Amish furniture is some of the most loved in the U.S. due to its beauty and longevity. This popular furniture lasts so long because of the painstaking craftsmanship that goes into it. The woodworking techniques of the Amish have been passed down through generations of Amish carpenters, meaning that they have truly been tested by time.
Below are just a few of the furniture making techniques the Amish still use today to create the beautiful hardwood furniture that so many in the US enjoy.
The high quality wood used to make Amish furniture is one of the reasons this furniture lasts for so long. Amish craftsmen use only solid wood in their furniture, never a substitute or anything less. Some of the most popular hardwoods used in Amish furniture are cherry, hickory, elm, and oak.
In addition to using exclusively solid wood, Amish builders are even selective about the individual pieces of wood used. Builders carefully inspect each individual piece of wood for any flaws before choosing it to go in the finished piece of furniture.
The wood’s grain is taken into consideration, and woodworkers carefully plan how each piece will work together to create the finished piece.
The care and consideration of Amish carpenters doesn’t stop at hand picking each piece of wood used in their furniture. The builders also handcraft every piece of furniture using traditional techniques and tools.
Amish woodworkers don’t use nails or screws either. This is done in order to increase the durability of the furniture. Dovetail and mortise-and-tenon joints are stronger than nails, and give Amish furniture a distinct seamless appearance that homeowners love.
An interesting note about the traditional joints used in place of nails in Amish furniture is that the mortise-and-tenon joint technique has been around for thousands of years. This method works by inserting the end of one piece of wood (the tenon) into a slot in another piece of wood (the mortise). This is widely considered one of the strongest woodworking joints out there.
All of the intricate details and delicate embellishments you see on Amish furniture are done by hand. Builders use chisels and other hand tools to add these beautiful designs to their furniture. These details are so personal that the aesthetics of a specific piece of furniture can often be recognized as belonging to a certain builder or Amish family.
Before they finish furniture pieces, Amish craftsmen examine every piece closely to ensure their work begets only perfect pieces. The craftsmen also stain and seal the furniture pieces repeatedly until they will hold up against scratches and even water stains (though you should still take steps to protect your furniture where possible).
Keeping Traditions Alive
Another unique aspect of Amish furniture making is how diligently Amish craftsmen look to the future. Woodworking is often a skill passed down through families, and future carpenters start learning woodworking techniques early in life. Many are proud of the craftsmanship that comes from their families and strive to create perfect pieces that continue their good name.
In addition to passing on their amazing woodworking skills, Amish craftsmen also use some of the most eco-friendly practices out there to supply materials for their furniture. The hardwoods used in Amish furniture are locally sourced, making this furniture a truly American-made product. The wood is sustainably harvested, and the furniture it is used in is made to last so that no future replacements will be needed.
Looking for the perfect piece of heirloom quality furniture for your home? Visit Amish Oak in Texas at either of our furniture stores in San Antonio or New Braunfels, TX. Our staff are always happy to help you find the best furniture for your taste, or to answer any questions you have about Amish furniture.