EverLasting Furniture (ELF)
Building Furniture That Lasts!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Les Thede, Furniture Maker
413 E. Lima Ave. • Ada, OH 45810 • 419.634.6290 • email@example.com
Shop at ELF
See the Process
Awards & Notes
Most fine furniture and furnishings can be
distinguished by three important characteristics:
Materials, Joinery and Finishing.
Most EverLasting Furniture pieces are made from local hardwoods, harvested within one hundred miles of Ada, Ohio. These include maple, cherry, walnut, oak, ash and poplar. The rough-sawn lumber is moved to the shop where it is acclimated to the indoor temperature and humidity. After several days, the material is cut into rough lengths and widths, joined and planed to produce flat, stable blanks before being cut to final shape and form. A great deal of effort is put into selecting the best material for the project with grain that is both interesting and matched throughout the project.
On occasion, recycled/reclaimed lumber is used to design a unique piece with all of the natural charm inherent to the lumber. Knots, splits, cracks, insect holes, peg holes and the like are evident in the finished project and give it a unique charm. These characteristics set these pieces apart from the formica-like features and the spray-stained uniformity of mass produced items. (See the keepsake boxes in my portfolio.)
Most EverLasting Furniture is made predominantly from hardwood lumber. However, quality veneered plywood is used in two specific situations. First, matching veneered plywood is used for case bottoms, backs and drawer bottoms. This is a common practice to negate the seasonal expansion and contraction of solid woods. (It's often said that 17th and 18th century craftsmen would have used quality plywood, if it had only been available!) The second common use of plywood is the presentation of a beautiful piece of unique grain pattern which is only available in thin (1/40") sheets of veneer. In this case, specialty veneered substrates such as table tops or keepsake boxes are fabricated in the shop. (See tall and corner tables in my portfolio.)
There are many joinery methods used in furniture making today: mortise and tenon, dovetail, mitered corners, half-lap joints and others. Most date back hundreds of years to craftsmen of the 17th and 18th century. Unfortunately, there are too many to discuss here. There also have been many articles written comparing the different joinery methods. It's not uncommon to see an article or two a year debating which joinery method is strongest. But the important point in the construction of any quality piece of furniture is to use a joinery method which is strong enough. Each technique has its own unique method of construction, and generally, the stronger and more decorative joints take longer to construct. If a client prefers a particular construction method, certainly EverLasting Furniture will provide that service. But appropriate alternatives (with equal strength) will also be discussed. These alternatives may be able to be executed with less time or expense, or are more appropriate to a particular style. To sum it up, appropriate joinery will be used to satisfy the client, the strength requirement and the design of the piece.
A project is not complete until it's finished! The finishing process on a woodworking project may include staining, which can change the overall tone and color of the wood. This step is sometimes beneficial when trying to blend the tones of wood from different trees or to match other pieces of furniture. Mild changes of color or tone may be necessary, but trying to make a piece of hard maple look like a piece of black walnut is generally not a good idea!
After the completion of the staining process (if used), a protective finish is usually in order. There are a variety of finishes which can be applied to any wood project and they vary in final appearance and level of protection. In general, a finish which does not hide the beauty of the wood, but rather accentuates it is preferred. Appropriate finishes will be discussed with the client in terms of appearance and protection.
To discuss a project you have in mind, contact me at:
413 E. Lima Ave.
Ada, OH 45810