The Importance of Hand tools in Modern Amish Furniture Making

The Importance of Hand tools in Modern Amish Furniture Making

One of the finest craftsmen of solid wood furniture is the Amish carpenters. The Amish furniture first took America by storm in the early 1900s. The simple lines and solid construction set the Amish made furniture apart from the elaborate and ornate styles of the late 1800s. They began making furniture out of the need to outfit their homes. With very little contact with the outside world, they relied on themselves to craft furniture that would last for decades.

While it is true that the Amish do not use electricity in their workshops and homes, they are not completely against technology. They have found that compressor-powered tools have helped to save valuable time and maintain their values. By using a mix of hand tools and powered tools, the Amish are able to achieve beautiful furniture pieces. The utilization of hand tools, such as saws and sanders, allow the carpenter to define the minute details that make each piece of furniture unique and essentially a work of art. With these tools, they are able to customize each piece to the needs and wants of the consumer. 

Often families have different trades that are their specialty. It takes great skill and dedication to learn how to create Amish-made furniture. These skills are taught at a young age and perfected over time. They are taught how to sand, shape and finish the wood by hand. The techniques that are used to achieve the final product are the same techniques that were used a hundred years ago. The Amish do not use nails, staples or glue. Instead they use joinery techniques that create a strong joint that will last decades. Drawers are assembled using the dovetail method that interlocks the wood together forming a joint that cannot be pulled apart. Chair and table legs are connected by the technique of mortise and tenon. This method joins two pieces of wood by utilizing a mortise hole and tenon tongue. These are cut to fit exactly, therefore there is no need for glue, nails or staples. 

The advantage of Amish furniture and their use of hand tools is the ability to customize your piece to fit your needs. Furniture pieces can be adjusted in size, style, wood type and finishes. This creates a handcrafted piece of  furniture that is timeless. It is more accessible than ever before and more prevalent in most homes today. Amish-made furniture comes in many styles and will easily fit with any decor.

From contemporary to modern to traditional, solid oak wood furniture is an investment worth the cost. The construction, materials and overall attention to detail makes Amish-made furniture a purchase that will appreciate in value versus the factory-made alternative that will disintegrate within a few years of purchase. With every piece of furniture, you can see the attention to detail and hard work that it took to produce a quality product that you will be proud to display in your home.