sustainably harvested cherry trees used for Thos. Moser heirloom furniture
Photo: Russell Kaye
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1. The Raw Material

Respect for wood also explains much of Moser’s mania for impeccable craftsmanship. "The wood is so precious, and so threatened, that it is a crime to make ugly or impermanent things from it," company founder Thomas Moser wrote in 2002. The best way to honor it "is to create the finest, most durable, most beautiful furniture that we can."

To make a piece that will survive as long as it takes to grow another 100-year old cherry, Moser hews closely to the kind of wood-to-wood joinery that has passed the test of time: pegged mortises and tenons, dovetails, wedged-through tenons, and half-laps, among others. Metal fasteners are used where they make sense, but they’re kept to a minimum (and are well-hidden).

In the end, all this insistence on excellence and tradition would be just a lot of talk without trained craftsmen who share that same dedication. In the European manner, Moser’s apprenticeships are long and its workforce is small. There’s no department of quality control; each of the 80 employees is entitled (and expected) to pull a piece aside if it doesn’t measure up.
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