Designer’s Notebook: A Finer Side of Pine
From blanket chests to tables to case pieces, his “fine pine line” is simple in style and modest in material
Synopsis: When Andrew Hunter builds furniture for his own house, in his own style, he typically builds it from pine. From blanket chests to tables to case pieces, his “fine pine line” is simple in style and modest in material. Yet don’t let the simplicity fool you. This furniture is built with skill, attention to detail, and style.
If I’m going to be frank, making custom furniture on commission is a hard gig. Every customer has different needs and it is my job to assess them and then design, shape, and deliver a piece to address them—without losing my shirt. In my commission work I build in many styles, but typically in a refined realm, with sophisticated designs and intricate joinery. That’s a lot to juggle.
I enjoy pushing my skills on these more complicated pieces, but in my heart I’m a simple person who prefers a more vernacular style. So lately I have been putting together my fine pine line—pieces ranging from blanket chests to tables to case pieces. Admittedly, one of the first things I have to work on is the name, but a “fine pine line” is exactly what it is. It’s a well-built series of pieces in my favorite wood: eastern white pine.
Eastern white pine is an amazing wood. I can source it locally in really wide boards for a fraction of the cost of other woods. It dries quickly with little distortion and when quartersawn, it ranks among the most stable woods in the world. Working with it is fun! With sharp tools, it cuts and planes like butter. Even the knots aren’t too cranky. And that’s good, because the heart of the pine line is its handplaned finish.
The line is much more affordable…