Stan Shetler, Craftsman


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Swartzendruber
Furniture Creations
17229 C.R. 18
Goshen, Indiana

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SFC > The SFC Craft > Constuction Methods

SFC Standards

We believe in building furniture that will be used and enjoyed for a lifetime and beyond - the kind of objects that become treasured family heirlooms. With this in mind, we use only the finest select, kiln dried hardwoods and proven construction techniques. Following is a listing of some of the standards we adhere to in constructing Furniture for the Ages:

Construction

In general, our pieces are solid hardwood throughout. Matching veneer core plywood is used for drawer bottoms and cabinet backs.
Lumber for each piece is hand selected by the craftsman for color and figure.

Each piece is the same wood species throughout - we don't use a cheaper material on the inside. For instance, a cherry piece will be all cherry. Doors are cope and rail construction. Door panels are bookmatched from a single board for even color and figure.

Drawer boxes are solid wood, dovetailed at all four corners. The drawer bottom is fitted into a groove in the traditional manner. Drawers ride on full extension, all ball bearing slides. These slides are made for file drawers and can support approximately 100 pounds with the drawer fully extended. They require no maintenance, don't stick or bind with changes in the seasons and can't fall out of the cabinet when the drawer is fully extended. Our customers love them!

Table slides are made in our shop for a particular table. Each set of slides is hand fitted to be free running and to minimize sag and features full length dovetail tracks. All of our tables can be easily opened by one person.

Each leaf is hand fitted to the table top to eliminate mismatches.
Chairs and tables utilize mortise and tenon joinery throughout, just like fine antiques.
Each piece is hand built, signed, numbered and dated by craftsmen with years of experience. A small brass plaque is affixed to the piece to confirm your ownership.
Each piece is covered by a Five Year Warranty.

Finish

A great finish starts with meticulous sanding. Each piece is machine sanded (this is where many manufacturers stop) and then completely hand sanded 3 - 4 separate times with progressively finer sandpaper. Finer sanding means stains pick up the natural wood grain rather than coarse sanding marks, resulting in a finish with superior depth and transparency.

We use a catalyzed varnish for our topcoats. This finish goes on thin for clarity and dries quickly so it doesn't pick up dust and dirt from the air. Catalyzed lacquer exhibits excellent moisture- and scratch resistance. In general, water droplets will evaporate off the surface before they can damage the finish, unless the moisture is trapped against the wood by a vessel or table cloth for long periods.

Our natural finishes are treated with an oil to bring out the grain, with a catalyzed lacquer applied over the oil. This is not merely a linseed oil or oil and wax finish - it has far greater resistance to staining and water spotting and is much easier to care for.

Every piece is finished on all surfaces inside and out to protect the wood and prevent warpage.
Our final finishing step is to hand rub each piece to bring out an even luster in the finish.

What We Don’t Do

  • No staples.
  • No blobs of hot melt glue.
  • No wood-grained paper masquerading as the real thing.
  • No 'cherry finish' instead of real cherry.
  • No unfinished drawer interiors.
  • No little blobs of black paint (‘flyspeck’) in the finish to hide the defects.
  • No cheap, stamped hinges or handles with the stain wiped right over the top of them like you see in the furniture stores.
  • No second class woods, rough finishes, doors that won't shut or drawers that won't open.

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