The Amish build their furniture almost exclusively of regionally available hardwoods for reasons of strength, durability, and beauty of the strong character and variability of the grains. The beauty and uniqueness of hardwood furniture grains are the most positive and coveted natural variation exhibited in hardwoods. Every single piece of Amish furniture is naturally and visibly unique and exceptionally beautiful.
Strength and durability of Amish furniture makes it long-lasting. Most who purchase this American-made solid wood furniture expect it retain its beauty and functionality into the next generation and beyond. It becomes a family “Asset”. Such expectations are realistic especially if reasonable care is taken to protect it from harsh environments.
Hardwoods react to the surrounding environment. Most hardwoods are open grained which contribute to their beauty. This can also cause solid wood furniture to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity even after protective finishes have been applies. Over time environmentally induced changes will likely occur. These crack and surface checks are a natural process. These are not abnormal and commonly considered as added character or nature’s beauty marks, not defects.
The investment to own Amish solid wood furniture exceeds that of furniture found in a typical furniture store. It is not made overseas with cheap labor and materials. The investment is larger principally because every piece is made of solid hardwood and receives tender loving care by Amish craftsmen in small family furniture shops. Another way to state it is “we get what we pay for” and it is magnificent.
You may own a $3,700 Amish solid hardwood desk instead of a $225 particle board desk. If so, there are some logical steps to help minimize the impact of environment on our $3,700 investment.
- Humidity of 35% to 40% is best. In winter use a humidifier. In summer use a dehumidifier or air conditioner.
- Avoid direct sources of heating and cool such as radiators, fireplaces, and heating ducts
- Do not store in attics, basements of non-climate controlled storage units
- Ultraviolet rays can cause chemical changes in wood and finish, so avoid direct sunlight and fluorescent fixtures. Position furniture out of direct sunlight or adjust blinds to avoid hours of direct sunlight.
- Use padding under all sharp, hot or cold objects.
- Avoid using nail polish remover, alcohol, and other solvents near or of the furniture.
Frequent and proper cleaning will also help preserve the beauty of our asset:
- Dust Carefully – with a soft cloth, follow the grain pattern of the wood. Use an old T-shirt of cheesecloth that has been laundered to remove the sizing.
- Dust Often – to remove everyday abrasive particles from wood surfaces.
- Consider Cleaning – with a mild non-alkaline soap and water. Use the suds in a damp sponge or cloth, but be sure to pre-test the solution on an out-of-sight section to make sure it doesn’t damage the finish. Dry immediately with a soft cloth and buff lightly, following the grain.
- Don’t Wax- or use any polish that contains any silicones! Catalyzed heat and moisture resistant finishes don’t need additional polish. But if you want to use a polish we recommend Guardsman Furniture Polish