Many years ago the timber industry employed men from the Amish community as loggers and equipment operators in sawmills. Although most of the timber was hardwood, meaning oak, walnut and hickory, some was evergreen softwood, the scraps of which were used to build pallets. Amish-owned businesses in the timber industry and pallet-making industry led naturally to a wide commercial opportunity for furniture making, since generations of Amish men were well-known as cabinet makers, furniture makers and casket makers in their own small, personal shops.
Manufacturing the wooden parts of Amish buggies are another specialty that led to more commercial applications involving woodworking. Issues involving power tools have historically separated the artisan or home-bound craftsman from the commercial producer, but gas-powered generators have solved that issue for the majority of Amish craftsmen today.