George’s Furniture Factory is in Marietta, Pennsylvania. Their web site indicates that tours are offered. There is a $3 charge and reservations are required.
George Martin founded the company in 1970. They specialize in handcrafted, solid hardwood furniture. The original building burned down and the company has been at the present location since 1975. George retired in 2008 and turned the business over to his daughter, Juanita, and her husband, Chris.
We entered the show room, paid our $6 to Chris and the tour started.
Even though the furniture is absolutely beautiful to look at, we’re not shopping for furniture. This part of the tour was interesting but not exactly what we had expected.
This table was very interesting. It is a 6 leg extension table that when closed holds 4-6 people. When open holds 22-24 people.
A leaf storage cabinet is built to hold the number of leafs requested by the purchaser.
Chris explained the different woods that are used. Red Oak, Cherry, Maple, and Black Walnut.
The natural black walnut blend is natural walnut using both the dark inner wood with the lighter outer wood section revealing a beautiful color combination. The center part of the tree (heartwood) is dark brown in color, while the ten outer layers of sapwood are a light off-white color.
This table shows both the dark inner wood with the
lighter outer wood. This was my favorite piece.
After looking at the finished furniture we headed to the workshop.
The rough-sawn lumber is slow dried in their own kiln to reduce stress cracks that can occur in the grain if dried too quickly. Moisture in the wood can over time lead to loose joints, splits, and warping. Some of the lumber is air dried. Some lumber will dry for several years before it is ready to be made into furniture!
When a piece of furniture has been ordered one craftsman is chosen to handcraft the item from start to finish. The boards are processed through jointers, planers and table saws.
These machines are big!
Very large sander.
The craftsman cuts, turns, and sands the pieces to exact specifications.
Chris explained the process of making a dining room chair.
Forming the seat.
Even with every machine hooked up to vacuums, there was still plenty of saw dust around.
The assembled piece of furniture is taken to the staining station where the craftsman hand rubs the color-specified stain into the wood. After the stain has thoroughly dried, the furniture is taken into the dust-filtering spray booth where two coats of a premium-quality clear, water-resistant finish are applied to the top, bottom, outside, and inside to seal the piece and protect it from moisture.
Stained and drying
The first coat of finish is dried and sanded.
Sanding the first coat.
The craftsman who makes the furniture will sign and date every piece.
This was an interesting tour. It would have been fun to see some of the machinery being used. When we were there only four craftsmen were working.
They do have smaller items such as coasters and jewelry boxes. We didn’t buy anything. I think the "tour" is more for people that are interested in ordering a piece of furniture.