Chris Bingaman first met George by working for his father’s lumber business, Bingaman & Sons Lumber. For many years, George would purchase raw lumber used to make the high-quality solid hardwood furniture at George’s Woodcrafts. George worked with Max, Chris’ father, to identify the group of logs that were cut to George’s particular order. Black walnut was a favor of George and is still in high demand, especially as a recently developed technique, using both the natural heartwood and sapwood of black walnut wood called Walnut Blend was made available.
Walnut Blend on Table with clear water resistant finish repelling water.
The coveted Pennsylvania cherry and red oak are in high demand, harvested by Bingaman & Sons from the ever-expanding forests of Pennsylvania. Over the years, Chris enjoyed sharing his love for natural wood and the harvest of timber. He also appreciates the quality of craftsmanship exhibited by George’s craftsmen.
Gifts for employees
As a special gift to their retiring employees, the company purchases George’s famous non- tip rocking chair. Several times, George’s employees have toured the lumber saw mill and wood drying kilns. A great way to integrate of raw lumber and finished product.
Designed to space requirements
Chris upgraded his sales office by specially ordering a large executive desk. He worked with our designers to bring his ideas and unique space needs to reality. Delivering the desk presented another challenge. The hallways were narrow with tight corners. Up the stairs and around a hairpin curve. We designed the desk with the office layout in mind. Now Chris enjoys helping customers surrounded with natural cherry grain of his executive desk.
George’s designer came and measured the space I had to use and worked with me to create a design that served all the functions I hoped for. When the desk arrived, it exceeded my expectations! It is a beautiful piece that brings a “wow” response to everyone who visits my office and it is the most enjoyable work station I have ever experienced. I am an extremely satisfied customer!!! – Chris Bingaman
Stackable Chair design
When Chris and his wife redecorated their home, they came with a unique style of dining chair. They worked with our designers to develop a new style of chair that continued the strength and comfort of George’s chairs. Another challenge of long tables is where to store all the chairs between dinner parties. A design for sturdy, stackable chairs emerged and now stands in their closet awaiting the next large gathering. The stackable chairs are stacked in groups of 5 chairs taking the space of 32x21x42h. They are available in black walnut (pictured), cherry, red oak or maple hardwood. A number of different stain colors are available.
Can’t keep it quiet
The quality and natural grain of solid wood is hard to keep quiet. Customers like Chris are sharing their love for wood and superb craftsmanship with the guest at home and the customers they meet. Come see our two showrooms and woodworking shop to see what the talk is all about. You will be amazed and see firsthand why quality speaks for itself.
To continue our series on conservation, George’s Furniture takes a look at Draft Horse Logging, which has made a resurgence in the logging industry.
With the cost of new, modern forestry equipment landing in the triple digits, it’s no wonder that forestry workers have taken a second look at the draft horse as a means to operate a low-overhead, lucrative logging operation. While most horse-pulled logging still requires at least one piece of heavy equipment, scaling back on machines and logging with horses has been successful for many loggers worldwide.
Draft work horse
The draft workhorse, be it a Belgian, Percheron, or other draft breed, can cost around $3,000-$5,000. This is compared to the staggering $25,000- $500,000 cost needed for logging machinery. This workhorse will typically have a 6-year career, and has a perk that a machine never will—it can be bred. In fact, according to the Small Horse Journal, draft horse power costs just $3-$17 per horse hour. While the horse comes with its own expenses (food, veterinary care, stable/pasture, harness, etc.), the lower cost of the draft horse means that the logger does not have to produce near the output that heavy logging equipment must just to cover overhead expenses. And, obviously, horses don’t break down.
But it’s not just the cost that loggers benefit from, it’s the technical benefits of horse logging that many have fallen in love with. Logging with heavy machinery requires clearance, level ground, and hundreds of acres to be profitable. Many times, historic or preserved forests, research areas, and the topography around steams are closed to heavy machinery, but they are not closed to horses. Horses can easily climb steep hills and log on uneven ground. Unlike heavy machines, they don’t damage fragile waterways. Horses also do not disturb the forest’s topsoil. In short, the draft horse can reach areas that machines cannot.
