Little Known Secrets About Amish Woodworking

By  //  November 30, 2021

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When it comes to authentic, carefully crafted wooden furniture, most people immediately think of Amish furniture. Even if they don’t know much about Amish pieces, they will likely have at least heard of them. Their furniture is of excellent quality, with a price and longevity to match. So it makes sense that a lot of work goes into each quality pieces of Amish woodworking.

Not Just Hand Tools

For one, there’s an idea, akin to myth, about Amish woodworking. The belief that Amish workers sit in a shed on the farm, handcrafting the wooden pieces like a carpenter of the eighteenth century may not be everyone’s thought, but it sets the tone.

In some cases this is true, but not always. The truth is, the Amish will make use of power tools for consistent quality, which is an important hallmark of their furniture.

Those power tools are also quality tools that don’t require an electrical grid, as the Amish aren’t big on line electricity. Fortunately, batteries are a bit of a grey area for them.

Handpicked Quality

Such quality control is why the lumber for Amish furniture is handpicked for quality. This ensures the experts in woodworking obtain the best possible wood to make the highest quality wooden furniture. While that affects the price, it’s important to remember that high quality wooden furniture, if cared for, can last more or less forever.

Some Staining

What with the high quality wood and craftsmanship, you might not think that Amish furniture is ever stained, because they want the natural color of the wood to shine. Sometimes, though Amish furniture is stained to create a darker finish. So keep that in mind when looking at Amish pieces.

Some people might complain about the use of stains and power tools ruining their “authentic” Amish furniture. Quality takes time and effort, and if that dashes the mythology of Amish furniture while still ensuring a quality product at a fair price, then so it goes.

Experts in the Craft

Finding experienced carpenters can be a pain, because it is a skill learned over years. Like the tradesmen of old, apprentice craftsman learn the trade over years under the watchful eyes and hands of experienced workers.

The Amish continue this tradition, with their woodworkers starting young and learning from decades of experience firsthand. Buying Amish furniture is, in many ways, buying an antique from the future. It may not be an older piece, but it has the same quality and craftsmanship as something made a century or more before.

Hand Detail

For those worried about the use of power tools, rest assured that the vast bulk of Amish furniture still ends up completed by hand.

This is especially true for the finishing touches, where even in modern furniture crafting the little details are still sometimes performed by hand. That said, you probably won’t find a hand sanded and finished table at an office supply store.

The finishing design work is done by hand too. While that tends to be more common in furniture, it’s still important to note the fine detailed work that goes into Amish woodwork.

Hand sanded finishes and artisan quality detailed design work are hallmarks of hand finished furniture. When it comes to Amish pieces, stains and power tools or not, you know you’re getting a quality piece that will last.

Heavily Customizable

Since the vast bulk of the work is done by hand, and is all done by a handful of experienced and skilled crafter instead of an assembly line, Amish furniture is very customizable. Purchasing Amish furniture is a lot like ordering a custom piece from a skilled worker, because in many ways that is what you’re doing. You might be using a website these days instead of going to the carpenter’s shop in person, but the sensation is still the same.

It’s worth noting that as part of that customization, you can usually get some little added compartments and crannies in your pieces.

Amish furniture is generally fitted together rather than screwed or nailed, so that allows a fair bit of creativity when it comes to assembly. Think of it as a giant, extremely long lasting three dimensional puzzle built together for your use.

There are a lot of myths and false facts about the Amish (you can learn more about them here: https://www.amishfurniturefactory.com/amishblog/9-myths-busted-about-the-so-called-amish-simple-life/ ). The separation of the truth and the misinformation can make for some hard truths.

At the end of the day, though, Amish furniture is a high quality product. The wood is carefully and sustainable selected, the tools are of high quality, the craftsmen exceptionally skilled in their trade, and the pieces are finished by hand. It might not be completely assembled by hand, but it is still a quality piece of furniture, with a price that reflects that exceptional quality and durability.

Rest assured when you purchase Amish furniture, it’s a piece that will last for generations. It’s very much like buying a future antique piece in the present, which is probably why they make such great gifts.