FAQ's About Wood Furniture
What is meant by Real Wood?
According to the National Unfinished Furniture Association, real wood furniture is defined as furniture made of all natural wood or plywood, except that unexposed backs and drawer bottoms may contain fiberboard. Real wood furniture contains absolutely no particle board. What is meant by Solid Wood? Solid Wood means that all exposed parts of the furniture are made of solid board, either softwood or hardwood lumber. No veneers or particle boards are used. When solid boards are used in furniture construction, they are glued together side by side along the edges. Often, a number of boards are used to make the wood more stable and reduce the chance of warping. Solid board can always be identified by following a seam to the end, where you will find the "end" grain. Many veneers are glued over the edges to look like solid wood, but they will always be faced on the end and show no end grain.
What is Veneer?
Veneer can help you achieve the look you desire at a cost lower than solid lumber. Veneer is a thin layer of wood applied in sheets over underlying layers of plywood. Originally developed to be an art form, veneer can be cut as thin as a dime and in intricate patterns. Uniform graining can be achieved, unlike the more random graining of solid wood.
When is plywood a good idea?
When strength and stability are needed. Plywood is made of thin layers of solid wood glued over each other with grains running at 90-degree angles to produce a strong core. It is used to provide maximum stability on the sides of desks, entertainment centers and other units where solid woods would crack and warp. A veneer is often glued on top and sides for an even and attractive appearance. What is particle board? Particle board is made by gluing chips and particles of wood together and pressing them into sheets, upon which a veneer can be glued. Hardness is determined by the specific density of the wood, not by whether a tree is classified as a "hardwood" or "softwood."
Does price reflect quality?
Yes. Just as with other commodities, the price of a piece of furniture increases when its quality improves. Higher prices reflect refinements in grades of wood and better construction features. The benefits to you: Less sanding and prepping work to finish.
What are the differences in drawer construction?
Drawer construction is generally a good indication of overall furniture quality. Some drawers have no guides. The lack of guides allows more "play" and can cause the drawer to bind when it is opened and closed. Others have wood-to-wood center guides, nylon-to-wood center guides, side-mounted roller guides or center-mounted metal guides. Roller guides and center-mounted metal guides normally have built-in drawer stops, and some have lifetime warranties for drawer operation. Many drawers have glue-blocks to strengthen the bottom. Most ready-to-finish chests have wood drawer bottoms not always the case with prefinished furniture. Now, as in the past, doweled and dovetailed drawer joints indicate a high degree of craftsmanship. However, modern machine technology, good bonding glue and pneumatically driven staples coated with resin have afforded savings in construction while providing durability.
Is furniture finishing hard to do?
Using our step-by-step instructions, finishing is fun and easy. Match your existing décor or start fresh. With today's finishing products, the possibilities are almost endless. Create your own style; express your individuality.
What supplies are needed, other than the stains?
For most finishing projects, you will need a drop cloth, clean rags, paint brushes (bristle and foam), sandpaper or 3M sanding pads, q-tips and paper towels. If using oil-based finishes, have mineral spirits handy for cleanup.
Does the furniture require any assembly?
Most items are fully assembled. There are some exceptions: Table legs and pedestals require attachment using the bolts provided; stools need to have the top swivel seat attached using the bolts provided; desks need to have the components attached to each other using the screws provided; since each bed frame has slightly different holes to attach the headboard, you do need to drill the holes and attach the headboard using the bolts provided. In all cases assembly is straightforward and simple.