The Conner Dining Chair is a Mission-style chair that comes upholstered. The chair in the video is quarter-sawn white oak with Michael’s Cherry stain and London Tan leather. We’ve pictured the side chair, but an arm chair is available, as well as bar stools at 24” or 30” seat heights.
It’s heirloom furniture after all. You want to get the right pieces. Liz agrees:
“This is our first experience buying furniture online. We were not sure if we could get what we wanted. Laura sent us samples and patiently answered our questions regarding the different woods and styles available. We were impressed with the quality of the pieces we received – they are strong and beautifully crafted. The delivery was smooth and we are very happy with our purchase.”
Dawn bought a hutch and three bookshelves from us. She sent pictures of the hutch, a solid oak Cambria Hutch with Old World Mission stain. Here’s the hutch in all its modern country glory.
Dawn chose a wood back to make her dishware stand out and to complement her dining room wall. From the side you can see how it fits into Dawn’s exciting red dining room with white paneling.
After several happy purchases, Dawn has finally decided to write:
I have purchased four beautifully crafted pieces of furniture from Amish Furniture Factory. It’s a wonderful experience being able to purchase real Amish Crafted furniture online, made entirely from real wood with the stain of my choice, and know that what will be delivered is pure quality. I’m a working mother with young children, so going to furniture stores is difficult. I have had very good customer service and communication with Laura from Amish Furniture Factory on several occasions, and each purchase from beginning to delivery has been exceptional!
Thanks for the tip, Dawn. Online shopping is convenient, and that should apply to Amish handcrafted furniture as well as the usual gadgets and books that people shop for. That’s why we pride ourselves in providing real wood furniture and great customer service.
Being a beginner can always be a little tricky. Taking the first steps towards learning a new skill can be demanding, but the payoff is usually worth the effort. Learning woodworking is a true-life skill. Unlike many other things you can learn woodworking comes with practical real-world benefits. Knowing how to use tools to create something interesting and useful out of wood is a skill that can pay dividends throughout life.
Much like learning a foreign language, a skill like woodworking will benefit you in many different ways. Learning woodworking gives you an opportunity to show off your creative side and is also a fun way to reduce stress and unwind, while at the same time creating something beautiful and interesting. When you say that you do woodworking, you’ll find it really is a serious conversation starter. People will be very curious to hear about the types of creations you’re working on.
The projects you create through woodworking will become a part of your life and, with practice, you can achieve a level of proficiency that could make your woodworking creations of heirloom quality so that future generations can use and enjoy them.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the key gear that you’ll need in order to begin woodworking. Some of the items that you need for woodworking are obvious but others are less so. Safe and effective woodworking is about much more than simple tool selection. Just as painting is about much more than paint, the same holds true for the world of woodworking.
A Dedicated and Safe Space
Woodworking differs from many other hobbies, such as painting, in that you can’t simply set up your tools in a corner and “go to work” at least not safely. Woodworking, due to the nature of the work, involves setting aside a dedicated space. Ideally, the best space is one that is quiet and offers some level of privacy. If you have a basement or garage that you can dedicate just for your workshop, that is ideal. You don’t want to necessarily share the space with your kid’s playroom or family exercise area.
As someone new to woodworking, the last thing that you want is to be interrupted while cutting or sawing. If you have children and/or pets you’ll want to be sure that your tools and workspace are locked away and secure. While you are woodworking you’ll want to keep your children and pets out of the area. Again, woodworking while both an artistic and practical endeavor, isn’t like painting, which also has some hazards involved such as chemical exposure. Woodworking can be very dangerous and the process must be respected.
The Importance of Proper Lighting
You can select the best tools but improper lighting can be very dangerous where woodworking is concerned. This may seem like an obvious point, but far too many woodworking beginners fail to take the importance of proper lighting into consideration.
Saw, cutting, power tools and poor lighting simply don’t mix. Don’t assume that the level of light you use for reading, for example, is appropriate for woodworking. In woodworking, it is imperative that you are able to clearly see what you are doing at all times.
