Wood is a beautiful and renewable resource, as a result building with wood has many diverse advantages. Those looking to build their own home or buy a preexisting home made from wood will find that there are a surprising number of advantages associated with “going wood.” From being beautiful to being safe and eco-friendly, wood has a bounty of offer homeowners and homebuilders alike.
Wood’s great versatility is truly only matched by its durability and charm. Let’s explore some of the key reasons that you’ll want to consider building with wood or buying a home made from wood.
Reason 1-The Tremendous Beauty of Wood
It is impossible to have a discussion about the value of choosing wood as a building material and not mention wood’s great beauty. No other material has the look, feel and charm of all-natural wood. A home featuring a large percentage of wood has instant beauty. With wood there is no need to attempt to add beauty as the beauty is inherent in the wood itself.
A key aspect of the beauty of wood is it’s timelessness. Properly constructed and maintained wood homes are just as beautiful now as when they were created; this is a rare feat and hard for many other building materials to match. In short, it is no accident that building with wood as stood the test of time!
Reason 2-Wood is Versatile
Wood is unlike many other building materials in that it is highly versatile, dependable and easy to use. The versatility of wood means that many different construction options and looks are available. Regardless of the kind of look you desire, the odds are excellent that such a look can be achieved using wood.
If you are going for an authentic cabin in the woods, for example, you can’t beat wood. But it can also be used for various modern designs as well.
Reason 3-Ease of Construction
Another key aspect of wood’s versatility is its ease of construction. Wood can be crafted into a shocking array of different configurations and in many different ways.
When it comes to readily available materials there are few, if any, can match wood for its ease of construction. In turn, this makes wood a more cost effective and attractive building option.
Building with wood is also easy, cost-effective and time-efficient due to the fact that building with wood is one of the key ways that buildings are constructed. The construction industry understands the fundamentals of wood and how to build with it. The end result is a fast and affordable building option.
Reason 5-Wood Handles Water
Water is a constant threat to any home. Simply stated, water can do tremendous damage to one’s property and do it quickly. There are many varieties of wood that are highly water resistant, such as Douglas Fir. If you want your construction to stand the test of time then consider opting for a wood that is naturally water resistant.
Reason 6-It’s Tough, Strong and Durable
Real wood should never be confused with manufactured wood products such as MDF, which are little more than chemicals, wood fragments and saw dust mixed together to create a cheap, temporary, flimsy and even toxic final product. Whether you are building your own home or buying furniture, always spend the extra money on real and durable wood. Real wood is lightweight while at the same time sturdy, helping to make it one of nature’s most perfect building materials.
Reason 7-Non-Toxic Wood is Safer for Humans
Wood, especially wood that has not been chemically treated, is a very healthy building option. The same can not be stated for many building options. An increasingly serious modern environmental problem comes in the form of “sick buildings.” Sick building syndrome refers to buildings whose construction materials result in a toxic build up of fumes due to the degassing of harmful and toxic building materials. All types of wood are a safe building materials. The harmful compounds released by many modern building materials have been implicated in a range of diseases. Fortunately, healthy wood options do not come with such concerns.
Reason 8-A Great Choice for the Environment
Wood is a renewable resource. Trees help the environment in a myriad of important ways including absorbing carbon. Unlike many other building materials, wood is renewable and can even absorb carbon while growing. Those looking for a great building material that is also comes with a lower carbon footprint will want to take a look at what wood has to offer.
These eight reasons together underscore why so many homeowners and builders have opted for wood over the centuries and will continue to do so. The great and undeniable beauty of wood combined with its numerous building advantages all combine to help wood stand out as a truly unique building option.
When it comes time to build or buy a home, consider the various benefits that wood has to offer. Wood homes are durable and wood will stand the test of time. A properly built wood home can dramatically reduce the amount of toxic fumes present in indoor air quality.
Combined together, all the factors point in a clear direction. Wood is a superior building material generously supplied by nature.
Woodworking can be a relaxing and fun activity for children. The most important aspect of woodworking projects is, of course, to observe safety rules. Woodworking with children is obviously not the same as working on adult projects. You have to give some advance thought to what is the right fit. Let’s explore woodworking and wood based projects for a variety of ages and interests. Wood projects for kids can be fun and creative and create functional works of art that can become valued mementos of childhood.
