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How Our Furniture is Made

Traditional carpentry skills have been in use for hundreds of years to construct solid, reliable and attractive furniture. Handcrafted furniture is renowned for its exceptional quality and for its impressive shelf life; antique furniture is a great example of this. 

Expert artisans are employing these same skills today to create our beautiful contemporary collections.

Expert joinery techniques

Furniture is designed to be used; drawers are pulled, doors opened, items stored, hung and displayed. Our quality furniture is handcrafted with skill and precision to ensure it will last a lifetime of daily use, house moves and boisterous children.

Here are just some examples of the traditional joinery methods used in the manufacture of our collections:

Tongue and groove isn’t a 1970’s genre of music but it is an extremely strong joint that requires no glue or mechanical fastenings to hold. Timbers are closely pieced together using tongue and groove to create a single flat surface with barely visible seams. Many of our cabinet backs are created using this process.

Dovetail joints have been used for thousands of years. In fact, the earliest known example of a dovetail joint is in furniture found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Another exceptionally strong joint, it is formed by cutting ‘pins’ and ‘tails’ into boards and slotting them together like a puzzle. Because it is very resistant to being pulled apart, dovetail joints are commonly used in fixing the sides of a drawer to the front.

A great deal of contemporary furniture is constructed using inexpensive materials and quick manufacturing processes. The end result may be good-looking but it will also be flimsy and cheap. Such furniture is not designed to last but to be replaced with new pieces every few years. Buying handcrafted furniture may be more expensive, but it is an investment that will last a lifetime.

Hardwood vs. Softwood

Many types of wood can be used in the construction of furniture and they can be divided into two camps; hardwood and softwood. The general rule is that hardwoods are often harder or denser than softwoods, although it’s important to note that this is not always the case. The most commonly used hardwood lumbers for making furniture include ash, oak, mahogany and walnut and the most popular softwoods are pine, cedar and redwood.

The clear difference between the two is a matter of quality. Hardwood timbers offer exceptional quality, sturdiness and reliability, compared to their softwood counterparts. Softwood furniture is cheaper but hardwood furniture offers better value as it will last much longer.

Veneers

Veneers have long had a bad rap. On the very cheapest items of furniture - and not anything you will find on this site! - veneers are used to cover up chipboard, and may not even be made of solid wood. This cheap furniture normally uses 'wood effect' veneers made from plastics that will often easily chip or peel away, revealing an even cheaper looking interior!

Veneer is not necessarily a dirty word, however, when they are made of quality, solid wood, and applied to solid wood panels. In fact, it could be argued that solid wood, veneered furniture offers a stronger and more durable finish that solid wood furniture without veneers.

Our Chunky Oak collection is a great example of solid oak veneers used on solid oak panels. Here, premium solid wood veneers are paired with solid wood timbers to produce outstanding furniture with a sturdy and reliable construction, and a flawless finish, at a lower cost. The reason for using these solid wood veneers is to enable our craftsmen to use solid oak panels that are not of the very highest grade (they may have slight natural imperfections, such as large knots, for example), but providing a perfect finish thanks to the use of solid oak veneers cut from premium grade oak. This makes this collection more cost-effective, whilst at the same time being judicious with the use of our precious wood resources.

If you have any questions about the construction of our furniture, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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