STANDARDS IN FOCUS…Making local wooden furniture to standard requirements

There is great potential for Guyana’s furniture industry, especially for manufacturers of wooden furniture. The widespread availability of raw materials, including the vast variety of woods, hardware and finishes can encourage growth of the industry.

However, what is also necessary is the commitment of manufacturers towards improving the quality of products they produce. Adhering to the requirements of the furniture standard “Code of Practice for the Manufacture of furniture GCP 14:2005” can ensure consistency and improved furniture quality.
Furniture must be of good quality, otherwise their imperfections and defects will quickly show during usage. Further, these products are very expensive and consumers expect that they will get to use them extensively. Hence, the structural integrity of furniture must be sound to withstand continuous use.
The standard addresses the quality of materials used and the workmanship employed during the manufacturing process. The materials used in manufacturing furniture must be of an acceptable quality, meeting requirements such as quality, moisture content, workmanship and finish.
Lumber used in manufacturing must be bright i.e. free from discolouration, square edged and thoroughly seasoned having moisture content between eight and 12 % to prevent splits, cracks, joint separations and warps.
The standard also requires that lumber and other materials used in manufacturing be free from rot, insect holes, open knots cracks and other common defects. It is often the practice of some unscrupulous manufacturers to use defective materials and use finishing materials to conceal these defects. Whenever this is done, it is the end users/ consumers who loose because they have purchased rapidly deteriorating or easily weakened pieces of furniture.
Proper workmanship and finishing are also very important in furniture manufacturing. The standard requires that joints be closely fitted. Dripping glue and fillers must not be evident. Doors should swing easily, drawers should run smoothly on draw slides, and interiors should be well sanded and finished. Spaces should be even and uniform. All edges should be ‘broken’ and softened. There should be no pointed corners.
The interiors of all storage furniture should be sanded smoothly and sealed against snags, to protect delicate fabrics. Good finish depends on thorough preparation of lumber.
All dents and defects should be removed before final sanding and all sharp edges must be sanded and molded. Surfaces should have a three (3) coat finish. Each seal coat must be sanded.
Manufacturers and dealers of furniture should take the necessary steps to acquire the available furniture standard from the GNBS and familiarize themselves with the requirements therein. Implementing the requirements will ensure that good quality furniture is manufactured for sale to consumers.
For further information on this subject, please contact the Guyana National Bureau of Standards on Telephone Numbers: 219-0069, 219-0066 219-0065 or 219-0064.