Project One-You Cut and They Build
There are plenty of guides and templates for how to build different wood projects online. For younger children, one of the best approaches is for an adult to cut the pieces in advance and then assemble projects together afterwards. This is a great way to get children use to working with wood and engaged in the assembly process. The real key here isn’t so much what you build, as it is the process itself. Many websites and woodworking magazines have online outlines and templates for how to begin building everything from airplanes to boxes and more.
Project Two-The Birdhouse
Building a birdhouse with your children is an amazing idea and for many different reasons. A birdhouse provides birds with a place to live and this fact can help you teach your children about birds, nature, habitats, conservation and more. Another great fact about building a birdhouse is that a birdhouse is perhaps the perfect starter wordworking project. Constructing a birdhouse is a manageable project, and it is small and lightweight enough that children can move and manipulate the pieces and contribute to construction and every phase.
Additionally, birdhouses are art projects. Once completed a birdhouse can be painted and decorated. The fact that birdhouses must be painted also gives children an opportunity to express their creativity and allows you to teach them about the importance of protecting wood from the elements. While birdhouses might seem simple there is much that children can learn from their construction. If you are looking for good birdhouse plans, check out sites such as www.freebirdhouseplans.net. This site is loaded with tips on building a birdhouse and even comes with six free plans.
Project Three-The Doghouse
Building a doghouse is a natural continuation of building a birdhouse. Once your child has mastered the basics of building a small birdhouse, he or she will feel more confident tackling a larger project such as building a doghouse. Just a word of caution, never lose sight of the fact that a beloved family pet might be inhabiting your doghouse! So keep an eye out not just for your child’s safety during the doghouse construction process but also for the long term safety of your pet.
There are many clever free doghouse plans out there. One of the best doghouse plans is for a custom, insulated dog house. Yes, doghouses can benefit from insulation as well. Check out this link to Ron Hazelton’s website to learn more about how to build an insulated doghouse that will keep your dog warm and toasty all winter. Just remember that many forms of insulation can be harmful if inhaled so when working with children opt for healthy forms of insulation, such as wool or blue jean insulation. If you are looking for a somewhat easier and very inexpensive doghouse project for children to assist you with then it is tough to beat this simple A-frame doghouse plan that can be found at Instructables. This plan is a quick and easy build, is inexpensive costing only about $75 or less and is relatively easy to put together. This plan does include using a small amount of asphalt/fiberglass singles, which if cut should be cut away from your children due to the particles they release, which can be inhaled. Your children will love the sense of satisfaction they receive from building this fairly large doghouse!
Project Four-The Bookcase
Once your child has tackled a birdhouse and a doghouse, he or she might be ready for something more advanced. Building a bookcase with your child is a great deal of fun and will definitely instill in your child a tremendous sense of accomplishment. The woodworking experts over at This Old House have a great plan for a small bookcase. It is a little more advanced than the other projects we’ve discussed so far but it will definitely help to build your child’s puzzle skills and in a major way.
Project Five-Graduate to Building a Coffee Table
Is building a coffee table with your child ambitious? Yes, especially if you haven’t started with a birdhouse and/or doghouse, but if you have taken those smaller steps then there is no reason you can’t take on something more substantial. Of course, it is vitally important that you observe excellent safety precautions to avoid any injury. There are many build-it-yourself coffee table plans out there and some are much more complicated than others.
With this in mind one of the single best options for parents and children building a coffee table together can be found at Ana White’s website. The Tryde Coffee Table is beautiful but also fairly simple to build. The plan is straightforward with only ten-steps in total!
Obviously, not all of these woodworking projects are perfect fits for children of every age, but this list has something that most children can participate in. There are many aspects to woodworking projects and that means children can help in various ways. Just don’t forget to opt for people-friendly and eco-friendly paints and finishes and keep children away from any potentially harmful dust or fumes. Best of all, these projects build memories.
