The quality of a drawer box reveals worlds about the craftsmanship of the piece and the values of its maker. The first indication of authenticity? Joinery; look for dovetail joints. “The drawer front is almost always the first point of failure due to the forces of opening and closing,” Gat said. “Dovetail joints interlock the drawer front to its sides and will essentially outlast any other joint.” When crafting drawer sides, Gat Creek uses solid ash, an extremely stable and durable hardwood. For the drawer bottom, another area of potential failure, we select 3/8-inch wood.
It seems there are two kinds of people in the world when it comes to owning beautifully made furniture. Those who want it to forever look like it just arrived from the workshop, and the rest of us.
We’re only slightly kidding. The truth is that all things in life will show wear and tear when used — leather goods, household appliances, even a diamond can be scratched by another diamond. But when we’re talking about your new Gat Creek dining table we know that seeing the first little scratch can be stressful.
It is the passion of woodworkers, darling of interior designers, bane to horses and a legend among hardwoods. Walnut — specifically American Black Walnut — enjoys a well-earned reputation as the premier lumber for crafting fine furniture. Gat Creek is proud to now offer it as a material option. No other wood possesses its unique stability and hardness, its remarkable graining and coloration. You simply can’t fake walnut’s aesthetic appeal. (More on the horses later.)
Gat Caperton doesn’t mince words when it comes to safety: “It’s who we are. Indoor air quality, the safety of our environment and sustainably managed forests, the health and safety of our workers and our community. Of course furniture stability is going to be important to us.”
So important that the company has taken the voluntary steps and made the investment in on-site lab and testing processes to assure consumers that Gat Creek furniture is Product Stability Verified. The designation, developed by the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) and global safety science company UL, helps consumers identify products that meet its standard for tip-over safety.
If only we all aged as beautifully as cherry wood.
Time and the elements aren’t necessarily charitable to all things: that Oldsmobile sitting on cinder blocks in a field, the Persian rug in uneven light beneath a bay window, the sun-worshipper in his golden years. But cherry wood is an exception. The way it improves with age is why furniture made of solid cherry may be the most prized in America.
It is simply a fact of life that not everything is what it appears to be. And that can be especially true with the furniture you buy.
“In furniture manufacturing, lumber is quite often purchased from around the world,” says Tom Inman, president of Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers, Incorporated. “Unfortunately, that lumber could have been harvested illegally, with little or no consideration for the long term health of the resource and the environment that sustains it.