This is rather a specific post, but It is on my mind. Have any of you encountered Poplar? Furniture makers – specially kitchen makers bless this timber. Why? It has very little grain to speak of – no hallmark lustre, depth or grain pattern.

Its as cheap as Finnish or Swedish red deal (pine) and it is classed as a Hardwood. AHEC have rebranded it as Tulipwood. It is soft, easy to machine and finish. So someone can now buy a Hardwood kitchen that has none of the qualities of a traditional hardwood kitchen, for the same or slightly cheaper than an Oak kitchen. The difficulty with an informed choice is who is informing buyers. Anyone interested in informing people on a good, long lasting, hard wearing kitchen is usually selling one. Vexing, but as it is progress, whats to be done? I’ll try and think of something, its just that free advice is usually valued at its cost.

I also like the idea of an environmentally friendly kitchen. Keep it in good shape and when it has eventually worn down beyond repair – bury it at the end of the garden and let it rot happily away. Keeping a kitchen in good shape can take some effort every now and again. Think of the formica surface as opposed to the hardwood worktop. Once the plastic coating is worn down or cracked, rip it out, dispose of it  and get a new one. Say it will last 5 to 10 years on average. Nobody says this when selling them. Oil the hardwood worktop every 6 months or so and it will last for longer than any of us here now. If it takes a knock, sand it down a wee bit and pop some oil on again. Ok, in another century or so, you may have an oil saturated wafer thin hardwood work surface, but it will look as well as it did 100 years ago and be part of peoples memories.

Its the same with shelves. A fine piece of furniture will pay for itself in the end. I agree with Terry Pratchett on this – spend 180 on boots and they will last longer than 2 pairs of boots for 100 each. Just buy the right boots. Where did I see the sentence – “Even if a mixed metaphor flies, it should be derailed”? Never mind. It pays people to get themselves informed.


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