What Quality Furniture Means

Quality Furniture Manchester Wood

Providing Quality Furniture at reasonable prices has been Manchester Wood’s honest mission for nearly 40 years.

Quality furniture isn’t so much about where it’s made… it’s how. Yes, 100% of our furniture is American made (and we’re very proud of that). Yet, we believe it’s the process of sourcing quality local hardwood materials and timeless design that has kept customers coming back for 39 years. Quality furniture at reasonable prices that sits between the inspirational small custom American furniture makers, and the mass “down-and-dirty priced” box stores. Because like Henry Ford, and the early pioneers of American manufacturing and commerce, we believe everyone deserves quality products that last a lifetime.

Do you agree with this simple thought on business practice? Should more companies be paying attention to quality? Share your comments below!

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4 Stories Behind Wood Types We Use

Wood Furniture
A Cherry Tree. Photo Courtesy of WunderWoods

Many customers ask us about the trees that make our American made solid wood furniture. Here are the 4 types we currently use and their back-story.

Ash (Fraxinus spp.)

Norse mythology refers to Ash as “the mighty tree that supports the heavens” and “below earth its root went down to hell.” Ash belongs to the olive family, although its only fruit is a dart-like winged seed. Ash is a popular species for food containers because the wood has no taste. Admiral Richard Byrd wore snowshoes made from Ash during his polar expeditions. Early windmills were made from this species. Its main uses are furniture, flooring, doors, moulding, hockey sticks, billiard cues, and more. It grows throughout the Eastern U.S. and ranges in height from 80 to 120 feet. Nearly all furniture at Manchester Wood is made with Ash, except our Adirondack collection and Solid Cherry collection. The Solid Cherry collection which has items found throughout a variety of categories has product names with ‘Cherry‘ in them.

Beech (Fagus grandifolia)

Known as “Mother of the Forest” for its nutrient-rich humus, Beech has a long, illustrious past. The Aryan Tribes of Asia, the earliest known people to use a written language, carved their messages into the soft, smooth pliable bark of the Beech tree. The writings, cut out of the bark were called “boc,” which eventually became “book.” Its main uses are doors, flooring, toys, turnings, and furniture. It grows throughout the Eastern U.S. with an average height of 120 feet. Occasionally our Retro collection is made with Beech.

Cherry (Prunus serotina)

Like all fruit trees, Cherry belongs to the rose family. American Colonists used the Cherry tree for its fruit, medicinal proprities and home furnishings. They mixed Cherry juice with rum to create Cherry Bounce, a bitter but highly favored cordial. The bark was used in the production of drugs to treat bronchitis, and Cherry stalks were used to make tonics. Its main uses are fine furniture and cabinet making. It grows throughout Midwestern and Eastern U.S. Check out our Solid Cherry collection, made entirely with Cherry hardwood.

Soft Maple (Acer rubrum, Acer saacharinum)

In most respects Soft Maple is very similar to Hard Maple. Generally the sapwood is greyish white, sometimes with darker colored pith flecks. The wood is usually straight-grained. Its main uses are furniture, paneling and millwork. It grows throughout the Eastern U.S. and to a lesser extent the West Coast. Check out our Adirondack collection made with Soft Maple.

This information comes courtesy of American Hardwoods: Treasured for Generations.


Gift Guide Spotlight: Compact Workstation Table

Compact Workstation Table: Holiday Gift Guide

Transforming an antique invention into a modern, space-saving innovation. Manchester Wood’s President talks about the Compact Workstation Table, featured item in our Holiday Gift Guide.

At Manchester Wood we strive to bring you products that are not only attractive but useful, practical, and provide a solution to your current home furnishing needs. The Compact Workstation Table is a perfect example of that. My wife and I peruse the local antique fairs in Vermont and Upstate New York seeking any items made years ago that could be transformed to a useful product of today.

We found a variation of this item at a recent antique fair. It was very ornate and structurally weak but we thought it could be developed into a unique and very useful product.  The first thing we did was create it with a Shaker design. We believe Shaker fits well in both traditional, as well as contemporary room settings.  We then wanted to look at the size so it could serve as an end table, while also able to swing out with a nested seat for practical use as a small working desk. It is functional, compact, serves several needs, as well as an attractive addition to your home. It takes up the same footprint as a basic end table but transforms into another item altogether.  It even has a shelf under the top to give you more storage space for papers, laptops, or tablets.

Ed Eriksen - Manchester Wood  by Ed Eriksen, President of Manchester Wood