Avoid This Futon – The Black Metal Futon Frame

When the futon industry was born back in the 1980′s, the frames were well thought out and well constructed. Whether it was softwoods or hardwoods, the frames featured good fundamental designs made from solid wood. These futon frames would incorporate new working mechanisms and ideas in operation that made futons appealing not only in their design but in the quality of materials and construction that went into them. The futon industry was doing well and growing with these frames heading into the 1990′s but then the black metal futon frame came onto the scene.

At first it was widely regarded as a great addition to the futon family of products. Finally, a futon that could be offered at a much a lower price point. Black metal frames were being imported from China, Malaysia and Taiwan. Many of the early black metal frames were packaged with an import mattress made up of ground up textile materials and a colored covering with tufts. These packages were often anywhere in price from $199 – $249 and started out in specialty futon shops as a great way to introduce customers on a budget into a lower priced futon option. It was soon discovered though that these frames were not such a bargain that they appeared to be.

The first problem with black metal frames is the round metal bars that make up the seat and back sections of these frames. Where as wood futon frames are using flat slats, black metal frames have hollow round bars. Thinner mattresses would slide through the gaps between the round bars. On wood futons this was never a problem. The other issue with the hollow bars is that if enough weight was placed on a spot they would begin to bend. The issue became so bad that a 90 day warranty was put in place by most manufacturers of these frames.

Another issue the black metal frames suffered from were bending stretcher bars or rails. Again the hollow nature of these strecther rails presented issues with breakage and bending. Early designs involved a steel tooth design that would fit into pocket welds on the arms. These would snap off over use. The alternative design was to run a bolt through the arms and into the rails. While better it still did not address the issue of bending stretcher rails.

Bent hinges also added another issue that would happen from use over time. While not as common as the other problems this issue still led to the failure of many black metal frames. The hinges were attached to the arms of the futon frames with two bolts and two nuts. While this design was OK the hinges themselves would fail when too much weight was applied to one side or the other. These would also bend out rendering them useless in the operation of the futon.

Most specialty futon retailers pay little to no attention to black metal futon frames. Retailers I’ve spoken to have said that the black metal futon frame is the number one service headache when it came to futons with over 95% of service issues being the failure of a black metal frame component. Replacing these parts were made more difficult by the fact the manufacturers were located overseas and obtaining the parts past the 90 day warranty period often involved the retailer having to purchase the replacement parts and charging the customer.

If you’re shopping for a futon, here are some things to think about if you see a black metal futon frame in a mass merchant or big box store. Consider the fact that most solid wood futon frames carry a warranty anywhere from a year to a lifetime warranty. Black metal futon frames have a 90 day warranty. It says something about how much the manufacturer stands behind the product. Black metal frames are made overseas. Expect to wait for a part if something breaks or if you’re past that 90 day warranty, expect to pay for all replacement parts and associated costs to get your frame up and running again. Consider too that parts may also no longer be available should something break. Metal bars allow mattresses to slide into and through the gaps between each bar. This puts lumps in your mattress and can make the futon quite uncomfortable when compared to flat wooden slats on wood frames.

Futons do make a sensible investment as they provide all of the features and benefits of a sofa sleeper but at a fraction of the cost in many cases. If you find the right frame that is well built from quality materials and a good mattress your futon experience is sure to be a positive one. Avoid metal futon frames that are made more to hit a particular price point then they are to be a piece of furniture that can offer longevity as a dependable sofa and sleeper for your home. The right futon can provide you and your family with years of quality use. The wrong futon frame will simply become disposable furniture.

Top Attractions in Puchong

Puchong is a town that can be found in the Petaling district of Selangor, Malaysia. It used to be a tin mining town and rubber estate way back in the 1960′s. Through time it eventually became urbanized. This was due it part to its strategic location. It is located between two of Malaysia’s biggest cities: Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. Now it boasts of several commercial centers, residential subdivisions and industrial parks. Its population boom has led into the transformation of many of its agricultural land into new townships.

Last year I was able to visit Puchong with my family. If you are thinking of vacationing in Malaysia here are the top attractions in Puchong that you should see.

· Kota Permai Golf & Country Club

Kota Permai means serene and beauty in Malay. Two words which best describe Kota Permai Golf and Country Club. This place opened way back in 1998 and has since captivated many golfers and tourists with its appeal. Found within Kota Kemuning’s 1820 acre township this country club has lured many tourists into it’s beautifully manicure golf courses. Kota Permai is considered to be the highlight of the township. This country club is not only meant for golfers but for the entire family and tourists. After all you don’t have to be a golfer to appreciate the beautiful surroundings.

· Hash House Harriers (HHH or H3)

H3 is an international group of social, drinking and running clubs that are non-competitive. It was established in 1938 by a group of British officers. They started to have regular weekly meetings wherein they would run together. It started as a way to promote physical fitness among its members, get rid of hangovers and as a way to bond. The runners became known as “hares”. They would start out on a trail and at reaching the end would be rewarded with beer and cigarettes. The Constitution of the Hash House became officially established in 1950. There are currently about two thousand chapters around the world. Hashing events are always a fun activity to watch.

