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  1. #1

    Palochina Furniture

    Hi guys,

    I bought a house from a village developer, and it is currently being built. My budget is a bit tight as I would soon have it renovated after the unit is turned-over to me (e.g. security fence/gate, tiles, etc)

    This would leave me with a very limited budget for the furnishings. I would love to have mahogany furniture from Focolare Cainta/Tagyatay, or other wood furniture makers. I really love to see the natural grain of solid wood which could be stained into beech, tan, mahogany or wenge color.

    But then I always see palochina furniture near the roadside. So yesterday I inquired. For less than PHP20,000, I got all these:

    Sofa Bed (convertible to a 50" x 70" bed) - PHP2, 500
    Queen 54" x 75" Bed with Headboard - PHP3,200
    6-seater Dining Set - PHP4,500
    Double Deck Bed with Ladder (36" x 75") - PHP3,200
    Single 36" x 75" Bed with Headboard - PHP1,500
    Sala Set (3-1-1) with Coffee Table - PHP4,500

    I know these palochina wood came from wood crates. I used to buy them per kilo, when there was a store near our village. Used these wood for many projects like false front of drawers, frame edge of platform beds, etc. And they really look good.

    I know palochina or pine wood is not hardwood. But with proper design and support, the furniture product could be made stronger. I am just finalizing my designs. They customize based on the buyer's designs.

    I wonder if any PEXer has bought palochina furniture before. Any feedback?

    Are there palochina furniture makers in Binan/Sta Rosa Laguna, or Carmona, Cavite?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by NeoAnderson88; Apr 5, 2011 at 01:00 AM.

  2. #2
    "It's just a flesh wound.." cyberfunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    cavite
    I guess it's in workmanships specially with the joints. One of the biggest problem with palo china are the wood boring insects or Bukbok.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfunk View Post
    I guess it's in workmanships specially with the joints. One of the biggest problem with palo china are the wood boring insects or Bukbok.
    Yep. I agree. That's why I verified (and would make sure) that the wood is also treated against bukbok. Other wooden furniture are also prone to bukbok.

    Yep. It is in the workmanship and joints. The reason I would be giving my own designs, making sure that the joints are reinforced.

    I've asked the maker for the usual dimensions of the palochina lumber they get from crates. Then I would base my designs based on these, making sure that less wood go to waste, and would require that the undersides would be sanded as well, not just the exteriors.

  4. #4
    "It's just a flesh wound.." cyberfunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    cavite
    You can apply wood preservatives too and buy your own wood stains or polyurethane varnish. If they are skilled enough to do dovetails or dowels and glue for the joints the better. The best furniture makers never use nails.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfunk View Post
    You can apply wood preservatives too and buy your own wood stains or polyurethane varnish. If they are skilled enough to do dovetails or dowels and glue for the joints the better. The best furniture makers never use nails.
    Thanks for the suggestions, cyberfunk. Appreciate it.

    Palochina furniture carpenters rarely use dovetails and dowels. Yep. The best furniture makers do not use nails. But then, this translates to cost and price. Hence, I would require reinforcements on each palochina furniture piece (e.g. 6 legs for the sofa instead of 4).

    As my priority is to spend at least PHP200,000 for the renovations, and forego buying high end or high quality solid wood furniture, my next best option is to have these palochina furniture so that my new house would have new solid wood stained furniture (even if it just pine wood) in preparation for the house warming/blessing, so that the house would not look empty. I would just have them replaced one at a time. It's more of like a staging. ;-)

    And since I would be doing the upholstery of the factory-direct Uratex foams, as well as the throw pillows, I would make sure that these pine wood furniture would not look as inexpensive as its price.

    By the way, I've made a rocking horse out of palochina and and old wooden ironing board. And that rocking horse is still standing after 18 years. A lot of kids have played with it (or rather abused it ). And I used nails, and no glue. It was just a quickie recycling project as my nephew requested for it. The rocking horse is now a "standing" horse.

    By the way (again), the palochina furniture maker uses Boysen wood stains.
    Last edited by NeoAnderson88; Apr 5, 2011 at 12:57 AM.

  6. #6
    I suggest buy only a few pieces ... those super essential lang. Tapos ipon ng konti and after that buy a proper, good quality furniture.

    Sometimes even if you got a wonderful house baka di mo ma-appreciate because of the furnitures. :-) Ako when I moved in, I only had 2 chairs and a collapsible table for my dining. After a couple of months, able to save enough and I was able to have a dining set that I really like.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by albert_b View Post
    I suggest buy only a few pieces ... those super essential lang. Tapos ipon ng konti and after that buy a proper, good quality furniture.