The other obvious benefit of draft horse logging is that it is environmentally friendly. The draft horse does not burn fossil fuels, emitting fumes and toxins into the air. With rising gas prices, draft horse owners are spared the expense of fuel and the inconvenience of running out of fuel on the job. Rather, the manure of the horse benefits the forest by replenishing nutrients in the soil which feeds the forest’s flora. The weight of the draft horse does not damage the fragile root systems of the forest as a heavy machine would.
Logging with horses also has another benefit that stands apart—the strongest trees of the forest are left standing, which results in a healthier forest for both the landowner and logger. While draft horse logging still leaves a skid trail, instead of the trail being the width of a machine (often 10 feet wide or more), the skid trail is the width of the horse and the log it is pulling, as little as 3 feet wide. In short, the draft horse logger leaves very little trace that he was even there.
The economic benefits for both landowner and logger are indisputable. Often, the landowner saves thousands of dollars by using draft horse logging simply because of the difference in overhead expenses. However, draft horse logging is typically relegated to logging forests that are less than 200 acres.
Another unique benefit of using draft horses for logging is that recreational trails can be created by using them. For landowners allowing visitors to use their land for hiking or cross-country skiing, using the draft horse to create paths allows for variety that machinery can’t provide—crossing streams, going up and down steep terrain, navigating through thick vegetation and around rocks.
There are downsides to equine power versus machine power. For one, efficiency drops. A single horse must pull the logs out of the forest one at a time, while a machine can pull as many as 20. Horses also require a truck to transport it’s logs to the mill which means the forest must have road access somewhere. The horse logger must be selective about the trees he logs to be sure that he remains profitable, where machinery does not have to be as selective.
However, all of these potential downsides have a counterbalance—horse logging is sustainable, allowing high quality trees to grow which results in a healthy forest and a healthier long-term profit. The trees that would be cut down by machinery just so the machinery can “get through” is able to remain standing and to grow with draft horse logging. These extra years of growing produce extra profit since the trees are stronger, larger, and thus more valuable when sold. This extra value and extra profit can be seen especially when a landowner has a special tree, such as a birds-eye maple or hardy walnut (which are often used for furniture). The cost of logging and moving the unusual tree to sale is significantly cheaper with the draft then it would be with the machine. These high-quality trees go from a tree to a finished product sustainability and profitability, benefiting all parties involved in the transaction.
Conserving natural resources
Just as the draft horse logger helps to conserve our natural resources, George’s Furniture is committed to doing our part in caring for our environment. Using hardwoods native to our region such as Cherry, Red Oak, Maple, and Black Walnut goes a long way in ensuring both quality for our customers and low environmental impact. We take extra measures to ensure that our wood is harvested at the right time and to rigid specifications. When you design your furniture with George’s, you can be assured that our craftsmen are conscious of minimizing waste. The wood for your furniture is carefully selected, processed with care, hand-turned where possible, and meticulously assembled for proper fit and finish.
At George’s Furniture, we believe that incorporating earth-friendly processes into our furniture-making and doing our part in preserving our natural resources ensures the success of future generations.
According to Dan Meyer, editor of the Hardwood Weekly Review, hardwood growing stock inventories were 3 to 12% higher in 2017 than 10 years earlier in each of the four subregions of the East. Additionally, East-wide volumes were up 7%. What does this mean to us and to you, our valuable clients?
It simply means that despite a 10-year depression in global demand, as a nation we are turning that depression around by increasing active management of our hardwood forests to ensure their health, productivity, and sustainability.
Ultimate Quality, Little Waste
At George’s, we are very conscious of our natural resources. Our shop is set up to make the most of each slab of wood that comes through our door. Each piece of custom furniture is built with ultimate quality and little waste. We utilize our wood for multiple purposes to reduce our waste output. The wood cutoffs from our table saws are used for the construction of our drawer interiors. The unusable wood is chipped up and used to dry the walnut wood in our wood drying kiln and heat our woodshop. Our mission is to have each piece be hand-crafted to your exact specifications all the while being conscious craftsmen.
