When it comes to furniture, the Amish tend to represent the best in the industry for a few reasons. First of all, it’s all handmade, meaning there are very few opportunities for mistakes. The second reason is tradition. Amish furniture is built on tradition that dates back thousands of years – a tradition of family and quality. You can be rest assured that only the best materials are being sued in the production of the furniture built by the Amish, but what many people never think about is the sandpaper. If you’re not familiar with sandpaper, the concept might seem a bit foreign to you, so let’s cover some of the most common types used in both woodworking and other applications. You can be that some of these, if not all, were used in the production of your cabinets, chairs, couches, or even dressers.
Examining the Types of Sandpaper used in Amish Furniture
Before we go any further, what is sandpaper exactly? Why is it so important? What role does it play in furniture creation? Sandpaper is used for one purpose: to smooth a surface for finishing or safety. Let’s start with the most obvious:
Safety – When you smooth a surface down with sandpaper you get rid of the rough edges and points on the surface. That being the case, sandpaper is capable of preventing serious injuries to anyone using the furniture in addition to preventing damage that would require extensive repairs. For that reason, it is entirely worth it.
Finishing – When a piece of furniture is assembled it needs to be finished but without proper sanding it’s going to look terrible, and it may still even be dangerous.
Now that we’ve had a discussion about what sandpaper is, let’s talk about a few of the different types that are used by the Amish in the creation of furniture that sits in your home. The first thing we’re going to talk about is the grit.
Sandpaper Grit – What Does it Mean?
There are several different grit numbers in sandpaper, each one corresponding to a different use. Let’s take a look at them in detail briefly:
- Scratch Removal
- Final Preparation
- Rust Removal
- Scratch Removal
- Final Preparation
- Removal of Raised Fibers
- Scuffing Between Finish Coats
Anything above 100 is typically used in machine sanding rather than by hand – just something to keep in mind.
This is the most common type of sandpaper used in the manufacturing of the best Amish furniture. This is most often sued in hand sanding and it is perfect for removing light scratches. The paper uses abrasive particles which are very effective, but you should know that garnet is a paper that wears quickly, necessitating the use of several sheets during the creation of a single piece of furniture.
Above we mentioned that anything above 100 grit was commonly used in automated sanding and Emery is a perfect example. This is commonly used in power sanding and is definitely coarser than garnet. It most often has a cloth backing rather than paper, making it far more durable and long lasting.
This is another very common type of sandpaper that is used on multiple surfaces including:
The interesting thing about this sandpaper is the fact that the particles break down and expose new edges which makes the paper last longer than some of the others we previously mentioned.
Amish furniture prices are always going to run a bit higher simply because of the amount of work that is put into them over the mass manufactured furniture pieces that you would most typically buy in stores. That being the case, you can see just how worthwhile they are. We’re talking about furniture that is built with care and will last more than a few years. That’s right; typical furniture will last five to ten years if you’re lucky, and then you’ll be forced to buy something new. With Amish furniture, however, you’ll have something that you can pass down to your children, and they’ll be able to pass it down as well. It’s a worthwhile investment, and a great piece of furniture to have front and center in your living room.