    Sometimes even if you got a wonderful house baka di mo ma-appreciate because of the furnitures. :-) Ako when I moved in, I only had 2 chairs and a collapsible table for my dining. After a couple of months, able to save enough and I was able to have a dining set that I really like.
    Thanks. But in my case, "few" pieces would not be possible and enough. I don't want my guests and relatives to be sitting on the floor. And I want the house to be at least presentable.

    My furniture designs would be multifunctional, and I can see that the palochina furniture maker can do it. I've seen similar designs in stores but they costs 10-20x higher.

    I've used palochina before but I've mixed them with plywood. Palochina were just for accent.

    I just want to know the feedback of PEXers who have bought a palochina furniture set.

    But once I have the money, I would definitely have my designs customized and made by Focolare Cainta/Tagaytay.

  8. #8
    here's the thing... nung bago palang kami ikasal ng husband ko, ang bedframe na binili namin was palochina with 2 side tables. ang sabi ko kasi tsaka na kami bibili ng maayos at yung talagang gusto ko na solid wood.

    kahit gusto ko ang design na pinagawa ko, still palochina lang sya. that idea/wish na gusto ko pa rin magkaron ng "real" wood na bedframe, hindi pa rin nawawala.

  9. #9
    interim furnitures? I understand your situation Neo, for a while I asked people to sit on monoblocks hehe
    Mag test build ka sa kanila muna. Kung after that acceptable naman, pull the trigger na for the rest of the pieces.

    5 years ago, I was passing along Sta. Maria in Bulacan when I saw a couple of furnitures sa side ng road, parang pinapatuyo ata. Varnished and gawa sa palochina. They looked nice naman and impulsively I asked them to make a small tv stand for my apartment. Long story short, I was unhappy with the results but I still paid for it, 1.5K lang naman eh. The varnish was uneven. The wood had parts of it na medyo sira na (they placed yung mga may sira sa mga tagong areas like the under side and the back) and the finish was very rough, if you run your hand across, you can still feel na parang minadali yung sanding. Ofcourse, I wasn't expecting a good quality piece for what I paid for.

  10. #10
    same here... to add... last year lang nagpagawa din kami ng cabinet (tv rack)... pansamantala lang din na furniture, ako lang nagdesign, yung 2 cabinets sa baba ang hirap buksan. hindi talaga pulido. at talagang may portion sa gawa nila na parang "dugtong" lang. oh well, I got what I paid for.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by purplemommy View Post
    here's the thing... nung bago palang kami ikasal ng husband ko, ang bedframe na binili namin was palochina with 2 side tables. ang sabi ko kasi tsaka na kami bibili ng maayos at yung talagang gusto ko na solid wood.

    kahit gusto ko ang design na pinagawa ko, still palochina lang sya. that idea/wish na gusto ko pa rin magkaron ng "real" wood na bedframe, hindi pa rin nawawala.
    You mean until now, you are still using the palochina bedframe and side tables? Ilang taon na ito? Nasira na ba o buo pa din? These are the things I want to know.

    I don't think I would be having an issue with "palochina" lang sya. I am a very practical guy.

    You can still realize your dream of having a real hardwood bedframe. You can visit Focolare in Cainta or Tagaytay. They also give free quotations. Just submit your designs. They have a website. The pictures there are not complete as I've seen other of their works that are more beautiful than the ones on their website.

    There are other solid wood furniture makers. I've inquired also from them. They use mahogany, yakal, nara, molave. Madami din nito sa malls. And you can haggle the price. But still the craftmanship of Focolare Cainta/Tagaytay is different.

    Most of the furniture being sold at SM and other malls are out of Malaysian rubber wood. Some local furniture makers use gemelina wood. Malaysian rubberwood and gemelina wood - I think - are not really hard wood.

