How do the Amish do it?

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Forum topic by Scootles posted 08-07-2013 11:13 PM 5061 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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153 posts in 2520 days

08-07-2013 11:13 PM

I swung by a local furniture store today to get some ideas. The store was all Amish made furniture. It was all better quality than I have seen on most furniture. How do they do it? I thought things like power tools and table saws are prohibited?

If they do it in such a primitive fashion, why can’t we?

28 replies so far

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2795 days

#1 posted 08-08-2013 12:17 AM

i heard some sects they are allowed use of lawrenceburg,tn live minonites and they are not suppose to have power tools,but i’ve been there and seen miter saws and table saws!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View matthewcressey's profile


76 posts in 2590 days

#2 posted 08-08-2013 12:20 AM

Don’t they have regular tools that run of steam or something??? I thought, although I’m probably wrong.

View graywolf's profile


66 posts in 3298 days

#3 posted 08-08-2013 12:52 AM

I don’t know what part of the country yall live in but around here we folks who dress the part and sale their goods but they are far from Amish. A mater of fact I played pool with and had a drink with a fellow who dressed the part and looked the part but he was not nor has he ever been Amish. I’d say that’s going the extra mile for the marketing. they sale some nice stuff though.

-- Richard, North Carolina,

View Randy_ATX's profile


881 posts in 3047 days

#4 posted 08-08-2013 02:06 AM

I don’t know what part of the country yall live in but around here we folks who dress the part and sale their goods but they are far from Amish


-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3295 days

#5 posted 08-08-2013 02:34 AM

Where I live the Amish use power tools but only with a generator! Weird huh?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3576 days

#6 posted 08-08-2013 02:49 AM

Those are Mennonites we have living near Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. They are very similar to Amish, but different. Maybe like the difference between Methodist and Baptist. The Mennonites don’t believe in using power tools, or power anything for that mater, for the purpose of making a job easier. But they can an do use power to do work that they can’t do any other way, or to do quantities of work that are required that can’t be done by human or animal power alone.

When I was a young know-it-all in high school I drove over to Etheridge, the actual town where they are mostly located, and stopped where they were crushing cane sorghum and making molasses. I walked up to one of the gentlemen and told him I was doing a project for school and would appreciate it if he would allow me to interview him. He said okay, so I asked about a dozen questions. They have different crafts that certain ones do and have a very ordered social society. The fellow I was interviewing was the hat maker for instance. His father had been the hat maker before him.

I knew a family that was somewhat on the fence between the strict horse and buggy clan and regular folks. They had a saw mill and made furniture. I bought my oak dining table and eight cane bottom, ladder back chairs from them. The table was made partially by machines. The edge was formed on a shaper, the boards for the top were ripped on a power saw, but jointed by hand plane. The claw feet were hand carved by another family who do just that. They drove a truck to deliver it, but the truck was painted flat black and all the chrome was painted over.

Over all, very interesting people.

View HenryH's profile


139 posts in 4009 days

#7 posted 08-11-2013 01:50 AM

The Amish in Pa use electric selectively. Some use generators but none are connected to the public grid. The furniture was probably made in a factory owed by non Amish but was made by Amish employees using power tools and modern methods. I assure you they were not made in a candle lit shop with hand tools and 18th century methods.

-- HenryH - PA

View IrreverentJack's profile


728 posts in 3448 days

#8 posted 08-11-2013 03:34 AM

Lots of people trying to cash in on the Amish mystique. Of course, some of them are Amish. Probably true about non-Amish hiring Amish workers and selling “Amish” goods. In Western New York they log with horses but can own and use dozers or loaders on tracks. I’ve seen one saw mill run off an older gas power unit and another run by a big diesel generator. One guy has a factory making furniture blanks, that he sells to large manufacturers, run off a Cat diesel with a belt and pulley system. Their washing machines are powered by little Honda motors and refrigerators by propane. An open secret is the little phone shacks in fields between houses. Sometimes the men need to rollerblade a half mile to get to them. Amish work hard (like most everybody) and save their money. The young start working around 14 or so and I wouldn’t be surprised if the pay is much less than minimum wage. They are interesting. -Jack

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3528 days

#9 posted 08-11-2013 11:51 AM

Some of these items that are advertised as “Amish made” are made by people that were in the sect but left and didn’t go back. Hence their connection to the Amish.(manufactured homes are a good example)
I’ve been in Amish stores and their furniture is identical to stuff that we buy plans for (chairs etc) in a lot of cases.
That doesn’t take away from the excellent craftsmanship usually displayed. They take pride in what they build.

-- Life is good.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19425 posts in 3172 days

#10 posted 08-11-2013 12:04 PM

There is an Amish run cabinet shop close to where I live. Its a fully equipped shop for sure. My son has worked on projects using the cabinets, and they are high quality built.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5242 posts in 4565 days

#11 posted 08-11-2013 03:16 PM

I recently visited an Amish shop near Pontotoc, MS. Very large metal working machinery run from a line shaft powered by a small diesel engine. Next was a wwing shop powered same way.
I don’t completely understand the thinking, but it seems to work for them.
Very nice folks, and talented too.

-- [email protected]

View a1Jim's profile


117906 posts in 4182 days

#12 posted 08-11-2013 03:36 PM

I saw a show on TV that Amish are allowed to use power tools but not own them. It’s all kind of strange isn’t it.


View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3528 days

#13 posted 08-12-2013 12:25 AM

Hey, according to the TV they have their own Mafia. Why shouldn’t they build things ? :-)

-- Life is good.

View patcollins's profile


1687 posts in 3470 days

#14 posted 08-12-2013 12:52 AM

They are allowed to use air tools also.

View scrollsaw's profile


13032 posts in 4459 days

#15 posted 08-12-2013 01:24 PM

Power tools or hand tools so what .They take pride in there work and what they do and belive in.

-- Todd

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