Forgotten Hammers wood scars

Forgotten Hammers wood scars

Recently Carl and Chris Geeseman returned to our showroom after three decades of enjoying the furniture built by George. Like so many of our customers, they wanted to share the memories of George.  The memories started back in the 1970’s. Carl worked for Highspire lumber yard. Lumber yard typically cut the trees in the forest and transport them to a sawmill. They are looking for straight long trees.  A good veneer log needs to be clear of bark, metal, knots, and blemishes.

Forgotten hammer

Metal is a big concern for logs that come from a residential area where metal hardware, bullets or even a forgotten metal screwdriver, hammer or animal trap discarded in the fork of a tree. Each year the tree grows a metal object will become embedded into the wood and unable to be withdrawn.  The metal object will leave a scar and their minerals will seep into the wood. Not only does metal scar the wood it destroys.

Scars and destroys

Along comes a saw blade, cuts through the metal, or goes around the hook and the expensive blade loses its teeth or even destroyed.  Metal can shut down a sawmill resulting a loss of time and money. Bandsaw blades are 12 feet long and 1 ft wide.  They are razor thin and thousands of dollars. Lumber jacks look at the outside bark for marks or scars that shows healing from metal objects or use metal detectors to find metal. Think twice before hooking a wash line, swing, or sign to a tree.  They are alive and growing.

George’s treasure pilewooden woven basket plaque engraving

Highspire lumber piled their cut offs like bark, knots, rotten wood etc. aside and sold the straight boards to their customers. George loved to come and rummage through the cut off pile looking for unique knots, grain twists, chain saw wedges, rotten tree butts and odd shaped pieces of wood for his next project.  Walnut and cherry were his favorite. Some cross cuts turned into coffee tables, end tables, Lamp bases, or even crosscut critters (a crosscut with a hole in the middle from where the hollow tree healed itself.)

Filling the House

Carl and Chris Geeseman started their furniture collection in 1980’s with a table set, dry sink and hutch. Next a bedroom set. Later as the family grew it was time for the kids’ room, a single bed, dresser and child’s play table and chairs. Then another bed, chest of drawers and nightstands. Next it was dad’s turn with a nice rolltop desk with finished back and swivel desk chair. As the family grew so did the table. Time to order more table leaves.

Resourceful Brothers

During family get togethers Carl and his brother would haul their table leaves to the other’s house.  Since both brothers had tables from George’s, the table leaves fit together nicely.  A curious situation happened. I discovered a leaf storage box with two different colored table leaves in our shop. The two brothers completed their 8-leaf table set by ordering 4 leaves each.  Now the hassle of loading up the table leaves in the car was no longer needed. All 29 people crowd around the table and enjoy the comfort of family. A fun game the Geeseman children play is lining up the little child’s chairs and playing school bus.

Sharing the qualitychild's high chair handcrafted in walnut

That is not all the furniture in the Geeseman household. 2 high chairs served the growing family. Chris said that their kids sat in the high chairs so long until they no longer fit in between the arms. Chris stopped using the high chairs when she got tired explaining to the kid’s friends why the kids still sat in high chairs.  The high chairs have endured 3 kids, and 5 grandchildren. Other items like rocking chairs (child and adult), quilt rack, cradle, Jewelry box, benches and round end table found their way into the home. There is room for more. Maybe a new bed.

Explore, Watch and Design

Join the Geeseman family and many customers over the 50+ years in their experience with Georges fine craftsmen and quality handcrafted furniture. Everyone worked with our designers to create the perfect piece that meets every need and endures hard use of family and friends.  Begin creating your unique living space, designed, and built right in Lancaster County, PA. Explore ideas on our website, watch the wood shop in action (YouTube) and see what possibilities await discovery.

In the mean time, we have created this handy checklist on how to spot high-quality furniture.  Down the checklist here so you know what to avoid in your furniture shopping.  An informed mind will bring great results.

 

 

Download your Guide to High-Quality Furniture
3 Things You Need to Know about this Solid Wood Kitchen Table

3 Things You Need to Know about this Solid Wood Kitchen Table

“I love that this table belonged to my grandparents!” Can you believe this solid wood kitchen table was actually created for her grandparents?! Now Karly gets to gather her family around this same table! And it is in amazing condition! 

A Custom Kitchen Table Just for Them

In 1978, Cyrus and Florence Keefer were designing their new house in Middletown, PA. They dreamed of a joyful home making memories with their children. That’s when they realized they really wanted a solid wood kitchen table as the centerpiece for family meals, homework, board games & late-night chats. Their next obstacle? Finding a table that could meet their needs. 

As Cyrus & Florence considered their needs, they knew they could not just pick up a kitchen table from a furniture outlet store. They really needed a customized solid wood kitchen table just for them & their family.

