The Process Matters

Lumber is prepared differently for different applications, particularly in how it is dried. When trees are cut they retain a high moisture content. When logs are milled into boards those boards are then dried according to their future application. Wood can twist, warp and crack as it dries, so there is a scientific process to control those effects. Construction grade lumber like 2×4’s you’ll find at your local home improvement store are dried to around 19% Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC). Using this type of lumber for furniture is a recipe for disaster because the air in most homes is much dryer than the wood. This will cause the wood to shrink and crack as it acclimates.

This is why we use furniture grade lumber for all of our pieces. Furniture grade lumber is milled differently and dried to about 10% EMC making it much more stable. In Southeastern Pennsylvania 10% EMC is considered an acceptable level for pieces of furniture in your home. We also take wood movement into consideration in how we assemble furniture to mitigate any potential issues down the road. Even when taking all of these steps to prevent issues, about 10% of tables will experience a problem related to wood movement. It is possible that the relative humidity in your home is different enough from what the wood has acclimated to that issues may arise, especially during the winter months. Having a humidifier or a way to control the humidity in your home is a great way to protect all the wood furniture and flooring in your home. While these issues are out of our control we want to do what we can to help resolve problems that arise within a reasonable timeframe. Please contact us if you notice a problem with your piece of furniture that you would like to bring to our attention.

Characteristics of Natural Wood Furniture

With solid wood furniture there are many natural characteristics in the wood. It is important to understand that these aren’t flaws in your table, but unique features to be appreciated. Here are some common things that you may come across.


Knots are common in all wood species. We use the highest grade of lumber to avoid knots for the most part. However, knots about the size of a quarter may still appear in your table. Any cracks or voids in and around the knot are filled with a two-part epoxy resin to stabilize them and keep the surface of the table flat and smooth.


Checks, or small cracks unfortunately happen during the drying process of lumber. This is a result of the expansion and contraction of the wood as it is dried and then acclimates to seasonal changes in humidity. Oak and Ash are wood species that most commonly have these issues. During the build process we look for these features and either fill and stabilize them with a 2 part epoxy resin or cut that section out of the lumber we use to build your table. Once a table arrives in your home it is possible that small checks could open up, especially during the first winter because the air in your home is much dryer. We have no control over this as quite often there was no feature of the wood to indicate that a check would appear and we trust our suppliers to dry the lumber properly.


Sapwood is a softer, lighter colored part of the wood usually found near the live edges of lumber. It is most noticeable walnut. We use our creative judgement when assembling tables on how much sapwood to incorporate and where.

Use and Care

We use a Natural VOC- free hard wax oil on our furniture. It is extremely durable and user friendly. The manufacturer has several products for cleaning and refreshing your furniture as the years go by. For more information visit the manufacturers website below. 

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