Furniture is an essential part of our daily lives, both in our homes and workplace. However, many people don’t know how a piece of beautiful natural wood ends up as a well-crafted piece of furniture that lends to the overall charm of their home or office.
The role of the designer
Every piece of furniture needs to have some aspects in its design that will make it functional and yet stylish enough to stand out alone or in combination with the other pieces that will share the same space. An experienced furniture maker or designer works the design according to the desired style before the next phase can begin.
Choosing the wood
Before the production of the furniture even begins, the materials have to be sourced. Wood and wood products are most commonly used for furniture making, and their manufacturers have to source the right wood. The choices are many, and even though pine is used a lot, oak, beech, ash wood, ebony, and cherry are also popular varieties of wood.
Trees that are specially grown for furniture making are always treated with special care by the woodcutters. These trees are transported to the sawmill where they are carefully sawn into boards that need to be dried.
The drying process is the next important step in the process of preparing the wood at the mills. Furniture quality depends on the dryness, and many furniture makers want wood that is only naturally dried. This ensures that it retains 12% to 15% humidity so that the wood doesn’t warp after production. This process of seasoning the wood is started outside, but sometimes it may also be kiln-dried. Generally, proper drying of the wood can take weeks.
Crafting individual furniture pieces
According to the design, the furniture maker begins his craft. The wood crafter has a variety of machines at his disposal to help with the straight and curved cutting processes, and the chain saw and jointers are some of them. Magic is created by hand and furniture makers use traditional carpenter tools to create carvings into the wood.
The wood is sawed, planed and moulded according to the piece of furniture to be produced. Shapers and routers for cutting out parts can be either hand-held or machines and after the initial rough carvings are made the various elements are ready for assembly. When cutting out the pieces for the furniture, the artisan ensures that there is as little waste as possible.
Every step in the process of sawing, jointing, sanding, and fitting takes time and effort, and the furniture maker has to ensure that each piece is cut precisely according to the design, while also taking care not to reduce him while at it. These are, after all, sharp tools and moving machines that require his full attention.
Where parts are to be glued, they will need to be clamped, and if the wood is soft, special care has to be taken not to have it damaged by the clamps.
All the cut pieces have to be carefully scrutinised before assembly to ensure that the grain matches everywhere. Usually, a dry construction may be made at this point to ensure that everything is correct.
Inlays are beautiful designs that can be incorporated into furniture tops for added beauty and are also called marquetry. These are created by carving the design into the surface and then laying the little pieces like a puzzle. These small pieces can be made from other types of wood, marble or mother-of-pearl, and the whole process is usually done by hand.
Finishing and polishing
Sanding is the process that prepares the finished items to be varnished and polished. This process depends mainly on the type of finish required and on the wood that has been chosen for the furniture.
Why choose traditional furniture?
Modern manufacturing processes produce lovely pieces of furniture that all look the same. Traditional furniture makers of the past and even today concentrate on creating unique pieces of furniture that never date, are different from everything else available and can continue increasing in value over the years.
Choose a beautifully crafted piece of traditional furniture from woodsala.com or create a unique design for your home, and you will know that the best craftsmen will lovingly make it. Make your choice of a naturally seasoned wood that has not been kiln dried and you will have a stunning piece of furniture, resistant to splits and cracks, with a distinct grain and texture that will become a family heirloom.