Those wanting to know more about the Amish are in luck. Many authors have tackled the topic of the Amish and have looked at Amish life from a variety of perspectives. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best books on the market. There are books that deal with Amish history as well as what it is like to be Amish and live in an Amish world.
Whether you want to learn more about Amish history, get a feel for what it is like to be Amish or both, this is the Amish book guide for you.
History of the Amish: Revised and Updated
History of the Amish: Revised and Updated is a popular entry into the history of the Amish. Noted Amish history expert, Steven M. Nolt’s well read work pulls together all of Amish history over the last 300 years. In History of the Amish, readers learn not just about the founding of the Amish, but also about their history and belief system. The end result is a book that is an easy and informative read. Read this one book and you will definitely have a better and fuller understanding of the Amish people and their culture.
The Amish and Amish Society by John A. Hostetler
Considered by many to be a classic on the topic of the Amish, The Amish by John A. Hostetler was originally published in 1952 and has sold nearly 800,000 copies. Amish historian and expert Steven M. Nolt as well as the author’s daughter Ann Hostetler have updated the newest version. For those looking for a good, easy to read primer on all things Amish, The Amish by John A. Hostetler is a must read. The work covers everything from religious beliefs to community life and a good deal more.
A nice companion to The Amish, also penned by Hostetler, is Amish Society. In Amish Society, the author dives in and explores Amish society and culture in greater detail and depth. Published in 1993 Amish Society has a more contemporary feel than The Amish, which was first published in 1952.
Another exceptionally well researched book on the Amish comes from authors Donald B. Kraybill, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner and well-known Amish expert Steven M. Nolt. In The Amish, the authors, who spent over 25 years researching this work, examine every aspect of Amish life, culture, religion, belief systems, way of life and more. Coming in at over 500 pages and published in 2013, The Amish is a fast and modern read. Full of the latest information, readers are sure to find The Amish a great second book on the Amish. After you’ve read a basic primer on the Amish, you’ll find this seminal work to be a great investment.
Amish in Their Own Words
No doubt reading works from researchers and experts will help anyone looking to learn about the Amish. That stated, works from the Amish themselves stand as the second key source of information on the topic of the Amish. Brad A Igou’s work Amish in Their Own Words has carefully assembled writings from the Amish people. The excerpts include everything from letters to articles.
The idea behind the work is to give people a glimpse into the minds of the Amish themselves, and the book succeeds. If you are looking for a book that helps you get a feel for the Amish and understand a little better how they perceive themselves, then Amish in Their Own Words is an excellent choice.
Living Without Electricity
Oftentimes people are quite interested in learning more about the day-to-day lives of the Amish. How the Amish live might feel like such a huge topic that it can be hard to know where to start, but with Living Without Electricity, readers can quickly get a feel for life is like on a daily basis for the Amish.
Written by Stephen Scott and Kenneth Pellman, Living Without Electricity explores the different ways that the Amish deal with not having a modern convenience that so many of us take for granted. If you are curious about how the Amish live without modern gadgetry and devices (and many are!) then you’ll love this easy to read and informative entry into the world of the Amish.
Rumspringa: To Be or Not to Be Amish
Just as how the Amish live without electricity draws attention and curiosity, so does the Amish custom of rumspringa. In Rumspringa: To Be or Not to Be Amish, author Tom Shachtman explores this coming-of-age ritual. Published in 2007, this book explores all aspects of rumspringa in considerable detail.
Growing Up Amish: A Memoir
The topic of rumspringa is also touched on in Ira Wagler’s Growing Up Amish: A Memoir. The book is a true story detailing the life of Wagler from his early childhood through rumspringa and his decision to leave the Amish Church at 26.
20 Most Asked Questions About the Amish and Mennonites, and Plain Answers About the Amish Life
Those looking for a basic, but quick and informative read on the Amish will enjoy Merle and Phyllis Good’s 20 Most Asked Questions About the Amish and Mennonites. A similar book is Mindy Starns Clark’s Plain Answers About the Amish Life, which also provides a nice overview of Amish like and quickly answers scores of important questions.
Together, these books provide a wide array of information regarding the Amish and their culture. Those looking to understand the Amish and their way of life will find that a great deal has been written on the topic. The books included in this article are just some of the best on what is a truly fascinating topic.
