Where the need arises
Ancient techniques combined with the productivity of the present technology give us unprecedented opportunities.
Where the need arises
Our ancestors knew how to work the wood into durable product. We should reevaluate their knowledge and experience. It is very useful to review the history of woodworking. First they used logs and sticks, then they introduced sawing, then chopping (particle board), milling (MDF, HDF). The later we are in the history of woodprocessing the tinier the wood parts are. Meaning the more glue is used.
With the 21st century the cunsumers are increasingly conscious of the importance of the adverse effects of chemicals used everywhere in our lives. Phenol formaldehyde resin is used in the widest variety of processed wood products and it happens to outgas formaldehyde throughout its lifecycle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volatile_organic_compound#Formaldehyde
But what if we were using our engineering skills for designing high quality durable furniture, instead of using those skills to design flimsy furniture out of industrial byproducts?
Engineered to last centuries
I use a chair made in 1905
and it has been used ever since (half of the time it was used by my grandfather). Nothing special, tipical structure of that time; red oak (inferior to white oak), mortise and tenon [M&T], hide glue, some nails. It is still in everyday use so it is
an excellent case study.
Load bearing M&Ts has become loose and the glue is not holding. The chair is hold together by friction of the joinery. Nails has also become loose. The only feature which makes it still usable is the one-piece top. No cracks, very smooth (and attractive) surface.
Ok, this piece has been serving our family for more than a century even though the material is quite susceptible to woodworms (indeed, lots of wormholes already) and the joinery needs nails and glue.
Let's enhance it!
- White oak (used for wine barrels) is somewhat harder and much more durable than red oak.
Eliminating the joinery's need for glue and metal by using wedges.
Both features are able to add centuries to the lifetime of the chair.