About Us

Jim lower has been building and designing  everything from wooden boats to handmade farm tables and custom furniture for over 40 years. His knowledge and understanding of traditional joinery brings strength and stability to each piece he builds.

  Our desire at New England Joinery is to produce high quality, handmade, custom dining tables and other fine  furniture. We do this with honesty, integrity, and a true desire to serve our community. Because each piece is built to order, you won't find a showroom full of furniture that someone will try to sell you. What you will find, are examples of our work, projects underway, and a genuine willingness to create a piece that suits you best.

  We understand that investing in custom furniture is a big decision. We work closely  with each client to set clear expectations of quality, wood character, color and delivery timing prior to processing your order. All of our farm tables and furniture pieces are custom made specific to your order, with the understanding that every piece we build has it's own character. Due to the nature of our made to order process, all sales are considered final upon receipt of deposit or payment. 

We would like to take a moment to talk about the environment inside your home, and the effect it has on your wood dining table. 

  The way we heat and cool our homes today has a definite effect on the wood furniture. From forced hot air, baseboard heat, to radiant heat in the floors, each has different ways in which heat is dispersed. Let's take a look at each of these heating sources  and how it effects wood furniture.

  We recommend using a humidifier in your home, to avoid any problems with dryness in your home. Your furniture will be happier and so will you.

  Our reclaimed boards are stored in our barn for years. Then the boards for your table top goes into the wood shop, for usually at least 4-5 weeks in preparation and during the build of your table, which in the Summer, is drying the wood out more, and in the winter, the wood stove heat continues to dry it even further. Jim keeps a close eye on these boards that they don't dry out too much.

  When it is built, it is sealed on all sides, and then finished with a catalyzed lacquer. This being said, we have done all that we can, to dry, seal and protect your furniture.

     

       Radiant floor heat: (excerpts from an article on Doityourself.com)

  • Effects of Radiant Heating on Furniture

  • Radiant heating can help you to protect your furniture by moving it out of sunlight, and preventing it from being burned by radiators. The furniture can also be placed in any position in the room, making it ideal for small rooms with a lot of chairs and other items. Radiant heating means that these pieces can now be placed in the best position, away from sunlight and drafts.

  • However, there are also some reasons why radiant heat can have a negative effect upon furniture, and this is to do with the way in which the heating system works. Radiant heat often takes a while to warm up each day, leaving items in the room to feel the chill. This cold-hot-cold system can sometimes cause furniture to expand and shrink repeatedly during the course of a day.

  • Wooden Furniture

  • Wood is particularly vulnerable to the effects of rapid changes in heating, particularly exposure to extremes of heat and cold. Radiant heat has more direct contact with the furniture, and a long-term effect of such heating will doubtless be that the wood will either warp, split or crack over time. In order to protect furniture from such an event, it is a good idea to check your wooden furniture regularly for signs that it is being affected by radiant heat. The use of humidifiers will greatly reduce  this risk.

  • Radiant heating can help you to protect your furniture by moving it out of sunlight, and preventing it from being burned by radiators. The furniture can also be placed in any position in the room, making it ideal for small rooms with a lot of chairs and other items. Radiant heating means that these pieces can now be placed in the best position, away from sunlight and drafts......

  •    However, there are also some reasons why radiant heat can have a negative effect upon furniture, and this is to do with the way in which the heating system works. Radiant heat often takes a while to warm up each day, leaving items in the room to feel the chill. This cold-hot-cold system can sometimes cause furniture to expand and shrink repeatedly during the course of a day. 

       Specific to your table, radiant heat comes from the floor, it rises under your table and hovers inside the apron area, and draws every vestige of moisture out of the table top. Causing it to shrink, check and crack, way beyond the normal air, which has percentages of built in moisture. We recommend a humidifier to balance the air in your home.

                Forced Hot air heat: 

            Dry Air In Well-warmed Houses Can Damage Woodwork, Furniture

                  December 12, 1999|By Leslie Weddell, Knight-Ridder/Tribune.

If your house or wood furniture could talk, it would be crying out for water. During winter when heating systems run, the relative humidity of a home's indoor air can plummet to 13 percent or less--drier than Death Valley.

That dry air steals moisture wherever it can--walls, floors and furniture. Dry indoor air can suck enough moisture from its surroundings to do permanent damage to wood, causing it to crack or split.

The wood structure of a typical new 2,100-square-foot home contains about 635 gallons of water, according to Bob Reichert,  manager of communications for the Research Products Corp. As long as the indoor humidity level stays around 35 percent, the moisture content of the wood remains fairly constant. During winter, however, that moisture level can plummet into the teens.

   Dry air in your home can cause the following:

- Splits or cracks in  wood tables,woodwork or walls.

- Wood doors that show gaps or no longer fit tightly.

- Gaps between the boards in hardwood floors.

- Widening joints in cabinets or wood paneling.

- Loose or wobbly chair legs and arms.

    Baseboard heat:

   How to Protect Furniture from a Baseboard Heater (Taken from an article on doityourself.com)

Depending on where you place item in a room, you may need to know how to protect furniture from a baseboard heater. You have a considerable investment in your household furniture so you always want to protect it from harm.

Cover the Heater

Make sure to always use a baseboard heater cover. These covers can help direct hot air that emanates from the heater keeping it away from the lower and foot areas of furniture nearby. Baseboard heaters sit about a half inch off the floor and typically are not very tall. However, bare heaters can present a hazard to furniture dispensing not only hot air, but steam as well that can easily damage wood – new or antique. Although most furniture can be protectively coated to have some level of water resistance, constant blowing of steam or hot air can cause such coatings to melt or become inefficient. Baseboard covers can also be decorated to match the furniture décor thus adding a dimension of design to its already functional use.

Maintain the Heater

Conduct periodic baseboard heater maintenance to make sure the units are properly working so they do not damage the surrounding area or furniture. Check to make sure all air and steam venting work properly and are not affecting any nearby furniture when opened and operated. Make sure all coil fins are straight and in place so these do not affect any excessive heat flowing out onto nearby furniture.

***Position the Furniture

Often it is necessary to re-design the furniture layout in a room when baseboard heating is installed. If you already have baseboard heating installed in an empty room or home in which you are moving into, make a furniture placement diagram for each room. Modern furniture pieces may hold up much better than antique ones. It might be a wise move to place modern designed furniture in closer areas to baseboard heating than placing valuable antique pieces nearby. An obvious pint is never block a baseboard heater with a piece of furniture. This is an invitation for disaster. Wall based units should be located between baseboard heating units. A good idea is to install a heat shield between the baseboard heater and any adjoining furniture to protect the lower area feet from any damage that might be caused by constant hot air flow. A smart design for sitting placements should keep fabric covered furniture far enough away from any baseboard heaters to ensure no damage can be cause to the material or the feet.

handmade farm tables and reclaimed wood farm tables
Custom dining tables
Tiger Maple bead board ends
New England Joinery
(207) 440-3885 | Jim's cell
(207) 933-2463 | Workshop landline

641 Route 135 | Monmouth, ME. 04259