Philadelphia Invitation Furniture Show. It was an excellent show in an historic location, the Old Armory which is the historic home of the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry. The place reeked of history and was a great venue in which to appreciate the finest of wooden furniture and art.

Even upon entry the wood aficionado is greeted by something we don't see much of anymore, such as double wooden oak doors that were about fifteen feet high. Here's a picture of my six-foot one son standing by the doors. I had a tough time just getting past these to admire the rest of the show.

But once I did, I found a wide range of really delectable wood designs. One that caught my attention was this great desk, designed and built by Jim Probst of Probst Furniture Makers, Hamlin, West Virginia. Natural curves, a curly walnut top, and curly maple legs, made this table/desk a real eye catcher with appeal to those looking to outfit a natural indoor workspace with just the right workspace.

Another of my favorites at the show was one of the finest Adirondack chairs I've ever seen, or sat in. Once I sat down in this thing, I didn't want to get up. It fit just right, both on the tush and more especially, on the arms. The designer/builder, Michael Brown, Chairmaker, took the classic Adirondack design and improved on it, lowering the arms where they meet the back and then giving them an upward curve that just felt right.

The last piece I'll feature here, out of the dozens I took pictures of, was this great table. I'm not into Zen, but this bench/table captured something that I could relate to. Ron Morgan, the designer/builder of the piece, told me that the knot hole just cried out to him to feature it, so he did in this great way. You can view more of his great designs at

Well, after fighting my way out of Philly in Saturday evening traffic, I returned home to an email from my eldest daughter asking me to make her some pallet furniture. She had some idea that as I had worked a lot with pallet companies, throwing together some pallet furniture for her was right up my alley.

I have to admit I had considered pallet furniture off and on for a long time, depending on how many kids needed new beds and how big our dining room table needed to be as our family expanded to seven kids. And considering that roughly 10% of all pallets simply "disappear" from the country's supply chains, I must not be the only one with the idea. They seem to be especially popular as frames for outdoor sheds. But I admit, these video viewing room couches are pretty neat, showing that pallets can be considered great designs in wood, even when the load they're carrying is a flabby human munching on Doritos.

For some reason, the owner of these couches must have painted them white...I guess white matched the decor of the room better than bright blue. Please remember, that any pallets that are blue, red, orange, yellow, or otherwise branded are the property of the pallet company, and that it is illegal to turn them into your personal living room addition unless you have somehow taken legal ownership of them. And usually, "finding" them behind your local grocery store and loading them in your pick-up does not constitute legal ownership. Go to a local pallet recycler...they'll sell you all the used pallets you want, for cheap.

From artistic furniture painstakingly hand-crafted to grocery platforms thoughtfully recycled as chairs, wood proves it's the furniture material for all mankind, and all kinds of man!

Tip Amount


Anonymous said…
Always enjoy these blogs - thanks for keep'n'm comin'

People are reading....

Going Wood with Hannah Barron

Real Firewood Stacking

Great Designs in Wood (74) - The Olde Oaken Barrel

Who Says Go Wood is Boring?

Holy Wood

Best of Logging 2018

Timber Glory Years in Minnesota

Don't Fence Me In

Let the Buyer Beware

From the Sawyer's Perspective: Sawing Hardwood Logs