Native Pennsylvanian hardwood
Using hardwoods native to our region such as Cherry, Red Oak, Maple, and Black Walnut goes a long way in ensuring both quality and low environmental impact. We take extra measures to ensure that our wood is harvested at the right time and to rigid specifications. We slow dry our rough-sawn Black Walnut in our own kiln and moisture check the commercially dried Cherry, Oak and Maple. Why? Because, if not dried properly, the wood may form stress cracks that result in costly waste. Additionally, any moisture that remains in the wood after drying can lead to loose joints and warping. This would be a disservice to you, our client, and to the environment.
Throughout the design process, our craftsmen are conscious of minimizing waste. Our craftsmen thoroughly review the design and carefully select the wood that will be used to create the requested piece. Each board is processed with care, while legs or finials are hand-turned on a lathe. Meticulous attention is paid during the assembly process to ensure a proper fit and finish.
If you would like to learn more about our environmentally-friendly furniture making process, please contact us to schedule your personal tour. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Here at George’s, we pride ourselves on being effective and resourceful in our business practices. Each piece of custom furniture is built with ultimate quality and little waste. We utilize our wood for multiple purposes to reduce our waste output. The wood cutoffs from our table saws are used for the construction of our drawer interiors. The unusable wood is chipped up and used to dry the walnut wood in our wood drying kiln and heat our woodshop. Our mission is to have each piece be hand-crafted to your exact specifications all while being conscious craftsmen.
By investing in solid hardwood from George’s, you are investing in a renewable resource that ultimately is environmentally friendly and also helps protect our local forests. The PA lumber used in our furniture helps slow the spread of pests by reducing the risk of importing invasive species to our forests.
Shop renewable, local and handcrafted with George’s.
George’s Furniture is a second-generation family-owned business located in the farmlands of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Our furniture is still made the old-fashion way – handcrafted by artisans who take great pride in the quality of their work. There is no shortcut to quality. Make our shop one of your stops as you tour Lancaster County, Pennsylvania!
Each piece of furniture is handcrafted right in our workshop and signed by its maker. There is no factory assembly line – just skilled craftsmen who lovingly follow each piece from the selection of the lumber to the final detail.
We often get asked what makes our furniture last so long. Many of our customers own George’s Furniture heirlooms that have been passed down to them—or they themselves plan on passing their pieces down to their children and other family members.
There are several reasons as to why our high-quality, hand crafted furniture is built to last right here in Lancaster County.
Built from strong solid hardwood
Wood is a resource that keeps on giving. Pennsylvania forests are managed and cared for to strengthen and increase sustainability and the quality of our products.
Constructed with the ability to adjust to moisture changes
Between seasons and different climates. When the furniture is sitting in your home, the wood continues to move as the seasons change or the pieces move with you to different climates—but you’d never know it. Our furniture is assembled to allow for this movement without affecting its construction.
Crafted by one craftsman with precision and seasoned skill
We do not have assembly lines. The craftsman who makes your furniture onsite will sign and date every masterpiece. Each craftsman takes pride in the personal work that goes into each piece they build—from start to finish. This goes a long way in controlling the overall quality and beauty in your own piece of furniture.
Quality control at multiple points throughout the building process
The initial build of your furniture is by one the craftsman. While being hand stained, each surface of the furniture is checked closely. Final assembly includes hardware and possible lighting. We personally deliver our furniture; this allows us to check it while blanket wrapping it for delivery with one final check at your home while you’re present.
Time tested joinery methods
Our gift to you through our joinery methods is a promise for long-lasting construction. Craftsmen are trained to know the “feel” of a solid joint during assembly.
Durability and life of furniture is taken into account at the design stage before building starts
Each piece is reviewed together by both a designer and a craftsman—and continues throughout the building stage. Our designers enjoy working with you to create your own unique piece for your home.
Maintained temperature and humidity in the wood shop and finishing room
Temperature and humidity levels are monitored throughout the year to keep the wood in a constant stable condition from the building stage, and through to the finishing stage. The wood or furniture never leaves the building between building and finishing. We use humidity control in the building throughout the year.
High grade sanding materials
We use the highest grade of sanding materials to give the perfect surface for receiving a consistent stain. Sanding materials are never overused and our craftsmen have the experience to know when enough sanding is enough.
As you can see, a lot of time and care goes into each piece of custom furniture is made here at George’s Furniture. Contact us today or stop by our beautiful Lancaster furniture store showroom!