Originally Posted by schmolze
sounds like yours is the real thing and your friend's is not.
unfortunately i think the term "solid" is used pretty loosely, especially by the manufacturers who spit these things out of machines out of particle board or maybe a real cherry veneer over something "solid."
by the same token, weight doesn't necessarily equate to value. there's a big spectrum there through all the different species. also, you could have an MDF substrate, which is extremely heavy, veneered over.
there is also a big misunderstanding about veneered pieces being inferior to solid wood. this is complete nonsense. it is true that some veneered pieces are chunk, but others can be extremely well crafted.
so your generalization is a bit too loose here, i think. you may both have nice sets. it could be one is crap. i don't know.
I got a kick out your "shoot from the hip" response! I am aware of the difference between MDF and wood. I actually took a cheap flight to NC several years back to purchase the set, which I couldn't afford at home. I saved $7,000 by purchasing it in NC! It's solid cherry with a natural, unstained finish. Another thing I don't understand is why people think that a cherry finish is dark...?
Some of the most beautiful pieces I've seen are veneered. Old school cabinet makers used veneer extensively and took pride in the artistry of veneer. I don't know how it started that people assume veneer is garbage. Maybe they don't understand that veneer gives the beauty and characteristics that make a piece appealing. Maybe veneered MDF is what gave veneer a bad name.