What is QSWO (Quarter Sawn White Oak)?

May 11, 2012

Filed under: Amish Baby Furniture,Uncategorized — Baby Eco Trends @ 3:18 pm


Most of our furniture is available in QSWO and we receive a lot of requests for information on the difference between quarter sawn white oak and regular red oak.  The most common oak lumber used in furniture building is plain sawn (or flat sawn) oak and all the boards have been cut straight across with the cut being parallel to the tree’s growth rings.  This method highlights the swirls, lines and grain of the wood.

Quarter Sawn & Plain Sawn Wood


Quarter sawn lumber is cut at right angles the growth rings and this results in medullary rays, sometimes called “ribbons” or “tiger stripes”.  Producing QSWO requires more time and skill than plain sawn oak and aside from being visually appealing, quarter sawn wood has some structural advantages.  As quarter sawing produces a straighter grain, it yields wood that is more stable in size & form (less susceptible to cracking, warping, bending) than plain sawn wood.  Quarter sawn wood actually stains more readily and resists liquids better than plain sawn wood.

Bunk Beds That Have Never Been Recalled

May 7, 2011

Filed under: Amish Baby Furniture,Product Reviews,Recalls — Baby Eco Trends @ 3:05 pm


On Friday, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) & Dorel Asia recalled to repair bunk beds due to collapse & fall hazards after receiving reports of side rails cracking or breaking.  The bunk beds were made in Vietnam & sold through Walmart, Kmart & Target from 2004 to 2009 for about $190.  You can read the details here.

The pictures look nice & that price tag seems unbeatable.  But we can’t help think “If it sounds too good to be true, it is”.  How can a wooden bunk bed (two twin beds) traveling 6000-8000 miles or more retail for under $200?  After the material, labor, transportation/distribution & import costs are calculated, isn’t is safe to assume they would total more than $200 wholesale, not to mention the retail cost?  The logical conclusion is that a lot of short cuts are taken along the way and that’s what keeps the CPSC busy issuing recalls.

Like our solid wood baby cribs & furniture, all of our bunk beds, twin beds & children’s case goods are made in the USA.  All pieces in Baby Eco Trends baby & children’s furniture collections are bench crafted by expert builders.  Our furniture builders do not simply nail pieces together, but rather use joinery that requires true craftsmanship.  Each piece is fully inspected by the shop owner before it is approved for shipping.

Solid Wood Joinery Solid Wood Dovetail Joinery Solid Wood Dovetail Drawer Detail


The materials used in our solid wood baby furniture, bunk beds, twin beds & children’s case goods are sourced in the USA from responsibly managed forests.  The glues & adhesives are non toxic, formaldehyde free & water based; water based paints are available and stains are the lowest VOC available.

Our furniture builders do not count on mass production & volume sales but rather satisfied customers that refer family & friends.  They take great pride in adhering to old fashioned woodworking techniques & standards and build their furniture to last several lifetimes.  Baby Eco Trends baby furniture & children’s furniture is made of the highest quality materials available and have never been subject to recalls.  When you see the quality for yourself, it becomes obvious why.

Growing Amish Furniture Collection

April 15, 2011

Filed under: Amish Baby Furniture,Product Reviews — Baby Eco Trends @ 4:01 pm


We recently returned from a furniture show that our favorite crib builder attends.  The show seems to grow larger & larger every year; even so, our crib builder stands out from the crowd with his unique designs & exceptional workmanship.  This year, he added a French Country 3 Drawer 1 Door Dresser/Baby Changer to compliment one of our best-selling baby cribs, the French Country Slats Crib.

Designed to complement any of our Indiana Amish Dressers/Baby Changers, a Baby Changing Tray converts a dresser into a baby changer during the time baby is in diapers.  Later, removing the Baby Changing Tray makes it a dresser fit for any bedroom in the house.  We offer a substantial savings on French Country dressers purchased with the matching French Country Slats Crib or the French Country Panel Crib.

 

Amish French Country 3 Drawer 1 Door Dresser/Baby Changer Amish French Country 3 Drawer 1 Door Dresser/Baby Changer wth Open Door

As with all of our heirloom Amish baby furniture, the Baby Changing Tray has dovetailed corners, they are not simply nailed together as in lower quality furniture.  The bottom of the baby changing tray has felt protection pads that prevent the dresser from becoming scratched.  Each Changing Tray comes equipped with brackets that fasten to the back of the dresser/baby changer to securely hold it in place.

Amish Baby Changing Tray Back —–Amish Baby Changing Tray


The newest addition to our collection of Indiana Amish baby cribs, the Trinity Convertible Crib, has more detailed design features than commonly found in Amish crib furniture.  The back side of the crib (which later becomes the headboard of the full bed) has four, symmetrical raised panels just below a rope twist that runs the length of the back.  The rope twist is repeated on the front rails (which later become the footboard of the full bed).  The legs have a routered edge that runs two thirds of the leg length with two horizontal grooves at the foot of the posts.