Finding Proper Instruction
Perhaps the single most important step a beginning woodworking needs to take is to seek out instruction. The greatest tool in woodworking is knowledge, not a specific saw or bench. Finding proper instruction is always a savvy place to begin when learning any complicated skill, like woodworking.
YouTube is rich with woodworking videos and it would be easy to stop there; however, there is no replacement for taking a class. If you have access to a woodworking class for beginners then this is a smart place to begin your journey.
The simple fact is that information is the most important tool you have in the process of learning woodworking. A seasoned and experienced instructor can be invaluable and help greatly accelerate the learning process. The time and money you invest in a class, and to a lesser extent woodworking books and videos, is time and money very well spent. Whenever you want to learn the “tricks of trade” it is best to seek out those who already know the tricks!
Remember That You Are a Beginner
Armed with a dedicated and safe space to work in, proper lighting and instruction you are ready to begin woodworking. Safety gear such as googles are a must, but the most critical safety feature is to be well aware of your surroundings and carefully think about what you are doing at all times when woodworking.
Beginners should be respectful of the fact that they are, in fact, beginners. This means that the tools you select and the projects you
attempt to tackle should be simple. By starting with same projects that involve a minimum amount of cutting you will be able to apply what you are learning and “get your feet wet.” Optimally, you should spend some time learning the basics of your new skill before trying to wrestle with more advanced projects.
A handsaw may take longer, but it is certainly safer than a power saw, especially when used correctly. Other key tools in addition to a handsaw are reliable clamps. Proper cutting technique is dependent upon using quality clamps to hold wood in place.
A quality work table, preferably one with built in clamps and a high weight capacity is another prudent idea. All too often woodworking beginners opt for an inexpensive work table. Inexpensive work tables usually have lower weight capacities. Select at least a mid-range quality work table and look for one that has excellent reviews.
Combine these factors together and you will have a safe and production woodworking experience. Remember that woodworking experts all began as beginners like you. Don’t rush the process and start with small projects of minimal complexity and your efforts will most definitely be rewarded!
One aspect of woodworking that can be easy to overlook is that of air quality and woodworking. While woodworking can have many health benefits, it is also true that the fine particles created during woodworking can be harmful to your lungs if you do it a lot and take no precautions.
Air quality and woodworking is more important than it might initially seem. In part, this is due to the fact that our lungs are constantly being placed under stress in a variety of ways. Every day pollution particles ranging from nearby and distant factories, to power plants and cars and diesel vehicles all combine to negative impact air quality.
Air quality varies by country, state, region and even from one part of a city to another, but few airs have what air quality experts would deem “good” or “excellent” air quality. Air pollution from factories in China are, for example, partially responsible for lowering air quality on America’s West Coast. In short, escaping air pollution is virtually impossible.
Considering that your lungs are already being put under stress on a daily basis just to filter out air pollution particles, it only makes sense for woodworkers to take extra steps to protect their lungs while woodworking.
Starting with the Basics
While there are many advanced techniques that you can take starting today to protect your lungs while woodworking, it is good to briefly review some of the most important, basic steps to take.
First, wear a mask when cutting or sanding wood to prevent particles from entering your lungs in the first place.
Second, keep all potentially hazardous materials in their proper containers.
Third, when working with old painted wood exercise caution as old paint is often lead paint, which is highly toxic to children but is also toxic to adults. Sanded lead paint can turn into particulates and fill the air. This can make them highly dangerous.
Fourth, be sure to use a HEPA vacuum cleaner to clean your woodworking space after use.
Fifth, be sure to wash your clothing after you’re done with your woodworking.
Opting for a Ventilation System
There are many high-quality ventilation systems on the market. A good ventilation system is more complicated and robust than a simple bathroom fan. A ventilation system can pull polluted indoor air out of space and bring in fresh air.
Simply remember to clean the systems filters, and you will improve your indoor air quality. Indoor air is several times more polluted than outdoor air even in normal spaces. A woodworking workshop’s indoor air quality can benefit a great deal from ventilation system.
