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.
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.
“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.”
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.
Pentagon commissions expanding conference table
“West Donegal woodworkers crafts table for Pentagon.” Lancaster News Paper headlines announced a local family-owned business received a commission, an expanding conference table, from the Department of Defense. See complete story.
Quote to Completion
It all started with a quote. Tipped off by a current customer/employee, the Department of Defense commissioned George’s Furniture to design an expanding conference table. The table measures 8 ft in length however, it expands to 12 feet, allowing for the flexibility in meeting sizes. The Pentagon accepted the and the fun commenced. Assigned to a skilled craftsman, the conference table continued its journey to completion. Lancaster News papers heard the news. A Lancaster County business making a table for the United States government! They were ecstatic. A reporter was quickly assigned, however, the photographer barely snapped enough pictures before the craftsman finished building the table.
Meanwhile, delivery preparations were finalized, clearances submitted and specific instructions confirmed for transporting the table to its final Pentagon office location. At the security gate, government employees carried the heavy oak conference table into the complex.
As a result of a department meeting going overtime, the delivery which Chris and Anthony thought would be short, turned into a 3 hour ordeal. During a three-hour grand escorted tour around the Pentagon, they explored the many hallway displays and the inventory room that keeps track of everything from toilet paper to combat tanks!
Back to work
Once the meeting finished, Chris and Anthony assembled the conference table. Firstly, the men secured the legs and the hooked the cabling into the two receiver boxes. Secondly, they placed the four table leaves into their storage cabinet to quietly wait for the next large meeting. Lastly, they gave instructions about how to properly operate the table.
Currently the table’s handcrafted strength and natural grain quality shines for everyone assembled. Gather around George’s tables for your next family or business gathering. Contact us.
What do you love about your antique furniture? Sentimentality & nostalgia. Those nostalgic feelings probably trigger wonderful memories with your family. Maybe it reminds you of visiting for Christmas as a child or bringing your children over to play baseball in the yard with their grandparents. That is why it is so important to craft furniture that can withstand the years, the memories, the horseplay so you & your families can have visible mementos of those experiences. (Plus, it helps that our furniture is also super comfortable & durable!)
Even though antique furniture lasts longer than low quality furniture it also deteriorates. Some of the biggest causes of weakness in antique furniture include poor adjustability to extremes in humidity, weak joints or low-quality workmanship. In fact, today I want to share with you 3 of the biggest issues we see in antique furniture & how we design our furniture differently to avoid those problems.
Challenge 1: Humidity
One of the most common issues you may see in wood antique furniture is wear & tear due to changing humidity. Dry Forced Air heat will dry out furniture in the winter while damp summer weather provides extra moisture. Considering these two extremes, we specifically craft our wood furniture to handle changing humidity levels.
Because solid wood furniture is always expanding and contracting to adjust to the humidity levels of the environment, all joints are constructed with movement in mind. Wood is dried in George’s kilns and furniture is constructed in a humidity-controlled environment similar to most homes. This helps the furniture expand and contract as one unit with the seasonal changes of the environment. When the furniture can respond to humidity as one unit, it is more protected from warping or weakness.
Challenge 2: Weak joints
Let’s talk about rung joints. Maybe not a typical topic of conversation unless you have ever tried to pick up a chair where the back comes off in your hand or sat in a chair and the rung pops out leaving your chair in pieces. Aside from the frustration & inconvenience, this can become an expensive situation when your only solution is gluing the rungs for the rest of its life or replacing the chair. We avoid this situation from the beginning with our method of attaching rung joints.
On chairs where it is necessary to use glue rather than screws to keep joints together, each rung is hand-sanded to fit tightly in its hole. The joints are so tight that the chair can hold the weight of an adult even before any glue is applied to the joints. The glue is applied to the hole with a small paintbrush and the chair is clamped tightly together, forcing the glue throughout the pores of the wood.
George’s chairs do not need to be treated with special care to maintain their strength. They have held up over years of workmen leaning back on them during break time and children using the back of them for makeshift sliding boards. On the few occasions over the years when chairs have needed repair, it typically is due to a damaged rung rather than a loose joint.
Challenge 3: Warped wood
One final way we see weakness in antique furniture is simply due to thickness and the support of the wood. We have broken down our process of selecting & preparing the wood in this blog about our complete handcrafted method. The thicker the board the better however anything over 12 inches in width needs to be supported by a table skirt, wooden batten or toeboard. Learn about solid wood bottoms of the dresser drawers, the strength of a dining room table, & even in the durability of our non-tip rockers.
George’s commitment to solid wood construction has always included solid wood drawer bottoms. As a result, you don’t have to worry about drawer bottoms coming apart due to the weight of the contents in the drawers. In fact, George’s creative grandchildren have even used drawers as hiding places without harming the furniture!
