House filled after hurricane Sandy

House filled after hurricane Sandy

Our customers discover Georges Furniture by many different ways.  Whether they find a brochure In Lancaster County, searched for quality furniture maker online, see the handmade furniture in a friend’s home or listened to the excited story of a satisfied customer, the furniture amazes them each time they enter the showrooms. What beautiful furniture, wonderful craftsmanship!

Explore handmade furniture

The Amsterdam family was no different. They came to see the wood shop tour and discovered the unique features of handcrafted, custom, and signed by one craftsman furniture all in one place. At the end of the tour they responded,

“Our house is full of furniture, however if we ever need furniture we know where we will come.”

Flooding Devastation

Two years after their visit, Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern seaboard of the United. The family watched in terror as the water arose, filling the first floor and proceeded up the stairs to the next floor.  Their  furniture did not survive the flooding.  Once the hurricane moved northward, the cleanup began.

Return to George’s

corner curio walnut

Once the clean up finished and their house ordered, it was time to look for furniture.  As promised, the Amsterdam family came to the showroom with a unique request.  “Will you help us fill our house with furniture?”  I never thought I would be an interior designer, but they spread out the floor plan on our dining table and we proceeded through each room.  First was the dining room then the master bedroom. I worked with each family member deciding the perfect design and options.

Which furniture to make first

Several hours later came the challenging part.  Which room to make first. Dinning, master bedroom, teens bedroom, living room or den.  Out of necessary, the dining table and chairs won along with the bedroom furniture. We updated each other as the house neared completion and ready for delivery.

Home restored

Over the next couple of years, we filled their house with custom handmade furniture designed to their desires. The furniture will serve the family for decades to come. Want to join in the discovery of quality craftsmanship, visit Georgesfurniturepa.com or visit our showroom and wood shop.

How to detect Quality

To help you start the process to high-quality, handcrafted furniture, we created this handy checklist to spot high-quality furniture.  Download the checklist here so you know what to avoid in your furniture shopping.  Then call us when you are ready to design your own customer, handcrafted piece.

 

 

Download you Guide to High-quality Furniture
Raw lumber source, stackable chair

Raw lumber source, stackable chair

Lumber meets finished furniture

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.

no water marks durable finish dining room table furniture store in lancaster

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 designstackable chairs

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.

View Your Furniture Handcrafted

View Your Furniture Handcrafted

George’s Difference – Viewing Your Own Handcrafted Furniture

The next time you visit Lancaster, PA we want to give you a tour of our shop where each piece of our solid wood furniture is handcrafted & custom made. Yes, it is true! We love bringing guests on a tour of our wood-working shop. Quite honestly, that is what makes us different from nearly any other furniture shop you can think of. 

Of course, it is not just a tour of some automated wood shop. You see our craftsmen at work, literally drilling, planing, and staining with the tools in their hands to produce your perfect handcrafted solid wood furniture. Actually, we invite not only our guests but any customer with any order in progress to schedule a time to visit & watch their furniture crafted by hand right in front of their very eyes. That was how Tom & Karen found us!

 

See furniture order handcrafted

“My wife and I had been furniture shopping for over a year and decided it was time to buy.  While my wife was getting ready, I decided to make one last internet search for Lancaster County furniture stores.  I was positive that we had already visited every furniture store so I was not optimistic about finding something new. George’s Furniture appeared on a list of stores we had previously visited, some of them multiple times. They were located near Maytown so I clicked on their website.” -Tom

cherry table with black stain handcrafted furniture in lancaster design our own furniture york

 

The beauty of creating custom handmade furniture is that we can support your vision in a way that works for you, instead of just selling you assembly line, machine-made furniture. 

Perhaps you need a dining table that is large enough to host all your children & grandchildren for a holiday meal. Maybe you are looking for a bedroom set that can become a family heirloom & add to the beauty of your home. In the professional setting, we even love designing executive desks & conference tables. (Did you know we even designed a conference table for the Pentagon?)

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning the handcrafted furniture process

“We were met by Anthony upon our arrival.  After explaining what we were looking for, he expertly guided us through all the options.  When ordering custom made furniture there are lots of decisions to make.  After several hours our order was finalized.” -Tom

Tom and Karen worked with our designers to create the perfect dining set to meet their specific needs and interests. They also scheduled an appointment to see their furniture in process.

handmade furniture lancaster amish furniture york

 As we walked them through the tour, they saw the chairs ready for assembly. The artisan carefully placed glue into the precisely angled holes drilled into the seat for the chair legs. Tom and Karen observed the chair leveling process to make sure the chair would sit level in their home.

 

“I didn’t realize that so much work goes into making furniture.” — Tom

The finished table waited in the completed area. In the wood shop, they could see the other pieces of their set in progress too. A bench sat ready for assembly. The glued together coffee table wood top was ready for its next step of shaping and edge routing. The stained pantry waited for the final clear water-resistant coat of catalyzed conversion varnish.