Consider Air Purifiers
Strongly consider an air purifier, in particular, IQAir which isn’t like just any air purifiers. Simply stated, IQAir not only purifies the air, but it actually works to capture particles far smaller than other air purifiers. Those who conduct their own research will discover that IQAir air purifiers really do capture smaller particles than other air purifiers.
While the systems are not cheap and the air filter replacements can be expensive, there is no doubt that they will dramatically reduce the volume of small particles created in the woodworking process. There are several different systems and price points available. If you want to protect your lungs then opting for a portable IQAir unit is a prudent move. In terms of removing small particles, which can be very damaging to lungs, IQAir has created a stand out product.
Using a good workshop vacuum cleaner is, however, essential for increasing the longevity of the systems filters. IQAir purifiers have fairly powerful fans meaning that they can suck in a great deal of debris, clogging expensive cleaners. It is definitely much cheaper to use a HEPA vacuum cleaner to grab particles off the ground instead. Additionally, an air purifier and frequent vacuuming will serve to prolong the lifespan of your ventilation system filters.
Purify Your Air Both Before and After Woodworking
One of the more important advanced techniques for purifying your air is to turn on your air ventilation system and/or air purifier both before and after woodworking. Combine this technique with wearing a mask and you will dramatically reduce your lung’s exposure to wood particles.
Using both a ventilation system and an air purifier is a prudent investment in your health. Having clean air is an ongoing process. Breathing in any form of air pollution, especially over an extended period of time, can have serious health consequences.
Opting for multiple layers of protection, such as a using a ventilation system, an air purifier and wearing a mask while cutting, sawing or sanding will dramatically reduce the number of particles you inhaul. No system will limit your exposure to zero, but you can greatly reduce your total exposure.
Combined all of these techniques will make a very significant difference in your indoor air quality. If you want proof of just how well this approach can work, invest in a laser particle scanner. These scanners detect both large and small particles and can be found for about $250 to $300 dollars. You will see a dramatic different in the number of particles detected by the scanner when your air filtration system and air purifiers are on versus when they are off.
Always Keep Your Health in Mind
While woodworking is a creative and impressive pursuit, unfortunately, it does come with the risk of exposure to wood dust. The risks of this exposure are ailments ranging from minor ones, like dermatitis and respiratory effects, to extremely serious ones like cancer. Many woodworkers have ended up with issues like chronic bronchitis, pneumonitis and asthma. Others find they just end up with colds and flues that are extremely persistent.
Achieving a superior level of air quality in your workshop does require an investment, but for as little as a few hundred dollars, it is possible to greatly improve your shop’s air quality. In the process, you’ll protect your health.
Oh, the holidays. Some people love the holidays and others simply can’t wait until they end Whether you want to go out caroling or would prefer to hide out in your basement until “it’s all over,” one fact is certain. You’ll need holiday gifts. No one wants to be thought of as a Grinch.
The simple fact is that most of us need to give holiday gifts and if you’re like most people, you want to give gifts that will be well-received. One of the single best ways to give a gift that people will love is to opt for a gift that is both innovative and useful. This year, choose wood gifts.
Why Give Wood Gifts?
Wood is a smart choice for a variety of reasons. A top reason to select a real wood gift is that real wood is very durable. A gift such as a bookcase, just to cite one example, is usually a winner because everyone can always use another bookcase. It’s a gift that will be used for years or even decades.
In this digital era where planned obsolescence is taken as a given, wood is likely to stand out even more. It’s beautiful and it’s durable. So this year instead of opting for the latest, greatest and fastest iPhone, gaming console or beeping, flashing gizmo, consider giving your gift recipient a gift that will last and last in the form of wood. Maybe it will even be handed down to future generations.
Building someone a wood gift with your own hands is a very special option. Such a gift can truly be considered a “double winner” as not only is your gift infused with the beauty and durability of wood, but also, your gift comes with the considerable added bonus of being 100% handmade by you! That shows someone that you were truly thinking about them and that you feel like putting forward work and energy towards the relationship.