  12. #12
    ^fortunately buo pa naman, yun nga lang lumalangitngit na hehe.... I think it has served its purpose na rin for its age, P3,500 ko sya nabili, 5years na rin.

    may plano kasi kami ng husband ko magpagawa ng bahay, at gusto ko this time, ilagay talaga ang mga "dream" furnitures ko talaga. so pansamantala, yung palochina furnitures muna ang pinagawa ko at least mura pa. as for the tibay, tingin ko hindi ito comparable sa mga hardwood talaga, yung tipong sasabihin kong tatagal ng bonggang bongga, oh well depende na rin siguro sa paggamit. i dunno, but based on my experience, I won't be surprised if anytime from now, bumagsak kami sa kama hehe...

    practical person din ako, kaya nga ganitong klaseng furnitures muna ang binili ko eh, instead buying the ones in SM, and I would say hindi naman masasayang itong mga ito, dahil magagamit pa ng relatives na titira sa bahay namin ngayon na iiwanan din namin pag lumipat na kami.

    mukhang may kumpiyansa ka naman sa gagawa ng furnitures mo eh, then go for it. pero kung sa tingin mo konting difference lang naman compare sa hardwood, you might want to reconsider.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by albert_b View Post
    interim furnitures? I understand your situation Neo, for a while I asked people to sit on monoblocks hehe
    Mag test build ka sa kanila muna. Kung after that acceptable naman, pull the trigger na for the rest of the pieces.
    Hehe. Monoblocks. Maski na mura and I can get them at factory price, I won't use them as "furniture". Pag may handaan at okasyon lang sya.

    Quote Originally Posted by albert_b View Post
    5 years ago, I was passing along Sta. Maria in Bulacan when I saw a couple of furnitures sa side ng road, parang pinapatuyo ata. Varnished and gawa sa palochina. They looked nice naman and impulsively I asked them to make a small tv stand for my apartment. Long story short, I was unhappy with the results but I still paid for it, 1.5K lang naman eh. The varnish was uneven. The wood had parts of it na medyo sira na (they placed yung mga may sira sa mga tagong areas like the under side and the back) and the finish was very rough, if you run your hand across, you can still feel na parang minadali yung sanding. Ofcourse, I wasn't expecting a good quality piece for what I paid for.
    That's not a good experience. And I wouldn't buy varnished furniture maski na palochina sya. I would prefer stained finish.

    I guess the answer to my question depends on the furniture maker. So far I've visited 3 palochina shops. One would definitely not pass my standards. Second seems average. The third is quite good. Their cleopatra lounge chair/bed rivals those in sash factories.

    About the underside not being sanded, I've asked them to sand it though there would be additional charge, but minimal. Even the Malaysian rubberwood furniture in malls have a somewhat a rough surface. Only the furniture using New Zealand hardwood have both the topside and underside surfaces finished well, but pricier.
    Last edited by NeoAnderson88; Apr 5, 2011 at 04:29 PM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by purplemommy View Post
    same here... to add... last year lang nagpagawa din kami ng cabinet (tv rack)... pansamantala lang din na furniture, ako lang nagdesign, yung 2 cabinets sa baba ang hirap buksan. hindi talaga pulido. at talagang may portion sa gawa nila na parang "dugtong" lang. oh well, I got what I paid for.
    Nyak! Mahirap buksan. Dapat di mo tinanggap. Ako kasi may konting alam sa carpentry, and I sometimes design furniture, kaya I would know what to require and expect from a furniture maker.

  15. #15
    ^actually nung kinuha namin sya, ok naman, functioning well... pero after few weeks, napansin ko parang nag-stuck-up yung drawer, ang hirap buksan at pag nabuksan mo na ang hirap ibalik.

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  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by purplemommy View Post
    ^fortunately buo pa naman, yun nga lang lumalangitngit na hehe.... I think it has served its purpose na rin for its age, P3,500 ko sya nabili, 5years na rin.

    may plano kasi kami ng husband ko magpagawa ng bahay, at gusto ko this time, ilagay talaga ang mga "dream" furnitures ko talaga. so pansamantala, yung palochina furnitures muna ang pinagawa ko at least mura pa. as for the tibay, tingin ko hindi ito comparable sa mga hardwood talaga, yung tipong sasabihin kong tatagal ng bonggang bongga, oh well depende na rin siguro sa paggamit. i dunno, but based on my experience, I won't be surprised if anytime from now, bumagsak kami sa kama hehe...

    practical person din ako, kaya nga ganitong klaseng furnitures muna ang binili ko eh, instead buying the ones in SM, and I would say hindi naman masasayang itong mga ito, dahil magagamit pa ng relatives na titira sa bahay namin ngayon na iiwanan din namin pag lumipat na kami.

    mukhang may kumpiyansa ka naman sa gagawa ng furnitures mo eh, then go for it. pero kung sa tingin mo konting difference lang naman compare sa hardwood, you might want to reconsider.
    Aba! Sulit na sulit na yan. The "lowly" palochina bedframe has indeed served its purpose and seems to have extended its life.

    I've checked out the prices from different manufacturers and malls/stores, hindi talaga comparable eh. Sobrang mahal (for now) for my wallet ang mga gusto ko.

