Amish Furniture Construction

Amish breakfast nook

One of the primary motivations for members of an Amish community is keeping their way of life and giving their children the same choice when they reach the age, to begin with, their families of their own. In the past, the majority of Amish families earned their livelihood by dairying and farming. Their tradition is to aid their children in purchasing farms once they are old enough to continue living the way they did and their beliefs.

However, the popularity of the Amish communities has been a stumbling block to these values. As communities have grown and the standard of living has been shared across the entire community, land prices have risen. As the land has grown in price, the possibility to afford an entire farm for the children has become almost impossible. This has forced Amish communities to seek cottage industries to earn a living, hire their children, and keep close family bonds.


Being deeply rooted in their land and the earth, they take their involvement with the soil and its resources to be an expression of their faith in God. They are the stewards of the land since there’s no anymore being produced. It is essential to preserve it. Wood is an excellent resource to use. It is renewable; it removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and needs only sunlight for growth.


Wood industry always has employed people within those belonging to the Amish furniture making. The majority of them were sawmill operators or loggers. Sawmills were a simple company to establish and could also employ a lot of the youngsters: numerous sawmills process walnut, oak, and various other woods. The majority of the wood is dried by air. However, certain woods are also kiln-dried. The predominant material is oak. Read the accompanying article about the Amish Family Business.


To increase their profits, many sawmills began producing pallets for the manufacturing industry to make final use of their timber. Repair shops for pallets also came up. A few of the more traditional Amish groups construct pallets using hand nailing instead of automated nailers.


Other businesses came up to dry wood that was being cut in the mills. They typically were not part of the Amish community due to the necessity for utilities to regulate the drying process for lumber. Lumber used for furniture construction generally must be dried in a kiln to ensure it is moist to a suitable amount.


A lot of Amish individuals have made cabinets for a long time. A few small cabinet stores dotted the area, creating custom kitchens for homes that were being constructed in the region. The craftsmen often make furniture for their houses, homes of their family members, and especially for their children after they get married, as wedding gifts. When the first tourists traveled around, they came across these establishments and requested the owners to build their cabinets. There are cabinet makers in the area who have shipped kitchens to Cleveland and even other OH parts.


Others provided hand-made caskets to the community. It is usual for communities to have a small number of individuals who craft caskets. Usually, they keep many on hand rather than creating them as needed.


Amish men also have found work within their communities by producing wheels, poles for surrey, and the finished buggies. Several shops in the region employ several men to make buggy wheels that are then delivered to other Amish communities across the United States. Read the article on the Amish Knowledgebase on Amish transportation for more details on this particular industry.

A majority of furniture stores began as small businesses, making furniture using hand-made tools. There are still some shops operating in this manner, but they’re unable to build furniture promptly to satisfy the demands. It’s also an issue of economics, like home construction. There’s been for a long time Amish carpenter builders who constructed the entire house from scratch. They could build about six homes per year. They are now hiring other Amish, Mennonite, and English subcontractors to build homes. This allows them to build more houses over a year.


A few entrepreneurial Amish men started to make furniture on a bigger scale, employing family members and others from their community. As the industry grew, components manufacturers began popping up. One person planes dry lumber into perfect, smooth dimensions. Another shop cuts the lumber for an individual manufacturer they work with. Another company may only make chairs, or turn spindles. The final assembler could make the furniture from various parts shops. Some shops even make their own furniture. Some others use another Amish company to complete the work.


The attitude of the worker and the quality of the work create the base which the furniture industry is built upon. One of the local stores has a sign that hangs in the office of the owner. The sign says: “Quality-countless, unseen details are often the only difference between mediocre and magnificent.” The Amish are often praised for their work, but the public’s comments do not drive their determination to perform it properly. It’s rooted within them in the belief that it’s essential to give their best. The concept behind handcrafted furniture differs from the robotically manufactured furniture because someone is looking at the fitting of the furniture and saying, “I don’t like the way that fits.”


Another local company and retailer began their journey in their garage at home in 1983. Their ancestors were of Amish tradition. Amish faith and work ethics. They relocated to an open-air retail store in 1985 and held shows for crafts to complement their sales in retail. In 1988, they moved again and constructed a new shop in the year 1991. They later stopped attending craft shows and prepared to manage their retail operations. The whole thing was fuelled by the public’s growing acceptance, seeing their pinewood products and later furniture and furniture made of oak.


In the last 20 years, the production and sale of local furniture have increased dramatically in the region. When visitors entered the area, they saw high-quality, handcrafted furniture available in local stores and wholesale stores. It was of excellent quality and affordable. A visitor to the area found they could purchase two wooden end tables made of oak for less than the cost of one end table within the area in which they resided.


Since its inception, the business has grown to 500 wholesale operations, which feed the retail operations of 30+ and other dealers across the nation. Some of the smaller companies also sell their products.


As the industry matures, manufacturers are stepping away from traditional wood staining and finishing to antiquing, painting, and distressing furniture to stay up with changing fashions. Although many stores have the standard furniture they make, many are also ready to build any furniture item you wish to create. Although oak is traditionally the preferred wood, most shops are now using maple, cherry, and hickory as well as other types of wood. It is a time to change the way you shop—the moment in terms of products as well as styles and types of woods. Although the quality stays unchanged, the processes are evolving, improving, and improving.


Furniture that is made locally in the region is shipped across the nation. Every day you will see trucks bringing in local furniture and bringing it back to their retail stores across OH and throughout the nation. One trucker from the area takes the load of locally-made furniture to Alaska each year to resell.


At one time, High Point, NC, was considered “the furniture capital” of the US. The local Chamber and other business associations are trying to determine what is happening locally. The area appears to have overtaken High Point and become the largest region of US furniture manufacturing. However, that’s not the main goal for the small Amish family that is involved in the business. They’re trying to safeguard their family’s faith and traditions for the next generation.


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