August 7th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Typically Vermont furniture can be distinguished from other American made furniture or imported furniture by the extensive use of real, solid wood. American Black Cherry is the wood most often used in Vermont furniture although sugar maple, black walnut, oak and other local species are also popular.
At Vermont Woods Studios we represent woodworkers and fine furniture makers from all across the Green Mountain State so our furniture reflects a wide variety of styles, designs and crafting techniques. Some of our furniture makers work exclusively with all solid wood construction and others employ the use of veneers. So customers often ask us about the difference between the two techniques.
Honestly, with all of our handmade furniture, heirloom quality is the bottom line and that can be achieved using all solid wood construction or with the incorporation of premium quality, high end veneers.
Although Vermont is best known for our all solid wood construction, we have several craftsmen who prefer to incorporate high quality veneers into their designs. This is done when veneers are the best choice for a particular design, rather than simply the most economical choice. For instance, the curved back panel of the Copeland Catalina Bed must be a veneer because it would be structurally impossible to build it out of solids. Copeland's framed panels, that is panels surrounded on all four sides, are often made of high grade, veneered plywood because in these instances, a solid panel would have the potential to expand and break the frame apart during periods of high humidity.
Plywood is considerably stronger than solids of equal dimension and some furniture makers choose them for Case Backs and Drawer Bottoms for that reason. On each of our furniture product pages you will find a link to the construction details for that product. We urge you to read through the information presented and give us a call with your questions. For the furniture on our website, you will find that when veneers are used, they are the the best choice for the design.
After all this discussion about veneers however, I can say that most of our furniture is still designed and constructed with all real solid wood, sustainably harvested in Vermont or neighboring states. If this is an important feature for you, give us a all and let us know. We'll help you find the right handmade solid wood furniture for your home.