Knowlton, Brome Lake, QC J0E 1V0 | 1 450 243-5785

Table and cabinet top surfaces

Our wood

Camlen furniture is made entirely of solid wood. There are no wood by-products, such as MDF or presswood to be found anywhere in our furniture; not even in the drawer bottoms or furniture backing. Camlen uses solid core pine and birch veneers where necessary for structural integrity.  All cabinet pieces are pine or birch. Chair bodies, some seats and table legs are hardwood.


Stained pine top surfaces

Table and cabinet top surfaces are made from solid pine and available in any of our five (5) stains Natural, Puritan Pine, Black Cherry, Espresso or Walnut. If not otherwise specified, the default stain will be Natural.


Hand-planed top surfaces

These same surfaces can also come "hand-planed." Hand-planed top surfaces are planed to open the wood grain and groove the wood. The result is a more rustic looking finish, which is slightly uneven and usually results in the stain looking a little darker.


Birch wood

Birch is a hardwood and is available for clients who find pine too soft. Birch looks, feels and finishes like maple but is not as costly as maple.


Vintage pine wood

Vintage pine is Camlen's term for "old wood." And this is where we show a little attitude! Unlike the very commonly used term "reclaimed wood," our vintage pine comes from the insides of 100 years old log cabins and other settler homes. It is generally 1 1/8” to 1 1/4” thick, but we do not guarantee either size. We are aware that customers like it thick and we do not stock anything less than one inch. We do not use barn wood and we do not make "plank" style tops. Our vintage pine is laminated together the same way that our new tops are put together. It is very important to note: Vintage pine will never be identical twice.


We do have furniture with vintage pine wood tops in our store and at some authorized distributors. It is very important to understand that each piece of handcrafted furniture is unique. Therefore the furniture you order will not look identical to something you saw in a store showroom. There can be variations in wood throughout a single table — although we do our best to match the boards. Some tables have more filler than others, some have saw marks and some have more wood grain showing, etc. Vintage pine by it’s nature is limited in supply. Therefore we cannot guarantee that it will always be in stock. But we do our best to inventory as much as possible. In order to prepare it for use in furniture, it must be removed from a house, it must be de-nailed, stripped of old paint and then it is planed on one side so that it sits fairly level.


Vintage pine is beautiful and unique. Our hand-planed finish mimics the natural look of old pine with fewer inconsistencies. However, if you prefer consistency in your wood and a more overall uniform appearance in your furniture, we recommend that consider furniture using "new wood" finishes.


Furniture body options


Glazing furniture is another level of finish which is applied to the body of pieces. It is much more noticeable on light colours. Liquid glaze adheres to paint, making the finish look older and dirtier. Because it darkens the finish we do not recommend using this finish on darker colours.


Custom Benjamin Moore

It is not always possible to carry enough colours to please everyone, so we can finish furniture in any Benjamin Moore colour that is available to us. There is an surcharge for buying and finishing in Benjamin Moore paint. Please note that we use flat finish paint and then put a polyurethane finish over the paint. Therefore the colour may vary slightly from the samples provided by Benjamin Moore.


Painted interiors

All painted finishes are normally done 2-tone, as shown in our catalogue. There is a surcharge for painting the interior of bookcases and hutches.


Furniture descriptions

Our cabinet furniture, including television cupboards, step-back buffets & hutches and all bedroom furniture is made of solid Canadian white pine which is kiln-dried to the acceptable furniture industry standard of six per cent to eight per cent humidity. The wood thickness is either 3/4” thick of 4/4” (1 inch) thick depending on the piece and the parameters used in our designs. Most furniture backing is either 5/8” tongue-in-groove spruce or red pine. Our cabinet pieces are also made full length (to the floor) and then decorative bracket feet are applied.


Our furniture is built mainly using splines and wood glue to hold door frames, facades and panels together. Drawer faces are made with a mortised joint and the drawer bottoms have a "floating" panel mortised into the four sides of the drawer box. Great attention is paid so that our drawers glide almost as effortlessly on wooden runners as they would on metal drawer glides. On pieces where it applies, our adjustable shelves are made with breadboard ends to prevent twisting and the shelf height adjustments are done with pegs.


Glazed door furniture has the glass inserted separately in the panes and is held in place by wooden straps.


Our harvest table bases have mortise-and-tenon joints to the apron and the harvest table legs are turned from a 4” block of maple. The Paysanne & Ladderback chairs and stools are made of maple also, for maple’s inherent strength and durability. All of the vertical pieces on the Windsor chairs are made with maple but the seats are pine and the bowed back is made of ash.


We apply a hand finish, to mimic the look of a genuine antique, on all our handcrafted furniture. Our finishes (painted and distressed) are applied by hand so that no two pieces are identical. Each piece is protected by at least two coats of polyurethane varnish and a coat of furniture wax which requires no maintenance. This finish protects against water marks and can be cleaned with a clean, damp cloth.


Wood; environment, care and cleaning

Solid wood furniture is built to become heirlooms to future generations. But how it is cared for will affect its longevity.


Our furniture is built with kiln-dried wood, which means that it is "cooked" in a large oven to dry out the sap and other moisture. Some moisture must be left in the wood, otherwise it will absorb ambient moisture. Therefore, once it has been turned into furniture it can expand. There is also a chance that some sap will seep out of the wood even after it has been converted to furniture and finished. The beads of sap can be removed with soap and water.


When solid wood furniture is placed in a damper environment, it can swell slightly. Conversely, when it is placed in a dry environment, the parts can shrink. Therefore, very damp or very dry environments should be avoided. Some shrinkage will most likely occur during the first heating season that the furniture is in a home. Great care has been taken in the design and construction of your furniture to allow for the natural expansion and contraction of the wood over the course of a year, but it is important to avoid placing your furniture directly in front of direct heat. Balancing the moisture level of your house is important to your furniture.


With wood, it is wise to avoid extremes. Changes in temperature, such as those found in unheated garages, sheds, etc (cool at night, warmer during the day) can cause small cracks to occur in the finish.  Hot air, such as comes from a central heating, should be avoided, because it can cause extreme localized drying of the wood.


It is the nature of solid pine to twist and torque slightly because it grows in rings. This is not a flaw of the furniture product nor of the wood but simply a characteristic of solid pine; something to be aware of as part of pine’s natural charm. Our furniture designs have taken this into account, but some mild twisting is unavoidable on doors, tops and table panels in particular.  We always stand behind the quality of our cabinetry but some normal wood character is not always a warranty issue. When twisting or shrinkage is excessive, compared to standard wood behaviour, then we repair or replace the piece at our discretion.


Direct sunlight has a bleaching effect on wood and finishes, but it can be prevented with the use of blinds or drapes.


Camlen furniture is finished with a minimum of two coats of satin finish polyurethane.. This finish is impervious to water and needs minimal maintenance.  Your furniture can be cleaned with a soapy cloth and then wiped with a dry cloth. Cleaning products can mark the surface of our finished furniture.


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© Camlen Inc., 2017 — All rights reserved | Knowlton,  Brome Lake  QC J0E 1V0  |  1 450 243-5785   |  Website: C. Bacon  |  Translation: S. Gregory