Amish Cedar Chests and What They Hold (part 1)
In addition to Amish quilts, the Amish are famous for their skills in traditional woodworking. Of these, the Amish cedar chest is perhaps the most prized of all the handmade wooden projects that the Amish produce. Using traditional methods without the use of electric powered tools make the Amish cedar chest something that should be treasured from one generation to the next.
The Amish cedar chest, or hope chest, has a rich history within the Amish community itself. As an Amish girl grows up, she is always preparing for the day that she will marry and start a family of her own. While her mother will make traditional Amish quilts in preparation for her adulthood, her father will build her a cedar chest using the traditional Amish woodworking skills that were handed down to him from his father. These chests are handmade from scratch and given to each daughter when she is young. Over the years, an Amish girl will collect and store a variety of items in her cedar chest in hopes of using them in her own home once she grows up and gets married. These items might include Amish quilts, linens, dishes, lamps, or other useful items that could be used in her new home after marriage. Most of these items are given to the Amish daughter over the years as gifts during birthdays, holidays, or other special occasions. So, having a specially made Amish cedar chest is very important to an Amish girl.
Because the Amish do not use electricity, making an Amish cedar chest takes a bit more ingenuity and determination than furniture pieces that are mass produced in automated manufacturing plants. Because such care is put into the making of each Amish cedar chest, they remain some of the highest quality furniture you can buy today. Amish cedar chest are made from a variety of different woods, depending on what is available in the local area. Cherry, maple, poplar, oak, and cedar are popular woods used in making an Amish cedar chest. Only solid woods, rather than particleboards or veneers, will be used in making an Amish cedar chest. They can also come in a variety of different styles and designs. Some Amish cedar chests are simple boxes with simple lids and no designs on them at all, yet others are intricately carved works of art that really showcases the artistry of the Amish craftsman who built it.
While the Amish do not use electricity that comes from the main power grid in the cities, they do use gas or diesel powered generators. These generators can be used to power compressed air tools which come in quite handy when cutting and sanding the pieces of wood that are needed for making the cedar chests. While many Amish woodworkers still use hand tools to make their cedar chests, most have accepted the use of generator powered equipment and tools to assist them in making their crafts more efficiently. While many people may think that all Amish furniture and goods are made completely by hand, this is not the case. However, their traditional methods are still very much in use today and the use of generator powered tools just makes it a little faster and easier to produce the high demand of products the Amish are asked to produce. The quality is still of the highest and most prized you can get in the world.
Amish Cedar Chests and What They Hold (part 2)