Vermont Furniture Works contracts with specialty lumber companies throughout the Northeast to acquire premium-grade raw lumber. From these shipments, our cabinetmakers hand-select each piece of wood with a close eye to the color, figure, and grain.
First, our cabinetmakers rough mill the wood on site. During the ensuing resting period the wood “relaxes.” While all hardwood responds to environmental changes, our resting period ensures that most of the warping and twisting of the boards occurs before we begin construction. Our cabinet-makers re-mill the boards to level, then fine mill them to their precise sizes.
The handwork continues as our cabinetmakers craft the dovetail, mortise-and-tenon, or spline joints specific to the piece. Joinery is an artistry all to itself, as it creates an integrated, interlocking, and stable piece that will last for generations.
The skill of our cabinetmakers excels during assembly. They hand-plane the surfaces of the joints to ensure a perfect fit, then carefully assemble the components. Each bed, case piece, chest of drawers, desk, and table is meticulously planed, hand-sanded, and hand-prepared for final finishing.
Final finishing is a three-layered process, which includes hand-sanding and hand-scraping the surfaces to a lush smoothness, applying the water-based finishes or paint, and oiling. Our finisher personally massages several coats of top-quality Tung oil onto the surfaces to achieve the rich patina characteristic of our furniture.
After a quality assurance check, the cabinetmakers who built the piece, number and sign it. The result is not so much a product as a treasure, not so much a purchase as an investment in a work of art reminiscent of Early America and its furniture-making traditions.