Characteristics of Solid Hardwood Furniture
Kloter Farms provides what is considered to be some of the finest quality hand-crafted furniture available today. Construction is of solid wood taken from North American hardwood trees. In both manufacturing and finishing, we try to bring forth the character and beauty of the wood.
In working with hardwood lumber, it is expected that there will be variations in the color and grain. These variations are a part of the nature of wood and should not be a cause for concern.
Ultraviolet light from the sun and fluorescent fixtures can cause chemical changes in the wood and/or finish. Avoid placing furniture in an area where sun will shine directly on it. Keep furniture away from direct sources of heating and cooling. Avoid storing furniture in an attic or cellar type environment.
Hardwoods are a natural fiber. Therefore, even furniture like ours with high quality protective finish will swell or shrink slightly from one season to another. This is most commonly found where the two top surfaces meet on dining tables. Extremely dry conditions will have an opening effect in the grain of the wood. In a damp environment, it can swell and warp out of shape. Care needs to be exercised to avoid these extremes.
Temperature and Humidity Control
Temperature and humidity levels must be controlled. Solid wood furniture responds to the changes in temperature and humidity by expanding and contracting. Your indoor humidity should be controlled in the range of 35-45% relative humidity and temperature between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit (this can be measured by a simple household hygrometer and thermometer). Exceeding these levels will cause your solid furniture to expand and contract leading to cracking and surface checking. This is not considered defective workmanship. Although Kloter Farms does stand behind our quality products, we are not responsible for these types of conditions. The fact is, the larger the solid wood surface (such as a dining table), the more movement and chance of cracking in an uncontrolled environment. When the weather outside is cold the humidity levels are lower, plus most types of heating systems will lower levels as well, especially wood fired heat. A simple humidifier in the winter months can help control your humidity and be better for your health.
Keep It Clean
Immediately wiping up spills and splashes with a moistened cloth obviously keeps furniture clean, but more importantly you can easily avoid burdensome cleaning and finish abuse by not allowing the spill to set and harden.
For most routine hardwood furniture cleaning, a soft cloth with warm soapy water will do the trick. The use of well-formulated cleaning products without abrasives can be effective for those tougher cleaning tasks, but if you use these products, following up with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth will help extensively. Remember that it is important to frequently refold a clean side as the cloth becomes dirty. A soiled, damp cloth can redeposit soil on the finish.
Avoid Dry Dusting & Wiping
Dust and other normally occurring materials in a house contain tiny abrasive particles, much like fine sandpaper. When removed with a dry cloth they abrade the finish and cause tiny scratches. The result over time is a changed appearance particularly in the most used areas. Prevent this problem by using a dampened soft dusting cloth. The moistened cloth lubricates the surface, picks up dust and holds it so it is less likely to scratch the finish.
The Annual Ritual
Once a year, your hardwood furniture should be cleaned and polished completely. You can dissolve old wax and loosen soil with a non-abrasive cleaner. Again, use a mild soapy water treatment, drying with a soft cloth. Apply a “thin” coat of paste wax, allow to dry, and buff with a soft cloth, turning frequently to avoid a wax buildup.
Those Easy-Care Products
Avoid polishes that contain silicone. Use others sparingly if at all. Your finish does not benefit from them, and they tend to build up a film on the finish that will attract dust and soil making the annual ritual more difficult.
We expect every piece of furniture you from us to live up to your high standards in both finish and construction. This furniture, if properly cared for will give you years of service, and the value, warmth and beauty of it can be enjoyed for generations!