Assembly lines vs handcrafted

Several minutes into the tour, Tom asked about the difference between George’s furniture process and other furniture manufacturing.

careful sanding custom made furniture lancasterHe referred to the cost and time difference of mass production assembly lines. We know many of our customers & guests wonder the same thing.

To be quite honest, mass production uses automated production lines and large sheets of plywood and particleboard in the construction. Since their focus is often on quantity over quality, they spend little time on matching grain or on preparing the wood well for assembly.  We take the extra time of planing, cutting, and gluing the solid wood pieces together. That is what makes our process so different.

The path to quality

Handcrafted custom furniture made at George’s shop displays the careful attention to the wood grain, design, durability, and strength of the construction. Can I walk you through our complete process?

  1. Each artisan selects properly dried solid wood boards & cuts them to length. They use a jointer in their preparation process to make the boards flat, square & easy to assemble together (You can find out more about how jointers work here.) A thickness planer is also an essential part of this process to prepare the board & ensure that it is the same thickness all the way around the board. (The thickness planer is explained more here.)
  2. The furniture is ready for assembly after construction of all the individual parts. All those individual parts often include legs, skirts, tops, sides, solid wood drawers (fronts, sides, bottom), raised panel doors, rungs, seats, chair top, tongue-groove backing, etc.
  3. Next, they stain it and apply a clear coat of finish. The artisan signs and dates their finished piece before an all-over light sanding and final application of water-resistant clear coat of spray-top to bottom, inside and out. We actually asked our previous customers if they can still see the signature on their piece & these are the photos they shared with us.
  4. The final step in assembly is installing the hardware such as knobs & handles on drawers, adding in the table slides (our extension table is one of our most popular products actually!), and completing the tongue and groove backing.
  5. Last stop is the storage area where the finished product waits for the completion of the other pieces in the order. For example, maybe you have ordered a full dining table & chairs set like many of our other customers. Maybe you even ordered a bedroom suite of a bed, night stand & chest of drawers. This final waiting area is where we collect all pieces of an order before we deliver the complete set to the customer’s house.

 

Time to enjoy your gorgeous handcrafted furniture

“Our furniture was recently delivered and we are very happy with all the pieces.  They are gorgeous and exactly as we ordered.  The entire process from beginning to end was very pleasant and trouble free. We visited the shop and saw several of our pieces while in production. In closing, my wife and I would like to sincerely thank everyone at George’s Furniture.” – Tom & Karen

This is what makes us different from any other furniture shop you have visited. You set the vision & we are happy to share our catalog of creations if you need inspiration. Then you can tour our shop to watch our master woodworkers bring your vision to life. Finally you get to enjoy quality, handcrafted furniture that will last your family for decades.

To help you start this process to high quality, handcrafted furniture, we created this handy checklist to spot high-quality furniture. Download the checklist here so you know what to avoid in your furniture shopping. Then call us when you are ready to design your own custom, handcrafted piece.

 

 

A legacy with Humble Beginnings

A legacy with Humble Beginnings

Legacy begins

George’s legacy began in 1970, in a 8×12 ft shed in the back yard.  A small collection of hand and powered tools along with raw lumber started the foundation that turned a hobby into a thriving business.  While he worked at a local sawmill, he collected his own raw lumber by cutting some trees at a neighbor’s property, taking the logs to a sawmill, and drying the wood in a neighbor’s barn. Once the wood was dried properly, George took his natural talent and blessed his wife with handmade furniture.

First legacy furniture style

The first style of furniture George made depended on the small number of tools that were in his tool collection. The louvered doors and live edge shelves permeated the first furniture crafted. George used a 2×2 ft table saw to cut the slats for the louvered door panels and fit them into the door frame.  A hand-held drill served as a hole maker for the 8 sized rungs.  The table saw helped him made the 8-sided rungs.  By turning his hand held belt sander upside down and wedging it into a vice grip he created a way to sand a taper into each rung end.

 

First woods used

Walnut and butternut wood were the first species of wood that George used for his furniture.  Walnut wood contains a natural dark and light sections to the wood grain.  The first 15 years of new growth is blond in color before it turns into a dark brown color.  This is known as the sapwood and heart wood of a tree.  Since Butternut wood naturally looks blond like walnut sapwood, George chose to use butternut wood for the shelves and the live edge of walnut for the rest of the furniture.

 

First piece created

In 1970, George designed and built a live edge bookcase with open shelves and storage below.  Without the equipment to make raised panel doors, he utilized the antique louvered construction for doors and the back.  Two thin rungs behind the doors provided a place to store vinyl records.  On the bottom of the bookcase, we noticed that George used a yellow lumber crayon (tough, non-fade, water resistant crayon used in the forestry industry.) for signing his signature along with the date and place of construction.  His typical signature included his first two initials and ended with his last name. The place was Lancaster county, PA.  The written year finished the personal identification of authenticity.

