Rocking chairs are cherished for their comfortable, gentle rocking ability that calms the nerves of a hard day. Mothers enjoy their newborn babies as they rock them to sleep. This is the story of how the Dubiel family discovered George’s Rocker Recliner.
Rocker’s Lost battle
Dick and Lori Dubiel purchased a rocking chair their home. An unfortunate experience happened to their rocker. Their uncle was rocking comfortably, when the rocking chair lost its battle and broke. Looking through the phone book, Lori found George’s Woodcrafts (presently George’s Furniture) and visited the store in Elizabethtown, PA, Lancaster County.
“My uncle rocked in my not so great rocking chair and as he pushed on the arms to get up, they broke off. I had seen George’s store in Elizabethtown so I went in to ask if he could reattach the arms. As I looked at George’s quality of work, I realized that I did not want him to see my broken chair. Instead, I went and ordered one of his rockers to replace the broken rocker. I wanted a good quality chair that would survive my two boys and George’s non tipping rocker was perfect. I purchased a rocker that George had on the floor.” -Lori Dubiel.
As a result of Dick and Lori’s rocking experience, they discovered George’s quality furniture. Their first furniture purchase was a walnut oval pedestal table set, dry sink and a crosscut stool. Once placing the order, the couple made small payments. However, as a surprise for his wife, Dick secretly placed additional money on their order. Lori’s mother joined into the fun and purchased her own rocking chair which she past unto her grandson. Five years later a corner hutch joined their collection.
Individual Attention to Detail
George loved to delivery his own furniture. The Dubiel’s remember their corner hutch delivery. Once the hutch was carefully placed in their room, George proceeded to checked all his furniture to be sure that no damage occurred during the Dubiel’s recent move. Years later, the Dubiels moved to South Carolina but remain in contact through George’s monthly newsletter. Discover George’s solid wood furniture in Lancaster County PA today.
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.
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!
At George’s Furniture, each handcrafted, hardwood piece goes on a thorough journey before taking its place in a customer’s home. We begin by harvesting native trees and slow-drying the rough sawn lumber in house. Our kiln reduces stress cracks which occur when accelerating the drying process. The slow-drying process also prevents loose joints, splitting, and warping. Our craftsmen are extremely careful in caring for every single piece of furniture produced in our woodshop.
Lovingly Handcrafted, From Start to Finish
Once the wood has been slowly dried, construction takes place. From start to finish, our talented craftsmen take particular care in creating each chair, table, stool, etc. by hand. Our furniture is cut, lathed, and sanded by hand to the exact specifications from our customers.
Before final inspection, your hardwood furniture is assembled and taken to our special staining station. Our craftsman hand rubs your specified color into the wood of your choice. Once the stain has dried thoroughly and completely, the piece is taken into the dust-free spray booth where two coats of premium-quality clear, water-resistant finish are applied to all sides of the piece—including top, bottom, outside, and inside—sealing and protecting this long-lasting piece from moisture and other elements when exposed to natural wear throughout its lifetime.
The first coat of finish is dried and sanded, and the second coat is followed by a close inspection to ensure smoothness and full coverage.
Our Most Popular Finishes
Our most popular stains are the natural black walnut blend, cherry wood with cinnamon stain, and cherry wood with dark mahogany stain.
Each piece at George’s Furniture is carefully inspected to make sure it meets our high standards. Call us today to take a tour of our furniture store in Lancaster, PA! Tour our woodshop and showroom so that you can see our furniture making process in real-time—as well as the finished products!
Before becoming the President of George’s Furniture, Chris Horst spent ten years in the automotive engineering industry in the 90s and early 2000s. He has now been working for George’s for 12 years. Chris married George’s daughter, Juanita, in July of 2000 and became part of the family business. In 2006, Chris and Juanita decided to take over the family business causing a change in careers for Chris.
During the first three years, Chris learned the craft itself. He trained directly with a master craftsman and developed a passion for woodworking and the beauty of hardwood furniture. Chris says, “Knowing what goes into each piece gives you an appreciation for the skill and craftsmanship that is needed to design and craft a dream piece of furniture for our customers. Our customers become part of the business and a part of our family.”
Chris loves to see the customers’ reactions when they see their handcrafted furniture for the first time. It makes all the hard work that goes into each individual piece well worth it.
The project Chris enjoyed the most was designing and building a special bookcase for a small apartment which allowed cables to run through the unit, hidden by the woodwork and attached to the apartment wall for stability.
In his free time, Chris teaches a homeschooled Physics class once a week. He also enjoys reading and taking trips in the outdoors—including camping, biking, and hiking.