Buy purchasing furniture labeled ‘Made in America’ you may think you are patriotic, but that is not necessarily the case. Apart from the fact that most parts, including the wood, could be imported, you are likely buying it because of its quality or its price. However, given that the label, including the ‘Made in USA’ label, was devised to give a boost to the American economy, you will be doing your country a service by paying attention to it.
Why buy solid wood furniture made anywhere else when the USA offers such a fabulous range of hardwoods such as American black walnut, maple, American cherry, various oaks, beech and many others. Not just solid wood, but some fabulous veneers cut from the root bole of the American walnut, or with the beautiful burl ash, plane or any wood thinly cut where major branches intersect with the trunk.
It is hard to beat the beauty of quarter sawn walnut with its beautiful flecks and medullary rays, and all of this can be incorporated into reliable wood or veneered home furniture made in America. When you purchase such American-made products, yes, you are contributing to the economy of your country, but you are also buying quality and a product that will final.
Have you even frequented an old American house, such as Paul Revere’s house in Boston? In case so, did you notice the furniture, particularly in the two rooms upper level in Paul Revere’s house? These pieces are thought to have belonged to his family – all reliable as a rock and still as functional today as it was back again on that April day in 1775 when this individual jumped on the horse and made that famous ride.
Solid wood home furniture made in America using traditional carpentry techniques and using genuine American hardwood. Crafted by American carpenters and cabinet makers, men and women, who are proud of their work and also innovators who are unafraid to try new techniques and use new methods, such as the Stickley way of use quarter sawn oak for center-posts.
While it is patriotic to buy furniture such as this from American firms such as Stickley, Sherrill, Simply Amish, Southwood and American Craftsman, it also makes sense if you want value for money. Why pay the transport of furniture from China or even Europe when you can get the same or even better quality from home? Every penny you spend on home-built furniture is the product, not on paying for it to be shipped half way round the world.
Take these furniture manufacturers mentioned above, and add to that list firms such as The Custom Shoppe, Cambridge Mills, and Nichols & Stone. Every one of these uses traditional carpentry joints in their construction, such as dovetails for the drawers, mortise, and tendon for most of the cabinetry. Dovetails are used for stretchers, where no glue is needed – the joints are strong enough without glue, nails or screws.
When you get your household furniture made in America, you are not only investing in your country’s financial wellbeing, but also in your home and the enduring quality of the furniture that graces it. You are investing in solid American home furniture that you can pass on to your kids. You are investing in your own and their future. Why spend your cash elsewhere when you can be both patriotic and reasonable by purchasing the best quality furniture you can get for your money.
Let’s have a look at some examples. Gustav Stickley made use of quarter sawn oak and its beautiful flecks created by the medullary rays of the natural oak. Leopold Stickley used panels of this oak to show these flecks on all sides of a post, rather than on just the two sides as was possible previously – an example of ingenuity! However, it is the Stickley carpentry that makes their American home furniture so strong an enduring.
They use no glue unless essential, but high-quality joining techniques such as dovetailed cross rails that offer strength without glue or screws, pinned tendons on door frames that can never come loose and even pinned miter joints on mirror frames. Others, such as Sherrill and Simply Amish employ similar traditional carpentry techniques – the same methods used by your forebears when all their furniture had to be hand-made!
The standard of workmanship of genuine hardwood furniture made in America by craftsmen and women is obvious. Everything fits, everything works and if it doesn’t then check the label or the stamp on the wood. You will likely find it made outside these shores, because American-made furniture is made to last and to look good – invest in your own country and not in somebody else’s if you want genuinely high quality home furniture.