Illegal to build furniture?!

In this IMHO thread about sentimental keepsakes, this post by dangermom caught my attention. Specifically these lines:

It’s not really illegal to make a crib, is it? Was there a rash of babies dying or getting injured in collapsed home-made cribs to prompt such legislation in the U.S.? Seems a bit fanciful, actually.

If such a law does exist, what other items of furniture are illegal to build at home?

Note the word “probably”, as in “the chances of someone’s homemade crib meeting Federal Standards are nearly zilch.”

Babies die in poorly designed cribs. The Feds have increasing upped the standards for cribs over the years. If you have a 20 year old crib, it’s probably too dangerous to use.

A compentent furniture maker, with a complete set of the federal regulations can make a standards-meeting crib. But is it probable that a woodworker went to all that trouble?

So, is it “probably” illegal? Or is it “actually” illegal? Do you need a licence or a permit to manufacture them?

What other furniture is regulated?

I certainly expect it’s illegal to sell a crib that doesn’t meet all regulatory requirements, but building a crib for the use of your own children isn’t likely to get you in trouble until and unless your child is injured in one, in which case you’d likely face child endangerment charges but that’d similarly happen if you put your kid down on the driveway or in a very large blender.

So in other words, I have no idea.

And how could that possibly matter, unless said someone were to offer the crib for sale? Surely you’re not saying that there are laws specifically prohibiting building and using furniture within one’s home.

On preview, Bryan Ekers makes the same point – but it’s a critical point.

…and they would have to shut down the Amish furniture industry.

Their furniture is well built (for the most part) anyway.

The law I came in contact with in Pennsylvainia is that used furniture for resale must be properly sanitized or reupholstered, and must be tagged as such. Used bedding cannot be resold, AFAIK.

What about people that find building one cheaper than heading down to JC Penny’s? I’m only quoting you to bring up the greater view of too many lawsuits, not to parse your post. :wink:

My great-great-grandfather built a crib that held 5 generations, so far. And being the oldest male, it will hold my firstborn, as well. Our ancestors knew how to build practical stuff like nobody’s business.

This page gives an overview of the guidelines for building cribs. If you do build one you are responsible for incorporating the latest requirements or you will most definitely be held liable for any injuries / death.

A teensy bit of ignorance just met its doom…Thank you!

There must be such restrictions; for example, If I wanted to make a reclining armchair that doubled as a working guillotine, I might get in trouble (although whether this would be specifically a furniture issue is doubtful.

Making furniture isn’t as tricky as making furniture that contains cushions, fabrics and padding, as that is where the fire resistance becomes an issue.

Most furniture made by hand and sold to the public is wood, veneers and some stone. If the builder needs to add a cushion, they must add an approved cusion.

I make furnituire, like tables, desks, headboards, bars. If I were to start making chairs and beds, I would complicate my life ten fold.

Someone please explain to me how 2 people completely misunderstood my post.

From the quote in the OP: “I can’t really see saving the crib as a huge deal, unless someone built it by hand–which probably isn’t legal.” As worded, it suggests that building the crib might be illegal.

Logical question from this, the heart of the OP: “It’s not really illegal to make a crib, is it?..If such a law does exist, what other items of furniture are illegal to build at home?” One would naturally assume that along with building the item, one would possess it and use it. However, nothing has been said or implied about selling it.

From ftg: “Note the word ‘probably’”, as in ‘the chances of someone’s homemade crib meeting Federal Standards are nearly zilch.’" Along with the rest of ftg’s post, this clarifies where a concern of legality would apply. However, again nothing has been said or implied about selling anything.

Bryan Ekers & Gary T raise the question of how federal standards, or any law, would apply to the building and personal use of a crib, which is implicit from the OP. ftg, if this represents a misunderstanding of your post, kindly clarify what you meant.

tailake links to the actual federal standards. However, these are in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 16 (Commercial Practices), CHAPTER II (CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION). These clearly apply to selling (commercial use) such a crib as a consumer product. These do not clearly apply to building and personal use of the crib, which is the question from the OP.

I maintain that one is at liberty to build, possess, and use a crib, and that such building, possessing, and using, IN AND OF THEMSELVES, are not violations of law. I would be happy to be corrected. I have seen nothing in this thread or its links so far, however, that would contradict my contention.

Not illegal. The absence of the law would have to be ‘proof’, since laws prohibit things, not permit them.

The extra information provided about cushions and such is so that you can see that in making and selling a crib, if you don’t adhere to certain guidelines, the piece you made and intend to sell might FAIL a test or not meet a certain code, but this is not to be confused with “it’s illegal to make a crib”.

It is not illegal to build a shed. You could build a shed with the studs spaced 36" apart, in which case the shed would not be up to ‘code’. Think along those lines.