    Kaya naisip ko ang palochina, and I'd just make sure na ok ang designs ko at kaya nilang gawin. Kay I've asked them for the usual dimensions of the palochina pieces they get from crates, so that I could work my designs around these wood pieces.

    Sample of my designs:
    6-seater Dining Table composed of 2 Console Tables. Each Console Table has a butterfly table top and the legs have extensions. Thus each Console Table can be converted into a 6-seater Dining Table. The 2 Dining Tables when positioned side by side (longer side), can become a big 8-seater Dining Table. Or when the two are placed side by side (shorter side), can become a long 10-seater Dining Table. One could even become a Buffet Console Table, while the other one is being used as a Dining Table. And when they are not in use, and the area is required, these can be placed on the wall, much like a Console Table.

    L-Shaped Sofa Bed with 2 Foot Stools that can be hidden under the Sofa Bed. The foot stools cushions are hidden inside the frame. When the foot stools are positioned side by side (longer side), they would form a low Coffee Table. The Sofa Bed's accompanying Bench - making the set an L-shaped Sofa Bed - has a cushion/foam which is removable, and the Bench could become a Coffee Table. The Sofa Bed's cushion/foam is also removable. Even the coverings are removable and washable. Easy to repair as well, unlike upholstery that is attached to the furniture frame.

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by purplemommy View Post
    ^actually nung kinuha namin sya, ok naman, functioning well... pero after few weeks, napansin ko parang nag-stuck-up yung drawer, ang hirap buksan at pag nabuksan mo na ang hirap ibalik.
    ah... pag ganyan, kayang kaya ko nang i-repair yan.

  19. #18
    i think this would be a good buy for you since maalam ka naman pala sa ganyan. mapapaganda mo pa ng bongga di ba =)

    patingin pix ah... =)

    actually kung sa mga hindi naman gaanong laspagin na gamit like for example, book shelves, or mini table sa hallway... I'd practically go for this one, ang nasa isip ko pa ngang bed for my helpers for their use sa bagong house would be this one.... ang kaso siguro hindi maganda talaga yung gumagawa na malapit sa amin (PQUE area po ako by the way), kaya I won't reconsider siguro muna sa kanila.

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by purplemommy View Post
    i think this would be a good buy for you since maalam ka naman pala sa ganyan. mapapaganda mo pa ng bongga di ba =)

    patingin pix ah... =)

    actually kung sa mga hindi naman gaanong laspagin na gamit like for example, book shelves, or mini table sa hallway... I'd practically go for this one, ang nasa isip ko pa ngang bed for my helpers for their use sa bagong house would be this one.... ang kaso siguro hindi maganda talaga yung gumagawa na malapit sa amin (PQUE area po ako by the way), kaya I won't reconsider siguro muna sa kanila.
    Yep. Yep. I'm a bit of handyman (but with not so much power tools, drill lang meron ako). Self taught din ako sa paggamit ng sewing machine. Kasi ipamimigay na at nakamatayan ng lola ko. Sayang. So pinag-aralan ko ang mechanisms. Nakuha ko naman. Kaya ako din ang gagawa ng throw pillows, at lahat ng accompanying cushions ng sala set. Pati na na din ang drapery. And you know what kung saan ang murang tela? Sa Ylaya bangketa. Then yung mag fiberfill para sa loob ng pillows, sa kabilang street naman. Ang foam naman ay sa Uratex factory, ang laki ng discounts. Sabi sayo praktikal na tao ako eh.

    Yep. Post ko ang pix pag nakapagpagawa na ako.

    Dito sa amin sa Muntinlupa, may mga wood furniture makers. Iba't iba. Pero lately lang ako naglibot kasi malapit nang i-turnover ang bahay ko. Need to prepare. Kaya nalaman ko na din ang mag prices.

    Ngapala, pag nagsubmit ako ng designs, parang blueprint. Kumpleto sa details.

    Pero nagustuhan ko yung sinabi mo na tumagal yung kama nyo. Eh yung designs ko may mga reinforcement pa, so that the load could be dissipated to other parts of the frame and not just on the basic frame.

  21. #20
    ^so strange, same tayo... plano ko din talagang kuning yung Singer makina na kinamatayan na rin ng lola ko, pero sabi ng husband ko for display na lang, ayaw na nyang pagamit sa akin.

    mga foams ko rin, customized at binili ko sa Uratex factory, since wala akong makina, nagpagawa na lang ako sa mananahi (na binili ko rin ang tela sa divi), ng mga pondo ng mga foams. =)

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