Handmade Wood Furniture

The Value of Handmade Wood Furniture

wood rocking chairNo one who has even driven past an Amish quilt shop doubts the craftsmanship that goes into handmade wooden furniture. The attention to detail, the custom lines and even a few “character” marks are what makes this type of furniture so valuable to the people that own it. As a woodworking artisan, you too can appreciate the time, effort and planning that goes into producing a quality piece of furniture.
Other than the hours of sweat equity and tender care (and sometimes frustration) put into a piece of handmade furniture, there is also the added value of customization. Instead of searching for that perfect desk to fit where you want, you can build the desk. It can be as long as you want with just a couple of pencil marks on a plan. The same goes for tables or even patio furniture. Custom staining or paint might also add to the value.

Searching for the Right Piece

Too many times, people find the right style and size of furniture that will meet their needs. Unfortunately they may find that the stain does not match what they currently have or the paint will be off color. While having chairs and couches that do not match isn’t always a bad thing, having five piece of wooden furniture in the same room (i.e. coffee tables and end tables) that are all different colors and stains, might concern some people.

There is also an added value in the nature of the handmade piece. They tend to become heirlooms and very valuable over time. Obviously they are more valuable when made by a family member and passed down from generation to generation. Any handmade piece is looked at in that light. It will be shown the same degree of nostalgia and affection.

Taking Care of Vintage Handmade Wood Furniture

On a side note, when antiquing for old wooden furniture, remember that cleaning them up with a furniture polish is probably one of the worst things you can do.

In the show Antique Road Show you see this happening all the time. Someone shows up with an end table that once belonged to Sir Muckey Muck in the 18th century and so on and so forth. Listen for the rub… “And in original condition it would be worth $200,000… but you’ve polished it so it’s worth…well… $1.23.” So if you have any illusions about refinishing existing handmade wood furniture, for the love of all that is good, have it appraised first.

Building Your Handmade Wood Furniture

When beginning to make your own handmade wood furniture, start slow. Attention to detail is required to make that perfect piece for a loved one, yourself or a customer. Gluing and countersinking skills have to be sharp (no pun intended) and a good set of vises are a must.

Remember to get either rubber tipped vises or use a couple of pieces of scrap stock to avoid marring. Small errors and blemishes are character marks, even if they are mistakes. By calling them that, you add a little to the sentimental value and the piece further gains character.

Artisans throughout the ages have crafted handmade furniture for their patrons. Many of the same practices and skills used as long as 500 years ago are still used by the at-home woodcrafter. When making your own handmade wooden furniture you must realize that in many ways you are giving a nod to those makers before you and continuing a way of life.