Wood is all about variety and that means regardless of the personality type of your gift’s recipient, there is likely a wood gift that will be the perfect match. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more innovative wooden gifts that you can give this holiday season that will come with a major Wow Factor.
Wood Gift Idea #1- The Wood Mouse
Believe it or not, there are many plans on the Internet to make your own wooden mouse. A mouse is something that people use almost every day, and that means that they will constantly be thinking about you and your awesome gift.
Visit ThisWoodwork’s webpage on YouTube to see step by step plans for how to make your very own mouse. If you don’t want to invest the time in making your own wooden mouse, then Amazon and other online websites have you covered. The number of wooden mice options available are truly staging. There are wooden optical bamboo mice, wireless wooden mice and more. This option wood mouse option from KOOLmouse has a particularly sharp look.
Wood Gift Idea #2 Make Your Own Lamp
Just imagine how surprised you would be if you received a handmade lamp. That feeling is exactly how your gift recipients will feel if you give them a very unique, handmade lamp. There are lots of DIY lamp making options out there, and some of the best instructional videos can be found, once again, on YouTube.
DIY Creators YouTube page has a very modern and hip looking LED Desk Lamp that is sure to be a big hit. This lamp features elegant curves and looks like a million bucks! While the LED Desk Lamp from DIY Creators is certainly a work of art, Modustrial Maker’s YouTube features a wild Rings of Saturn LED Pendant Light that uses Arduino to react to music; this one is unforgettable. This gift is cost-effective and again, it’s something that your recipient will use constantly. That means you’ll always be in their thoughts.
Wood Gift Idea #3 Build an Expensive Designer Style Chair
If you are a more advanced woodworker, then you definitely have some options. Mind blowing gifts come in all shapes and sizes. If you are looking to real impress someone, such as your significant other, this holiday season then why not build them an expensive looking designer style chair.
One option comes from Ligum’s YouTube page. This clever lounger looks like it should cost thousands. A slightly easier, but still impressive, lounger chair plan is available at Modern Builds YouTube page. Modern Build’s Outdoor Lounge Chair looks much more difficult to build, and expensive, than it actually is, so be sure to check it out.
If you are looking for something a little more rustic looking then a third chair option comes from HomeMadeModern’s YouTube page. HomeMadeModern provides you with a plan for converting a log into a super cool Log Lounger. Check out the Log Lounger video by clicking here.
Wood Gift Idea #4 Build an Amazing Wood Table
No one expects to get a table for the holidays. So this is a gift that truly comes with a major “wow factor.” Building an amazing and cost- effective table can be easier than you might think.
Artistically designed and elegant tables can cost thousands of dollars, but with a moderate time investment and the right guidance you can build something so awesome you’ll never want to let it go.
No way around it, you’ll need a good deal of experience to complete this project. But if you want to truly impressive a parent, boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband then this table will do it.
Nothing says love or I appreciate you quite like a handmade gift. Combine this fact with the durability and beauty of wood and you have a true winner. Regardless of whether you opt for a simple wood creation like a wood mouse or for something as impressive and extravagant as the Falling Brick Coffee Table or a designer lounge chair, you’re gift recipient will have a great gift that will last for decades. Best of all, your wood gift will be one that serves to remind your gift recipient of you every time they use it or see it. While that iPhone or gadget has a short shelf life, your real wood creation will last a lifetime.
The Brandberg Dining Chair is a Shaker-style chair with a classic ladder back. The base has a skirt and stretcher bar curved around it, and the seat has comfortable saddle scoop contouring. We’re showing this chair in oak with the New Carrington stain.
Settling for a messy workshop is far different than maintaining a messy house. A house may often be untidy and maybe even unsightly, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is a hazard. A messy workshop, however, is usually a different story.
There are many reasons that you should aim to have a clean and neat workshop. Woodworking means that you are often handling a variety of materials and that means there is considerable risk of danger. There are also additional benefits to having a clean and neat workshop, such as saving time.
