When you buy home furniture that is Made in America, you are being sensible, not just patriotic. Sure, its good to buy stuff that has been made in your own country, and the ‘Made in America’ push is intended to help give the American economy a big boost (it sure needs it), but often you will find the quality of items made in the USA is just as good, and often better, than their equivalents manufactured elsewhere.
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 difficult to beat the beauty of quarter sawn oak with its beautiful flecks and medullary rays, and all of this can be incorporated into solid wood or veneered home furniture made in America. When you purchase such American-made products, yes, you are contributing to the economy of your own country, but you are also buying quality and a product that will last.
Have you even visited an old American house, such as Paul Revere’s house in Boston? If so, did you notice the furniture, particularly in the two rooms upstairs in his house? These pieces are believed to have belonged to his family – all solid as a rock and still as functional today as it was back on that April day in 1775 when he jumped on his horse and made that famous ride.
Solid wood home furniture, made in America using traditional carpentry techniques, and using genuine American hardwood. Furniture 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 on 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 and mortise and tenon for most of the cabinetry. Dovetails are use for stretchers, where no glue is needed – the joints are strong enough without glue, nails or screws.
When you buy home furniture that is made in America you are not only investing in your country’s financial well being, but also in your home and the enduring quality of the furniture that graces it. You are investing in solid American furniture that you can pass on to your children. You are investing in your own and their future. Why spend your money elsewhere when you can be both patriotic and sensible 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 furniture so strong and enduring.
They use no glue unless essential, but high quality jointing techniques such as dovetailed cross rails that offer strength without glue or screws, pinned tenons 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.