Enter George’s Furniture, Lancaster, PA. When Cyrus & Florence reached out to George, they knew they definitely wanted a kitchen table made from black walnut wood. Lucky for them, George’s Furniture specializes in black walnut wood. When they visited George, they shared their vision for the kitchen & even saw George’s woodshop in action. That is when they decided on a trestle table & chairs to fit their eat-in kitchen space. 

1st thing to know about this solid wood kitchen table: It is completely custom designed for Cyrus & Florence’s kitchen & made out of beautiful black walnut wood.

Black Walnut Wood: Perfect for this Kitchen Table

Once the gorgeous solid wood kitchen table was installed in their home, it quickly became the gathering point for their family. In fact, Cyrus started a Sunday night tradition of preparing sandwiches, his specialty, for the whole family & any of their guests who visited too. 

Sadly, Cyrus passed in 1980. But in their loss, his family appreciated the memories they had with their father gathered around that beautiful kitchen table. In time, Cyrus’s daughter Lori & son-in-law Kurt Siffin inherited the solid wood trestle table & chairs set.

“The table was a sentimental piece of furniture… a pleasant reminder of our father and family home,” recalls Lori. “The table has aged well. The memory marks have added character to the table. It is a piece worthy to be passed on.” 

In the Siffin home, the kitchen table again brought the family together for meals, games, & memories. Even through several moves, this family heirloom witnessed birthday parties & celebrations, soup nights in the winter, & lunches in the summer. 

When Lori & Kurt Siffin finally downsized to their current home in Long Neck, Delaware, the solid wood trestle table & chairs went into storage, but not for long.

2nd thing to know about this solid wood kitchen table: Using the black walnut wood for this kitchen table meant it kept its beauty & strength through the 2nd generation of the family. Trestle table made at Georges Furniture in lancaster county pa

Solid Wood Kitchen Table Lasts Generations

Because of the sentimental value of the table as well as the high quality of the black walnut wood, the Siffins thoughtfully stored the table properly to preserve its quality.

After 2 years in storage, Karly Siffin, granddaughter of Cyrus & daughter of Lori, gave the trestle table new life in her home. From Philadelphia, PA, Karly moved from her small apartment into a townhome in Manayunk, PA. Now this family heirloom can again serve family & friends in Karly’s kitchen. “I love that this table belonged to my grandparents. It is very special to me,” says Karly.

3rd thing to know about this solid wood kitchen table: When you work with George’s Furniture to custom build your dream furniture, you can trust that the quality will truly last your family for generations. It is well worth the investment.

Each customer of George’s Furniture enjoys the ability to pass their heirlooms from one generation to another. The exceptional, high-quality construction and strong, protective finishes allow George’s furniture to survive decades. Join the many satisfied customers and begin your family traditions of gathering around a table and enjoy the beauty of handcrafted solid wood 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.

 

 

It’s Worth The Wait

It’s Worth The Wait

Quality discovered

The search for furniture is a common need for people all over the America and beyond.  Some are looking for furniture that will only last for several years while others are seeking furniture that will be heirlooms and will shine the quality for years to come. The search for the highest quality, solid, hardwood furniture made in America led Linda and Ed Riffert to Lancaster County, PA. After several years of looking in many furniture stores and experiencing disappointment of the quality, they nearly gave up. Is quality furniture still being made these days?

It’s Worth the Wait

During a visit to Kitchen Kettle, Intercourse, PA, they discovered a brochure from George’s Furniture.  They followed their GPS clear across Lancaster County, through the cornfields, away from the tourist area and the heavy traffic.  It seemed so far away.  The GPS said they arrived, but where was the showroom.  To Linda’s delight, several small signs stating, “George’s Furniture.” “Straight Ahead”.  “It is worth the wait” “Where dreams come true.” greeted them as they made their final journey to the wood shop and showrooms.

Quality Furniture discovered

Finally, a place where quality furniture is made and you can even see it being constructed in the wood shop. cascading levered construction style end table or desk lamp  furniture store in lancaster york The quality was astounding.  Ed and Linda worked with George and purchased a large oak corner cupboard for their house. A new cascading LED light is now shining the beautiful grain on Ed’s desk.

Craft Show findings

The Rifferts love attending craft shows and seeing quality items.  They continue to stop by our stand at the Kutztown Folk Festival, Heart of Lancaster and the numerous Sugarloaf Shows.  They love sharing their experience with George’s Furniture to people at the shows.  I enjoy watching their excitement as they share about finding quality furniture.

Sharing with others

Quality is meant to be shared.  Recently the Rifferts brought their daughter and son-in-law into the showroom to assist in their new dining table.  Quality is passing to the next generation.  Come and experience the furniture made by one craftsman while you watch.  Contact us or visit our website for ideas of a new heirloom.