Many of the tips in this article will help you get organized, keep your workshop clean and keep it that way. Getting organized and keeping your workshop and space clean doesn’t have to be a laborious and time-consuming process. With some initial work and periodic maintenance, you can make your workshop cleaner, easier to use and even safer. If you want to save time and get more out of your woodworking then these tips are for you.
Tip One-Remove Scrap Wood Immediately and Store Safely
Scrap wood is most definitely a hazard. Letting scrap wood pile up isn’t like letting your dishes pile up in your house or having a messy desktop, real or virtual. Scrap wood is a fire hazard, especially if you smoke or have friends or family members that do then you should keep as little scrap wood in your workshop as possible.
If a fire breaks out your wood scraps will essentially act as kindling for a fire. It is also important to note that if you have worked with treated wood then the smoke created will also be toxic due to those treatments.
The best way to deal with your scrap wood is to recycle it as soon as possible. By not letting your scrap wood pile up you are definitely increasing the both the safety and the organization of your workshop.
Tip Two-Invest in a High-Quality HEPA Shop Vacuum Cleaner
Our second tip is to invest in a high-quality HEPA shop vacuum cleaner, or at the very least a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, such as a Dyson vacuum cleaner.
Many may feel that HEPA vacuum cleaners are “overkill” but where wood working is concerned, HEPA vacuum cleaners are a smart move. Wood working creates a consistently large amount of fine dust. Most homes have just a fraction of the fine dust that one would fine in a workshop.
Periodically vacuuming your workshop with a HEPA vacuum cleaner will remove fine wood dust particles. Removing these fine particles will help protect your lungs and reduce your fire risk. Additionally, it is prudent to wear a face mask and install an air purifier when you are cutting wood.
Tip Three-Get Bins, Label Them and Store Wisely
Organizing a woodworking workshop is much like organizing many spaces in that a few organizational bins will go a very long way. It might be obvious to have a tool chest to organize your woodworking tools, but what many woodworkers forget to do is have organizational bins for other items.
If you have chemicals such as finishes and varnishes, those chemicals should be stored and away from any flames or sparks. Labeling your bins is actually a very worthwhile activity even if you just use a black marker. Being able to quickly find what you need during your woodworking will definitely make your process faster and more enjoyable.
Simple shelving units can be the perfect complement to your bins, so consider investing in some shelving, or even making your own, to help you get organized and stay organized.
Tip Four-Invest in Proper Lighting
Good workshop lighting is relatively cheap. It is hard to get organized and stay that way if you can’t see your workspace. So, get rid of the dark corners of your workshop with some extra lighting! If you don’t have enough overhead lights, remember that plugging in desk lamps or floor lamps can make a big difference. Just remember to turn off all the lights when you leave the workshop to conserve energy.
Tip Five-Ask a Friend For Input
Asking a friend to evaluate your workspace for safety and organization could be time well-spent. While it may seem counterintuitive, the more time you spend doing something or in a given space the greater the chances that you develop habits and overlook key elements.
Having a friend or family member evaluate the organization and safety of your workshop could be a prudent move. Simply ask, “Does it seem like I covered everything,” and see what response you get. You might be surprised what you learn, especially if your friend is a fellow woodworker.
Tip Six-Periodically Set Aside Organization Time and Mark It on Your Calendar
Life can get in the way of keeping your workshop organized, clean and neat. You may find that the only way to keep your workspace clean is to mark it on your schedule. If you use a digital calendar on your computer or phone, be sure to plug in a few minutes every month that you use to specifically clean up your workspace. Otherwise years can go by and you can simply forget to maintain your space.
All of the ideas outlined in this article can be implemented quickly and easily, so there is no reason not to improve your space. Those looking to make their woodworking workshops safer and easier to lose will discover that these six tips are worth their weight in gold.
Combined, you can use these tips to improve your safety of your workshop while at the same time boosting your productivity. In the end, it is important to make cleaning and organizing your workshop a priority. An unclean workshop isn’t your friend as it can be both a safety hazard and a health hazard. When you know that your space is well thought through and safe, you’ll be able to boost your productivity and your results.