Strong construction extends into the tables – even when fully extended to 21 feet. The strength of George’s extension tables was tested. The first idea of placing a small vehicle on top of the extension table was considered. The logistics of how to get a vehicle on the table was abandoned for a new idea of standing people on the table. The final result of the strength test placed 14 people (1887 lbs.) on top of the table and the table stood strong. The center leg supports the center of the table without interfering with your guest’s legs. The Pentagon even commissioned one of our extension tables for their conference room!
You can especially see the strength of high-quality wood in our non-tip rockers. When George was small, he was having so much fun rocking in his rocking chair that he tipped it right over. After recovering from the fall, he promised his mother that he would build a rocker that would not tip over. George built that rocker and now there are 7 different sizes from a child’s rocker to a rocker for the large people (300-400 lbs.) Large or small, tall or short, there is a rocker designed for you that does not tip over.
Ready for strong, heirloom furniture that does not wear with age or bad construction?
George’s unwavering commitment to building strong, hardwood, heirloom furniture continues with each new design. Each piece is signed and dated by its maker and finished with a water-resistant finish. Bring your ideas and desires for functional furniture and George’s craftsmen will make those dreams come true. And the best place to start when you are dreaming up your perfect dining set is knowing what to look out for. Start with our “Guide on How To Spot Quality Furniture” & give us a call as soon as you are ready to jump in to designing your own high-quality furniture.
One of the major characteristics of George’s Furniture pieces is the natural beauty of the hardwood we choose for each piece. Our wood is harvested from native trees at just the right time each year. From slow-drying in our kiln, to constructing each piece by hand by our experienced craftsmen to your exact specifications. Throughout this meticulous assembly, precise hand sanding ensures proper fit and finish.
One way in which our customers customize their handmade pieces is by choosing the type of wood they’d like to use to match the look and feel of their home. While we have a beautiful variety of woods to choose from, the most popular choices are our natural black walnut blend, black walnut, cherry, and red oak.
The natural black walnut blend is natural walnut using both the dark inner wood with the lighter outer wood section revealing a beautiful color combination. The center part of the tree (heartwood) is dark brown in color, while the ten (10) outer layers of sapwood are a light off-white color. Our craftsmen choose the boards that have both the sapwood and heartwood grain of the walnut tree. As we carefully arrange the boards to create a unique natural flow of grain, the beauty of this particular wood just shines.
Our black walnut is air dried. Air drying is less stressful on the wood itself, keeping the natural beauty of color variation. This particular wood choice is usually finished with clear water-resistant finish, to let its natural beauty exposed without staining. Black walnut has a flowing, feathery grain.
Cherry wood is naturally lighter red in color with a beautiful flowing grain. We typically stain this gorgeous choice of wood, and our customers have approximately 15 different stains to choose from—from light red to dark red, and everything in between. This rich looking result is very popular among George’s Furniture customers.
Finally, red oak has a distinct, bold grain. Again, while it’s naturally light golden in color, our customers are able to choose from about 15 different stains for this hardwood choice. The stain highlights the darker part of the grain. Also important to note is that red oak is 15% heavier.
Stop into George’s Furniture today to customize your dream furniture! You can even schedule a tour of our woodshop.
As we gear up for National Forestry week (March 20-25), we believe now is the perfect time to think about what items in your home are environmentally sound. Here at George’s Furniture, we are passionate about sustainable products—those that are good for the earth and hold great quality in your home.
Products from George’s Furniture are one-of-a-kind, and are handcrafted with the finest hardwood furniture made from trees grown in Pennsylvania’s forests. Locally made right here in Lancaster, PA, buying from George’s Furniture is naturally the most sustainable choice.
Unlike other materials—such as plastic, steel, or other metals—wood is a renewable resource as trees grow back! Using only the best trees for your furniture, the wood being used actually helps to offset the carbon emissions in the air.
In addition to reducing pollution, harvesting and manufacturing wood doesn’t produce wasted materials. While the main bulk of the wood is used to build our beautiful hand crafted furniture, the by-products are then used to produce mulch, wood pellets, and paper pulp. Additionally, the forest products industry is responsible for generating 77 percent of the country’s biomass energy. They are the largest producer of renewable energy and exceeds the nation’s solar and wind energy combined.
You may be wondering what we do with the wood waste, which we actually use to heat our air drying kiln which dries our walnut woods. Slowly air drying the walnut wood helps maintain the natural beauty of walnut grain, making it beautiful and unique!
So the next time you’re looking for eco-friendly, sustainable furniture, think of George’s Furniture. Come visit our woodshop and get a tour!
For more information on wood harvesting in the Pennsylvania Forests be sure to check out their website: http://paforestproducts.org.