· Sungei Wang Plaza

Sungei Wang Plaza is well-known shopping centre located in the area of Bukit Bintang. It is famous for its wide collection of products that can be found under one roof. This includes lifestyle items, clothes, books, toys and furniture. One of its main attractions is its 6th floor which has been made into a T-zone of Trendy Zone. This floor is filled with designer clothes, trinkets, shoes and accessories and has become a hit among teenagers.

Find and Do Your Own Thing

In quality manufacturing, speed requires standardization. No wonder Six Sigma, Zero Defects and ISO Certification receive so much time and attention.

But in quality service, doing something unusual or eccentric can create a powerful impact. In service, it can be quite acceptable to find and do your own thing.

Here are just a few examples:

A waiter at the Sugar Beach Resort in Mauritius comes to work each day with a thermometer in his pocket. On the way to the restaurant he takes the temperature of the ocean water and the swimming pool. As he pours coffee and clears plates during breakfast, he joyfully tells guests exactly how warm and enjoyable their swimming will be that day.

A room service attendant at the same resort noticed a guest from Germany reading Goethe during her stay. He got coaching from a colleague and learned a poem in German by heart. A few days later as he served her dinner in her room, he recited the poem proudly for her enjoyment.

A sales clerk at Nordstrom in the United States sold my friend a new pair of shoes. Measuring his feet, the clerk discovered my friend’s right foot was size 9.5 and the left foot was a smaller 9.0. The clerk gave my friend the shoes he needed to achieve a perfect fit: one 9.5 and the other 9.0. I have no idea what the clerk did with the remaining mismatched shoes, but my friend’s loyalty to Nordstrom has been secured.

The customer of a furniture maker in Malaysia returned one large item and selected another. A partial refund was due, but the customer was to leave the country that very night. One staff member offered to process the refund paperwork on the same day. At 8:15 pm he arrived at the customer’s house with the refund check in hand…and a small cake with ‘Bon Voyage!’ written across the top.

At the Raffles Hotel, one laundry worker writes small notes complimenting male guests on the fine fabric of their suits and female guests on the elegance of their evening gowns. These notes are pinned gently to the garments before they are hung back in guests’ closets after drycleaning. What a memorable moment!

At the Four Seasons Hotel, order a juice or soft drink from the bar. You’ll discover ice cubes made from the same drink. As the ice melts your drink gets colder, but not diluted. You get a stronger drink. Strong service, too.

Key Learning Point

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What is ‘your thing’? Is it the personal note you attach to outgoing documents? Is it the enthusiastic tone in your voice on the phone? Is it your pride in teaching customers or colleagues something new? Is it as simple as the colorful clothes you wear, the magazine and newspaper articles you share with others, or your passion for indoor plants that makes the whole office come alive?

Action Steps

How To Use Bolster Pillows

Some people have bolster pillows in their homes and these are described as long narrow cushions or pillows. People can use these for a number of reasons. They can be used to sleep on just like the normal variety. The difference between this and the regular variety is that they span the entire width of the bed. This offers people uniform support regardless of their posture when they are sleeping.

With the normal variety, people can find that their heads will dip between the pillows. The other kind however, will offer good back support while people are sleeping. They are particularly good for pregnant women and people who have back problems. It is possible to bend them into a V shape and this offers great support while watching television or reading a novel.

These cushions are used worldwide and in the Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and China they have been around for many years. People in the west use the flat variety and are often used for support while sleeping. The Asian countries however have ones that are tubular in shape. These people use them for hugging while they sleep. In countries like Singapore and Thailand, where it is very hot, people do not normally cover up when they sleep and they keep themselves warm in the early hours of the morning by hugging the pillows.

The inside of these cushions are normally down or duck feather. They can also be filled with foam or fiber. There are some that can actually be shaped to fit in with the shape of peoples’ bodies. These are ideal for people who have have neck and back pain as it eases strain in these areas. The outers of the cushions are generally made of washable fabrics that are soft. A variety of different fabrics can be used for the outers of the cushions.

Over time people have also used these to enhance the decor in the home. Beds and couches often have tubular shaped cushions on them for the purposes of decorating. Cushions that are used for these purposes usually have satin, velvet or silk casings. As they come in many colors, they will suit the decor of most homes.

As they are shaped uniquely, they tend to make the room look very different. Other terminology for these cushions are roll, neck or tube pillows. Mixing these with other cushions on the bed gives a whole new look to the bedroom. The same applies if these are used on couches and other similar furniture.

These cushions can be used in children’s rooms as well and they are often filled with small beads. The beads are much like the ones found in beanbags, however they are much smaller. Cushions that are used for children usually have coverings of spandex, lycra or nylon. They have many uses as they can be slept on, used when traveling and for the purposes of watching television.

To enhance the decor in the home even further, many people will hem the bolster pillows with lace or ribbon on either end of the cushions. Another way to make them prettier is to sew buttons in the center of the ends of the tube. People can also cover the seaming with rickrack or cording to decorate the cushions as well.

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