Memories become a part of who we are. They allow our descendants to remember times of joy with family and friends. Many of those memories are built in the home, and you can leave a lasting legacy with heirloom quality furniture. But, before you can create a beautiful piece for your home, you need the right wood.
How to Choose Heirloom Quality Wood for Your Home’s Furniture
Many pieces of furniture made from solid wood will develop a beautiful surface that only improves with age. A solid wood piece of furniture can also be sanded and refinished to return it to “like new” condition.
Heirloom quality wood is never made from particleboard or MDF (medium-density fiberboard). Even though these materials can be advertised as “all wood,” take extra caution in your search because they are not “solid wood.”
North American Hardwoods
In the United States, some of the best home furniture pieces are made from North American hardwoods. Look out for anything advertised as having a walnut, oak, or cherry “finish.” This only refers to a stain or finish put on a lesser type of wood, not necessarily the species of wood.
Instead, make sure you are choosing authentic hardwood from a reputable local sawmill. For example, furniture-grade cherry will come from an American Black Cherry tree. Understand the different types of wood so that you know you are getting exactly what you want for your project.
Putting the Pieces of Heirloom Quality Furniture Together
When creating heirloom-quality furniture, certain woodworking techniques are common that work well with genuine hardwoods and will stand the test of time. It’s ok to use a lesser grade of wood for your interior boxes, but it should still be solid wood that comes from a reputable source.
Interlocking Frame Construction
When building the frame for your furniture, you can use a combination of dowel construction, lap or dovetail joints, and mortise and tenon construction. These methods create a strong bond and are a mark of “quality” in home furniture.
Drawer boxes should be joined with dovetail joints. This looks like a puzzle-piece and is the strongest type of construction for this application.
If you want to be old fashioned or a purist in your methods, you can choose wood glides for your drawers. This won’t give you the smoothest operation, but there are other options, including types of metal glides, that will last a long time.
Get Heirloom Quality Wood in the Lowcountry
If you’re ready to start your next project and want it to last for generations, you need heirloom quality wood. Since 1952, Ashley River Lumber and the Branton family have provided locally-sourced wood products to customers throughout the Lowcountry. We offer over 30 wood species and can help you make the perfect selection for your upcoming project.
Contact us today or stop by our Ridgeville location for more information.