You may have heard the term “Old Order Amish,” but had not known what it is. In this article, we are going to explore Old Order Amish in greater detail. You’ll find that this is an interesting topic not just for those interested in the Amish way of life, but also for those with an appreciation of history.
The Amish people are complex people with a diverse history and unique belief system and tradition that continues to this day. The notion that there is “one kind of Amish” is a wrong notion. The complexities of the Amish community are well represented by the Old Order Amish.
The Ethno-Religious Roots of Old Order Amish
The Old Order Amish are what is often referred to as an ethno-religious group. This term “ethno-religious” refers to the fact that the group has both a genetic and religious component. More famous examples of an ethno-religious group would be the Jews or French Protestant group the Huguenots who were inspired by the work of John Calvin. Individuals who consider themselves to be part of an ethno-religious group associate their identity with both their religion and their ancestral heritage. The Old Order Amish identification is thus a reference to both a religious identity and an ancestral one.
The Old Order Amish and the Separation from the Mennonites
When many outsiders think of the term “Amish,” they are thinking of the Old Order Amish. The Old Order Amish separated from the Mennonites in 1693. It is important to note that the Old Order Amish are the single largest group of the Amish. By 1990, there were Old Order Amish settlements in 20 states across the U.S. as well as one Canadian province.
Exploring the Complex History of Old Order Amish
The creation of the Old Order Amish is an interesting one with a complex and interesting history. In general, the Old Order Amish are viewed as being more conservative than other Amish groups. There were a series of conferences held between 1862 and 1878. These conferences served to create clearer guidelines between the more conservative Old Order Amish and other Amish groups.
Today, there are other Amish groups including the Bachy Amish, New Order Amish and Swartzentruber Amish. The uses of technology can differ considerably between these groups. For example the Swartzentruber group typically refrain from using virtually all technology. In general, the Old Order Amish refrain from most forms of technology and do not use indoor plumbing or any kind of machinery that has a motor.
In terms of doctrine, the Old Order Amish follow the Dutch Mennonite Confession of Faith, which was adopted in 1623. This doctrine involves the shunning of excommunicated members and a belief that salvation can only be hoped for and not guaranteed. Additionally, the majority of Old Order Amish do not build churches but instead worship in private homes. In terms of dress, Old Order Amish opt for very conservative clothing.
The Amish-A Large and Growing Membership
In terms of numbers, the Old Order Amish are growing quickly. 1990 membership numbers put Old Amish Order members at over 80,000 with close to 900 church districts. Old Order Amish can be found in Pennsylvania, Ohio and other locations throughout the United States and Canada. Many would assess the Nebraska Amish as being the most conservative group within Old Order Amish; this group lives mostly in Pennsylvania.
Like the Nebraska Amish, the Swartzentruber Amish are also very conservative. The Swartzentruber Amish speak Pennsylvanian German and often do not associate with or marry into other Old Amish groups.
The Old Order Amish differ considerably from the New Order Amish in several key ways. Some New Order Amish may use a limited amount of technology such as telephones or even electricity, which would never be condoned within the Old Order Amish. Additionally, the New Order Amish are often less strict in their implementation of the use of shunning.
The Amish Consist of Many Groups Spread Across the United States and Canada
Ultimately, there is much more variety within the Amish than many outsiders would initially believe. The idea that there is one kind of “Amish” is not supported by the facts in the end. Within the Amish community there is a great deal of variety in belief systems, actions and lifestyles. Moreover, of great surprise to many outsiders, is the fact that not all Amish groups associate with one another. Quite to the contrary, many Amish groups will avoid others. The idea that the Amish are easy to define and categorize is, in the end, actually quite false.
The complex history of the Amish and the way that the different groups have developed over the centuries serves to underscore just how diverse the Amish are both in belief systems and in ways of life. In the end, the commonalities that the Amish share, such as their restricted use of technology, are matched or even surpassed by their differences. The Old Order Amish take a highly conservative approach to Amish teachings, beliefs and the Amish way of life. Understanding the Amish entails understanding the Amish as not one group but many who have diverse beliefs that stretch across a complex belief spectrum.
