Do the Amish Use Power Tools to Make Furniture?

Posted on June 26th, 2017 by wkittredge@bobmills.com.

The Secrets of Finely Crafted Amish Furniture

If you have ever driven through the winding roads of Ohio or Pennsylvania, there is a good chance that you may have seen a horse drawn Amish buggy meandering through the countryside. If you look closely, you might notice that buggy is equipped with electrical headlights, taillights and turn signals. So where is the technology line drawn for the community, and where is it drawn when it comes to building hand crafted Amish furniture?

It is a common assumption that the Amish are simply averse to technology as a tenet resulting from a spiritual or religious set of codes. This assumption isn’t exactly accurate. However, their beliefs do limit their approach to how power is harnessed by the community and what technology is used.

Avoiding the Grid if You’re Amish

According to an article in Amish America entitled “Do Amish Use Electricity?”, in 1920, it was decided by Amish leaders in Lancaster County Ohio to abstain from the use of public power. Abstaining from the use of power in the home helps to prevent the influence of radio, television and the internet that may offer temptations that contradict the core Christian values of the Amish community. That being said, Amish communities do use power and power tools regularly in their everyday life, which includes building traditionally crafted Amish furniture.

Diesel Generators, Belt Driven & Pneumatic Tools

Daniel, of Daniel’s Amish Furniture, fondly remembers starting his business in a small shop powered with a diesel generator building curio cabinets. The shop was so small, if he had to cut a board longer than eight feet, he had to open a window. Power tools consisted primarily of belt driven saws and pneumatic (air powered) hand tools. As the popularity of Daniel’s artisan furniture grew, so too did his workshop.

The Marriage of Tradition & Finely Crafted Furniture

When it comes to woodworking, the Amish have a centuries old reputation for building the finest handcrafted furniture in America. Images of modern shops with hand held planes, coping saws, and chisels accurately reflect tools commonly used in Amish furniture production facilities. Even though power tools are used, intricate details and finishes are most often completed by hand.

Traditional levels of fine Amish craftsmanship are also exemplified in quality practice such as hand shaping ornate legs and feet or the English dovetailing of every drawer. This tradition of quality craftsmanship is the trademark of Daniel’s Amish Furniture. At Daniel’s Amish, furniture is built using centuries-old tradition with attention to painstaking levels of detail to ensure that each beautiful piece lives up to its reputation of heirloom quality.

Power Tools and Amish Furniture

So, are power tools used in the production of Amish furniture? The short answer is “yes”, but more accurately, the answer is “with limitation” versus conventional methods. Even though their places of work might be bigger, the importance of handcrafted quality and time tested traditions have not faded. Amish furniture is still made with centuries old traditions to produce the same heirloom quality in a modern era. If you would like to see the process of making Amish furniture from the felling of the tree to crafting a completed showroom room finish, click on the video link below.

Daniel’s Amish Furniture – Making of an Heirloom Video

 

Bob Mills Furniture

 

Bob Mills Furniture & Sleep Spa
Oklahoma City | Tulsa | Amarillo | Lubbock | Odessa | Midland | Waco | Temple | San Antonio

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