After a fruitless search for a high-chair, George shocked Ava Lee by announcing his plan to make a high-chair for his young daughter.  Chairs are one of the most difficult pieces of furniture to design and create for durability and longevity. Making the rungs, contouring the seat, designing the tray, drilling the precise angles, and assembling all the parts is quite an engineering feat.  Georges presented the new highchair to their first daughter upon its completion.  Later each child did their best to escape the grips of the highchair tray. Some even fell asleep.

 

Additional items in legacy collection

For Christmas of 1972, George designed a stereo cabinet to house the record player and stereo unit that he gifted to his wife, Ava Lee as a wedding present.  The cabinet held the record player, two large speakers, and media storage.  On the record player lid, it is inscribed, “To My Beloved Family for Christmas of 1972.” GBMartin, Lancaster County, PA, in lead pencil, protected by a water-resistant finish. Several other items in the original collection are live edge end tables, coffee table, and a small bench.

Next came tables and chairs

Once a highchair design was complete, the next step was dining chairs.  Continuing the 8-sided rungs and contours seat, George built his first dining chair for Ava Lee, Christmas of 1971. He enlisted the services of Ebersole’s chair shop for steam bending of the chair backs. As a result of one completed chair the rest of the chair set arrived for Ava Lee’s birthday in January 1972.  While their first daughter enjoyed the handmade highchair, she was pushed out by a second child. However, this created a problem because she could not comfortably sit on a regular chair and eat at the table. No problem, dad to the rescue.  Soon a child’s chair arrived that was an intermediate height between a highchair and regular chair.

The second child also brought another want; a rocking chair.  Good to his promise of providing for his family, George met another engineering challenge head on. He created not only a comfortable rocking chair with all its unique angles but also a rocker that does not tip over.  The first rocker showed up on Valentines day for Ava Lee, 1972. The second rocking chair with arms was signed “To my beloved family 1972, GBMartin, Lancaster County, PA.” 1974 brought the creation of the first table, a 42 inch square walnut 4 legged table. However when the family needed a larger table, George converted the table into an extension table and donated it to Heartsease Home, a girls home in New York City.

Explore the museum

Our second showroom displays many of the original furniture designed and created by George Martin.  Meet our Founder, George Martin as he talks (videos) about the different processes of making furniture. Visit our furniture store and wood shop soon for a personal look at the quality and craftsmanship that George passed onto his craftsmen.

Handcrafted quality furniture discovered in Vermont

Handcrafted quality furniture discovered in Vermont

It all started when Bob and Rachel visited their friend’s home. They noticed beautiful furniture skillfully placed around the living space. Furniture of this quality is hard to find.  However, after years of searching, they finally found it right in their friends home. When questioned where the beautiful furniture came from, their friends ecstatically shared the journey that ended at George’s Furniture, Marietta, PA.

Journey begins

Bob had a remodeling project scheduled. After four years the new addition neared completion.  Subsequently, they planned a trip to Lancaster County.  A beautiful drive from Vermont to Pennsylvania brought Bob and Rachel to George’s Furniture’s showrooms and the wood working shop.  During a wood shop tour, Bob and Rachel saw the craftsmen skillfully creating quality heirlooms. Finally they knew this was the birthplace of their new dining room furniture.

Built your way

They met with Anthony and started the journey of designing their desired dining space. After the order was placed and the waiting began.  As an added benefit, Anthony sent several pictures of their furniture progression through the wood shop in the different build stages.

Bob quotes,

“Anthony did a fantastic job of working with us patiently while we determined what we wanted even to the point of thinking outside the box of choices to design the legs of the hall tree to match the table legs.” 

 

Careful Delivery

Upon completion, the delivery personnel carefully blanket wrapped the furniture and skillfully placed it in the van for its trip to Vermont.  A warm and excited reception greeted Chris and Juanita after a long 8 hour trip in the delivery van.  Several neighbors eagerly waited, ready with open arms to transport the table, chairs, table leaf storage, large hutch, buffet, hall tree and 2 non-tip rocking chairs into the house.

“We knew the kind of quality we could expect but when the dining room furniture arrived, we were blown away by the quality of each piece individually and how the whole room of furniture fit together.”

Quality on Display

Rachel’s excitement exploded as she shared their journey discovering George’s Furniture.  She looks forward to gathering everyone around the same table in their newly remodeled dining room.  Bob and Rachel joined the family of George’s satisfied customer that can’t contain their excitement and love for their furniture.  Join the family and create you next new piece of furniture.  Come and see where your furniture is built or contact us to started the journey.