If you are like most people your dining table is, well, somewhat forgotten. It does its job, doesn’t ask for much, and like a well-behaved middle child it can be somewhat (and sadly) overlooked. Most of us look at our dining room table every day, but don’t take steps to bring it into our home decoration strategies. Yet, your dining table likely has a great deal of wonderful untapped potential and it deserves its own blog post.
The typical dining table takes up a lot of space in the average home. But with the right approach and strategy, it can be transitioned from forgotten to fabulous! Once you start using the seven tips we’ve outlined in this article, you’ll never want to go back. Let’s take a look at some fun, festive and creative ways to infuse some life into your dining table.
Tip One-Go Seasonal
One of the easiest ways to breath new life into your dining room table is to simply “go seasonal.” Holiday themes ranging from Christmas or Hanukah to Halloween, New Years celebration, Valentine’s Day, Easter and the light and festive colors of summer are all great starting points. From this simple foundation, you can build interesting and fun ideas.
Tip Two-Glasswear, Vases and Plants
Glass wear, such as vases or other containers and plants such as flowers are an easy way to transform your dining room table. Bring natural beauty to your table doesn’t have to be difficult. Two or three short vases or other glass wear combined with seasonal flowers or plants can not only transform your dining table but your entire dining room. One word of caution: some plants are poisonous to pets, so stick with safe flowers and plants.
By opting for seasonal choices, your dining room table will have a fresh and vibrant look year round. If you really want to impress friends and family alike, integrate your dining table glass and plant choices with other décor in your living room. The end result is a subtle but well thought out look.
Tip Three-Go Beyond Considering What Goes On Top of Your Table
A great rug can do wonders to help integrate your dining table into the rest of your home. Decorating your dining table isn’t just about what goes on top of your table, but also how you frame the areas around your table.
A well designed rug that has been chosen to complement the colors you’ve chosen for the decorations on top of your table will work wonders. Many people skip rugs under the dining table, but a rug helps to add color, warmth and charm in an unexpected way. Adding a rug to your dining room, specifically under your dining table, serves to frame your dining area and, in the process, adds a level of elegance.
Tip Four-Candles, Candelabras and Mood Lighting
Much like rugs are overlooked in relation to the dining room table, the same can often be stated for dining room lighting. Any table top decorations you select will benefit from adding the right kind of lighting whether it is a chandelier, candlesticks or candelabras or track mood lighting from above. The combination of the right rug and the right lighting choice can quickly and inexpensively elevate any dining experience.
Tip Five-Small Artwork
Small artwork whether in the form of sculptures, glass, such as blown glass, carved wood or even small postcard sized and framed paints or artistic photos can add an unexpected but welcomed addition to your dining table. The trick to effectively using this tip is to think small and understated. Art pieces included on a dining table should by design be small for a range of practical reasons. While using this tip might take a little extra work, it is well worth the effort and artwork can deliver an impressive “wow” factor.
Tip Six-Selecting Placemats
Placemats can be a quick way to transform your dining table. Since placemats run the color spectrum and come in all kinds of styles, materials and textures, it is possible to create a highly customized look and feel. Think about the palette of your dining room and your chairs when selecting your placemats.
Tip Seven-The Table as Art
Some tables are works of art all on their own. Selecting a new table is often just what is needed to change the look of an entire dining room. If you have an old and worn out dining table, a table that doesn’t work with your décor or simply don’t like the table you have, it’s time to consider making a change. After all, the tips we’ve outlined here will work much better when matched with a beautiful table!
Used together, these seven tips will definitely help you decorate your dining table like never before. All too often the dining table is overlooked and it is quite a shame. The large and usually central location of the typical dining table means that it has tremendous decorating potential. If you are interested in making your dining experience something more, then you’ll find that these fun and easy tips can transform the look and feel of your dining table. From mood lighting to placement selection to the use of rugs and artwork, there are plenty of options for getting more out of your dining table every day of the year.
