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Hardwood furniture can be a substantial investment in craftsmanship, beauty, and style. However, the most affordable prices and the widest selection for furniture of this caliber is most easily accessible using online sources. When it comes to taking advantage of this resource, it can be difficult to determine the quality level of the furniture in which you are investing. Hardwoods can be particularly deceiving when it comes to finishes and other materials. Still, it is possible to make a sound investment using an online furniture catalogue when you know what to look for and what kinds of questions you should be asking yourself.

 

 

 

The Materials Come First

Begin by looking strictly at the materials over the design. There are a wealth of wood imitators out there that can legitimately claim hardwood to be used in the construction.

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You must beware of laminated woods, the gluing of wood substrates, and other techniques that are designed exclusively to give the appearance of wood while cheapening the final product. These kinds of short-cuts used by builders ultimately devalue the piece and weaken its durability when it comes to standing the test of time.

 

Proper Assembly Necessary

The way that a piece is assembled can also give you a substantial amount of insight into its value and craftsmanship. Pieces that include large, broad faces such as tables should be constructed using planks that fit perfectly together. It is also important to note that the wider the plank, the more likely it is to warp over time.

In most cases, you should look for pieces utilizing planks that are no wider than four inches. It is best to get as much information from the manufacturer as possible as well. When possible, find out the moisture content of the wood and how the joints were constructed. A properly glued joint is stronger than the grain of the actual wood. In terms of the moisture content for the wood, the ideal range for kiln-dried planks is between six and eight percent.

 

On the Surface

While the finished surface of the wood can often be deceiving, this element is very important. Although lacquers are very common types of sealers for hardwood furniture, this material is not actually waterproof and does not stand the test of time. Modern furniture is most often sealed using polymer topcoats that are much more durable. Despite the fact that these chemicals can be much more expensive than traditional lacquer, it is a catalyzed product that resists the most common hazards.

 

Looking and Learning

There are also telling visual characteristics for hardwood furniture that are great indicators of quality construction. Curved elements are one of these earmarks. Solid woods that have been curved using steam last much longer than laminated pieces of wood that are used to achieve the same ends.

 

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Ensuring that you are getting whole pieces of wood can be done by investigating for wrinkles along bends and in corners. It is also important to remember that there is a distinct difference between simply putting parts together and actually fastening them using high-quality techniques. Some visual giveaways in terms of this characteristic is the presence of dovetail joints, particularly in drawers. High-quality joints are made using interlocking patterns such as these.

 

Focused on Success

The details can make all of the difference when it comes to locating hardwood furniture of the highest grade quickly and efficiently. The marks left over from sanding, sawing, and routing wood can paint a complete picture of the care that went into creating the furniture being considered. For instance, poor routing during construction can be identified by chatter marks from the tool or loose fibers in the grain, particularly along the surface of cherry wood.

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Poor choices in sanding materials can also be evident through the way that the wood takes the final stain. Improper sanding actually smashes and damages the grain of the wood, keeping it from being able to absorb the stain and causing it to merely rest on the surface.

 

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