Amish Trinity Crib Rope Twist Detail - Amish Trinity Drawer Front Detail - Amish Trinity Leg Detail


Trinity case goods have an arched lower case with flat panels on the sides.  The drawers are made of dovetailed boxes with Euro-glide drawer slides; the drawer fronts have an extra routered design around the outside edge.  The tops have a roundover edge and the legs feature a routered edge with two horizontal grooves, as does the crib.  The backs & drawer bottoms of all our Indiana Amish baby case goods is made of Formaldehyde Free PureBond plywood that is CARB1 & CARB2 compliant.  Using CARB compliant plywood is one of the many ways our crib builder goes above & beyond the federal regulations that crib manufacturers must adhere to.  All case goods can be built with solid wood backs & drawer bottoms upon request.

Lastly, the newest item in our Indiana Amish collection is the McCoy Day Bed.  The McCoy crib is our top selling crib & after numerous requests for a day bed that incorporates the attractive features of the McCoy design, our crib builder obliged.  The McCoy collection has beveled edge tops with angled leg that gets wider and farther apart at the base.  All pieces feature mortise and tenon construction with an exposed joinery echo.

Amish McCoy Day Bed Amish McCoy Day Bed

What Makes Amish Baby Furniture Such a Great Investment?

May 3, 2010

Filed under: Amish Baby Furniture — Baby Eco Trends @ 1:34 am

Last week, we had the opportunity to meet one of the families that makes our baby nursery furniture & tour their workshop.  After a most pleasant drive through bucolic Northern Indiana, we arrived at the birthplace of some of this country’s finest solid hardwood furniture.  Being Hoosiers, we have always associated “Amish” with quality & value.  But for those that do not have the same familiarity with Amish hand crafted furniture, this relatively new cottage industry is sure to elevate your standards of fine furniture.

Not too long ago, during the boom years of this millennium, Northern Indiana was riddled with RV manufacturers, their suppliers and other related businesses.  When the economic downturn wiped these businesses out, the resilient & industrious Amish communities joined forces to create small family owned businesses offering nonpareil Amish baked goods, quilts, furniture & toys.  These much sought after goods were hard to come by in the past, but well worth the search.  Now, thanks to the internet, Amish hand crafted solid hardwood furniture is available to all Americans.

Amish hand crafted furniture is built according to old world standards that call for quality materials, expert hands & an eye for detail.  It is my belief that if we adopted some of the Amish ways, we would never experience another economic downturn (not to mention what it would do for our sense of community).  Unlike most of the practically disposable furniture found at major retailers, Amish furniture is meant to be passed down generation after generation.  If you make something well enough, it will last far longer & cost far less in the long run.

In addition to having a long life span, Amish furniture often transforms to offer multiple uses & save space.  Tables & chairs are built to accommodate a handful or a large group of people.  Our Amish Baby cribs easily change into day beds & eventually full size beds & back to cribs with conversion kits.  Available in 4, 6 & 8 drawers, our Amish Reversible Baby Changing Tables have drawer slides perfectly centered on the sides so that it can be flipped over to make a dresser once baby outgrows diapers.  There is even a high chair that when turned, becomes a rocking horse & turned again, becomes a writing desk.  In the coming months, we plan to feature more of these heirloom quality items.


The Amish are committed to working with other local businesses and source as much of their supplies locally as possible.  The lumber, hardware, stain/paint & even the powder coated mattress springs are made by local family owned businesses.  There are, of course, many other small businesses that indirectly benefit from this kind of local business community.  When one family benefits, they all benefit.  It’s so nice (and so rare these days) to be able to make such a positive impact in an entire community here at home.

Our furniture maker buys lumber from a local, family owned lumber yard that hand selects their wood species to ensure the highest quality.  The lumber is sawn by quality sawyers who make expert decisions about the best way to cut each individual log for maximum beauty & utility.  Once the lumber is shaped into the parts that will make a crib or a dresser, the pieces are joined together using mortise & tenon joints and English dovetails (both in front & back) that offer strength, stability & maximum storage capacity. 

The attention to detail really sets this furniture apart from mass produced pieces that look good brand new but do not stand the test of time.  Floating panels ensure that furniture will not warp or bend with changing climate conditions.  Euroglide full extension drawer slides allow you to fully open drawers effortlessly.  Each piece is hand finished with safe, non toxic, USA made stains but are also available unfinished.  Each coat of stain or paint is allowed to dry completely & then masterfully sanded before another coat is applied.  This, by the way, is one of the reasons why well made furniture takes several weeks to produce.  Once finished, your new piece of heirloom furniture can easily be kept clean with a damp cloth.  With very little care, Amish furniture will retain its unique charm for generation to come & its appearance is only enhanced with age.

 

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You choose the hardwood, you decide if & how it will be finished.  If you require customization, our master craftsmen will honor most requests.  In addition to our current offerings, other wood species, hardware, stain colors & finishing techniques are also available.  Both Baby Eco Trends & our furniture maker are committed to delivering excellent products & exceptional service.  We welcome any & all questions, concerns & feedback.  Thank you for shopping with us & thank you for buying furniture that is sustainably made in the USA!

A word about the Amish:

I encourage anyone interested in the Amish to do a bit of research on their history.  The facts are easy to find and rather interesting.  What I would like to point out is that contrary to popular belief, the Amish are not absolutely opposed to technology.  Most accept that technology is inevitable, what they would like to do is slow its march.  Within the community, the impact of any new technology is widely & openly discussed to determine its impact on family & community ties.  Wouldn’t that kind of thoughtfulness serve us well every time we were faced with the newest wave?  Trips like this always remind me that some of the most amazing things are actually very close to home.

 

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