Each table style and size has varying seating capacities. As a rough/general rule, every 24″ of table edge length will accommodate one chair. For example, a 42 x 72″ table will accommodate 8 chairs. One on each end (42″/24″ = 1.75, one chair) and three on each side (72″/24″ = 3, three chairs). For exceptions to this rule, please read on below.
60” tables can only fit one chair between the trestle legs
66” tables – some can fit two chairs between the trestle legs, others only one
Product codes that start with CWA will fit one chair
Product codes that start with WPA will fit two chairs
Product codes that start with NWA will fit two chairs
72” and longer tables can fit two chairs between the trestle legs.
As a general rule trestle legs are usually set in about 18” from the end of the table. Anytime one or more leaves are added to the table the distance from the end of the table to the trestle legs increases as the table halves move apart to make room for the leaves.
As another general rule the overhang on the table’s short sides is about 7 to 10 inches from the trestle leg. The base size stays the same for either a 42” wide or 48” wide table top. On the 42” wide top the overhang will be about 7”, on the 48” wide top the overhang will be about 10”.
See our Trestle Table Seating Tips post to learn how chairs that overlap the trestle supports can not be fully pushed in under the table when expanded with leaves.
A 36” round table will take 3 to 4 chairs; with two leaves you have an oval table that can fit 6 chairs
A 42” round table will take 4 chairs; with two leaves you have an oval table that can fit 6 chairs
A 48” round table will take 4 to 5 chairs; with two leaves you have an oval table that can fit 8 chairs
A 54” round table will take 5 to 6 chairs; with two leaves you have an oval table that can fit 8 chairs
Leg & Pedestal Tables
The general rule is two feet per person. So a 72” table will seat 3 people on each side, 1 on each end which comes to 8 chairs.
When you add 2 leaves you add 2 more chairs, likewise when you add 4 leaves you add 4 more chairs.
For example: a 72” table with 4 leaves goes from 6 people to 10 people around the table.
A trestle-style dining table is the pride of a home, but it merits extra consideration to fit into a dining room design. The trestles affect how many chairs fit around your table.
Trestles create bulk under the table, so you will be able to push some chairs all the way in, while others will only fit in as far as the trestle. You may like that, but it means you have to allot more space for your table and chairs.
Different numbers of table leaves change the distance between the trestles. In this way, certain table sizes allow chairs to fit around the trestles instead of facing them directly. Try experimenting with different table sizes to see how you like the way the seating fits.
A trestle table is such a robust piece of heirloom furniture, many people choose them and are willing to try different seating arrangements. We have an article on other kinds of dining tables right here.
Amish bar stools come in many shapes. Their sizes? Taller than a chair, they’re usually available in both 24” and 30” heights. Although we have a section of the store for bar stools, don’t stop there: virtually every dining chair has a bar stool option.
This video showcases several bar stool types, starting with the stationary bar chair, which is simply a tall chair. The swivel bar stool is the fun kind, while the memory swivel turns back to its starting position once you get off.
Saddle bar stools have curvy, minimal seats while saddle scoop bar stools are more human-shaped. Almost every bar stool we have can be upholstered. There is so much variety that if you’re looking for some bar stools, you’ll find the right one here.
The Mission Display Bookcase with Seedy Glass has two elegant mullioned glass doors. The seedy glass is quite transparent but has the texture of bubbles inside. This bookcase comes standard with four adjustable shelves but you can give us a call for numerous customization options. We’re showing the bookcase in quarter-sawn white oak with the Michael’s Cherry finish. The standard size is 60” tall, 13” deep and 42” wide with a 46” wide top. The video shows the standard bookcase; here’s a wider one with an open center and side doors:
This child’s easel desk has a chalk board on one face that flips to a dry erase board on the other, and a fold-away chair.
Because kids know children’s furniture is just for them, they adore it. If you’re deciding on a gift for your kids, rest assured they will get a lot of use out of a child sized table and chairs, because of how versatile a table is. Think of all the activities they can do at their comfortable height.
But there are plenty of other types of child-sized furniture that are fun to use. Watch the video to see rocking horses, rocking chairs, high chairs and all kinds of toys.
The toys are handcrafted with the same impeccable care as our Amish furniture. We even have games that they can play on their children’s table.