Just as good food starts with top quality ingredients the same holds true for furniture. Not all wood is created equal. The location a tree grew, the composition of the soil, the amount of wind the site receives, the way the log is cut and dried all play a role in determining how stable the lumber from a log will be. For all the reasons listed above I am a picky lumber buyer. Acquiring the wood for a one of a kind piece of furniture is never an easy process, nor should it be.
Good wood is just the start; every piece of furniture that leaves my shop is meticulously designed and then built to the highest standards of craftsmanship. Wood, being a hygroscopic material, is always trying to find an equilibrium with the humidity present in the air. This results in the wood expanding and contracting as the humidity rises and falls. Furniture should be designed to allow the wood to move over the seasons as the humidity changes. Failure to allow for this wood movement can and quite often does result in the piece literally breaking its self apart. My furniture is well designed to move with the changing humidity without issue.
With a design in hand construction can begin. The building process starts with milling the rough lumber. Milling shouldn’t be rushed as it is one of the most important steps. If milled correctly the wood will stay stable through the build process. The joinery requires precise layout and therefore requires wood that is flat, square and dimensionally stable for the duration of the build. Cutting joinery is by far my favorite part of building furniture. I specialize in wood-to-wood joinery that is robust, beautiful and strong.
If choosing good wood and planning a great design isn’t already enough a completed piece of furniture will require a finish of some kind. The finish not only protects the wood but if done correctly the finish can elevate a piece to another level. There are many options for finishing furniture but I prefer to use finishes that highlight the natural beauty of the wood.
Quality furniture made to last a lifetime doesn’t happen by accident. At Hartmann Fine Furniture I painstakingly select lumber, design, build and finish furniture that you’ll be proud to pass down to your children.