Monday, October 20, 2008

A new Seat! A new beginning...

Well, tonight we sold three more seats. Forcing us to face a very serious problem. If you have been following my previous posts, You will know that our suppliers have all dried up in recent weeks. There are only two places that offer solid wood seats at the moment and both of them are inferior to our standard. So tonight I have revisited making my own seat from scratch. I have toyed with this idea before but it was not cost effective. NOW when we look online at ANY suppliers, the seats alone start at $40-50! That would mean I would have to drastically increase my asking price and pocket none of the extra ( currently the "good" seats are $17.00 before tax) Well, tonight I took another stab at it to answer a few questions. To save time and make a durable seat that is very stable. I have considered oak Plywood. The cross grain lamination should prove very stable under stress ( i.e. people sitting on a thin piece of wood) I was wondering how it would carve up So I chose to carve up a black bear cub. I was surprised to find out that it carved up really well! After it's sanded and stained, It is difficult to see the difference even when I am the one looking. It painted up fairly well and I actually made it tonight in less time that it took me to set up my router table. I'm encouraged! The only way that Cheryl and I agree anyone can tell the difference, is from the side. And that might not be all bad. The layered effect of the plywood adds a certain "decoration detail" that the other solid seats never had. I didn't have the wood or the time to make the "seat" yet, but might try that tomorrow. We also will have to find a hinge supplier and the plastic bumpers that keep the seat off the toilet. ( each seat requires 5 for the seat and 2 for the lid!) There are advantages to this path we are considering. One, I did the math and the raw materials for the wood will cost $5-6! Not bad! Add hinge for Approx. $6 and maybe a handful or bumpers for $2 and we might have a $13 seat. Cheaper than Wall mart and better construction ( Don't get me started on the Wall mart seat. You get what you pay for is a fair assessment, and they have ruined solid wood toilet seat's perceptions) Anyway, I will also be in complete control of the stain, poly, hinge placement, and supply. These are all areas where we have had trouble before. With the China supply line apparently down, Cheryl and I have seen definite signs that cheap manufactured goods will be in short supply this year. This might be a good thing if your business does not depend on them. Like Foreign Oil we are trying to ween ourselves away from the Foreign seat manufacturers. So I will be able to Claim that our seat is 100% American made! YEAH BABY! Of course this will mean more work for myself in the coming months. Christmas is usually insane with 7-8 seats a night typical. I hope it will be that crazy and then some, and this time I hope I don't have to spend my time tracking down seats made in China!


Jimmy "Handi" Warner said...


I like the ring pattern around the Lid, gives it Character.

It looked like it would be pretty sturdy. The Wal-Mart brands suck ass.

We went threw about 5+, some wooden, Some plastic and some Laminate Wood.

The latest, Laminated wood one we just bought, under 4 months old... Broke a Hinge.

The Solid Wood one you show on top of the plywood one, we had several of them, that were Pieced together like a Door, The Old Lady got her Leg cut on one of them cause it broke while she was sitting on it and it Splintered.

Needless to say, got the back of her leg cut from the seat. And I totally agree bout Foreign Materials. Cheaply made. To me that's a Waste of products to make something cheap, why not spend the extra money, make a Better quality product, charge a little more, and n the end, everyone will be happy.

I know I will pay for quality over quantity..


The Great Ethan Allen said...

Jimmy, Most seats are laminated together like a door or a cupboard panel. Bit the wall mart ones are just glued and run through a oven. they are NOT CLAMPED! this causes the seam to not have good wood on wood contact. our premium seats were clamped and the seam nearly invisible. the wallmart seats have visible seams that eventually fail and crack. not to mention the glue does not have wood on wood contact so it is not as strong as it could be. How do I know this? I worked for a couple of weeks in a Door factory and saw how it was done. Even they had "premium doors" that were clamped solid wood.

Jimmy "Handi" Warner said...


Ah ok. Well wasn't sure what it was.

I Would really like to have a good quality one, cause wood matches my bathroom.

When I get my Bathroom cleaned up lol, I will take a picture of it and let you see it.

it's Unique, got to give it that.



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