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Sometimes customers come to us initially averse to veneer, but once they take a closer look they often change their minds. I realize veneers have been given a negative connotation by companies that stick them on particle board to make cheap furniture.
But did you know that premium quality, high end veneers are used by some of the world’s most skilled furniture makers to add artistic flair and style to their work?
This is the case with the following six high end furniture collections:
These furniture collections are made with all solid cherry wood except for the sides and backs of case goods. Real wood veneer is used for case goods (chests, dressers, cabinets, night stands) sides and backs for esthetic and structural design reasons. The pieces are made with frame and panel type construction and the use of solid wood in this design might cause the panels to warp in conditions of changing humidity.
As solid wood furniture specialists at Vermont Woods Studios, we spend a lot of time discussing the specifics of solid wood versus veneered construction methods with our customers. Details for each of our collections are found in our Construction Details pages. We welcome your comments and questions either below, on our Facebook, by phone or in person at our Vernon VT showroom.
Typically Vermont furniture can be distinguished from other American made furniture or imported furniture by the extensive use of real, solid wood. American Black Cherry is the wood most often used in Vermont furniture although sugar maple, black walnut, oak and other local species are also popular.
At Vermont Woods Studios we represent woodworkers and fine furniture makers from all across the Green Mountain State so our furniture reflects a wide variety of styles, designs and crafting techniques. Some of our furniture makers work exclusively with all solid wood construction and others employ the use of veneers. So customers often ask us about the difference between the two techniques.
Honestly, with all of our handmade furniture, heirloom quality is the bottom line and that can be achieved using all solid wood construction or with the incorporation of premium quality, high end veneers.
Although Vermont is best known for our all solid wood construction, we have several craftsmen who prefer to incorporate high quality veneers into their designs. This is done when veneers are the best choice for a particular design, rather than simply the most economical choice. For instance, the curved back panel of the Copeland Catalina Bed must be a veneer because it would be structurally impossible to build it out of solids. Copeland’s framed panels, that is panels surrounded on all four sides, are often made of high grade, veneered plywood because in these instances, a solid panel would have the potential to expand and break the frame apart during periods of high humidity.
Plywood is considerably stronger than solids of equal dimension and some furniture makers choose them for Case Backs and Drawer Bottoms for that reason. On each of our furniture product pages you will find a link to the construction details for that product. We urge you to read through the information presented and give us a call with your questions. For the furniture on our website, you will find that when veneers are used, they are the the best choice for the design.
After all this discussion about veneers however, I can say that most of our furniture is still designed and constructed with all real solid wood, sustainably harvested in Vermont or neighboring states. If this is an important feature for you, give us a all and let us know. We’ll help you find the right handmade solid wood furniture for your home.
Cherry, cherry cherry. Over half the furniture we sell at Vermont Woods Studios is made of beautiful, lustrous cherry wood from the American black cherry fruit tree. Often customers come to us a little bit suspicious about whether our handmade furniture is made of real solid cherry wood.
Well, it’s no wonder! Most furniture that’s sold as cherry isn’t cherry at all. Hard to believe isn’t it? So I thought we would publish a few tips for determining if the cherry furniture you’re looking at is actually made of real cherry.
Here are 3 things to look for:
What color is the wood?
OK, this is a trick question. Freshly harvested cherry wood is a light pinkish color but as cherry ages or ripens in the presence of light, it gets darker and eventually reaches a rich reddish brown. So when you’re shopping be sure to ask if the furniture is brand new or if it’s been in the showroom for a number of months.
Often customers will request a dark stain on cherry to “hurry-up” the process. If you just can’t wait we can usually convince our furniture makers to stain cherry but most of them would rather plead with customers to be patient and wait for the real thing.
What does the grain look like?
Solid cherry wood has a simple, fine, closed grain, much like that of maple. Fake “cherry” wood often has little or no grain pattern. It’s made by taking a cheaper wood, bleaching it, texturizing it with chemicals, then staining it with a “cherry” stain.
Are there occasional black flecks and black streaks in the wood?
Real cherry has beautiful markings (from gum streaking, mineral deposits and pin knots). Fake cherry looks entirely uniform in grain due to the chemical processing mentioned above. It’s unlikely you’ll ever find black flecks or streaks in faux cherry woods.
Do you have any other questions about solid cherry wood that hasn’t been answered on our Cherry Wood info page? That’s okay-give our knowledgeable sales team a call at (888) 390-5571, live chat during business hours or stop into our historic Stonehurst Showroom in the hills of the Green Mountains.