THE BECKSVOORT DIFFERENCE


 
I have almost four decades of experience working in a variety of custom, architectural and furniture shops. In 1986 I opened my own, full time studio. After all these years I still work alone, designing, building, finishing, and in some cases even delivering. I spend between one and six weeks on each of my creations. When you buy a Becksvoort piece, you're buying a piece of Chris Becksvoort. What else makes my work so special and sought after?

1
  I use SCS certified cherry from Kane Hardwoods, in Kane Pennsylvania. Established in 1855 (one of the Collins companies), Kane owns more than 122,000 acres of prime Pennsylvania hardwoods. They practice sustainable forestry: amount of growth equals amount of harvest. No cut and run clearcutting here. These folks are in it for the long run. With my background in forestry, that is something I value.
 
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2  

BookcaseIn addition to the pieces shown here and in my catalog, I also design
and build to order, to suit your specific needs. Feel free to inquire.
I usually answer the phone (the number is in my catalog).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

3

I take wood movement seriously, over-building and compensating to insure that your investment lasts. For example:
 

 

photoAll my moldings are dovetailed. Wood moves across its width, but not in length. Moldings can’t be glued across a chest side, but must be allowed to move. The best and most time consuming technique is to let the moldings ride on dovetailed keys. Mitered corners remain tight, while in the summer the case will extend beyond the molding, and vice versa in winter.
 
I construct telescoping web frames between my drawers. Again, the case sides are free to move, while the backs of the frames move along with the sides.
 

   

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I check and double check proper door and drawer clearances, so while there may be a noticeable gap in winter, both doors and drawers will open smoothly during summer’s humidity.
 
The backs of my cabinets are fully framed and paneled. Not only are they meant to be seen, but also give the cabinet tremendous rigidity.
 
Both back frames and door frames are constructed of quartersawn stock. Quartersawn wood moves only half as much as plainsawn, thereby minimizing the gaps around doors.
 

     
4
 

My dovetails are hand cut with saw, chisel and mallet. Equally precise, yet much better to look at. The human hand is clearly in evidence. This is what hand-made furniture is all about.
 

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5

 

No sapwood on the exteriors. Sapwood is the light colored wood, just under the bark. It never attains that rich reddish brown of cherry heartwood. Consequently, I banish it to interiors. You might see stripes of it along drawer sides, bottoms or interior dividers. And it goes without saying that there is absolutely no plywood, fiberboard or particleboard used in Becksvoort furniture.

6

 

I take grain matching to extremes. It is a time consuming process to find two boards that work together without obvious glue-up lines. Whenever possible, I use single boards for headboards and door panels. If that is not possible, I often take long boards, cut them in half or thirds to make a single panel. That yields similar color and grain patterns.
 

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7
 

All interior surfaces are sanded and finished. All edges and corners are sanded as well, so when you reach inside or underneath one of my case pieces, all surfaces and edges are user friendly.

 
 
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All wood knobs are hand turned. Commercial knobs are available only in one or two sizes. My knobs are proportioned to fit each drawer. For example, the 15-drawer chest has ten different sized knobs, ranging from 5/8" at the top to 7/8" at the bottom.

 
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  A silver dollar, of the year of construction, is hidden in larger pieces.
 

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10

 

Secret compartments available on request. Size and location depends on the individual piece.
 
 
 

 
 
11
 

  

Carved monograms or special dates also available on request. These most often go on headboard centers, but can also be carved inside doors or drawers as added surprises or to celebrate an anniversary. Logos, poems, or lines from a special song, because of their length and detail, can be laser engraved.

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12
 

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Each of my pieces is signed, dated and registered.

 

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