Schanz Furniture & Refinishing is a family owned business in South Amana, Iowa. We have been designing and building custom furniture as well as repairing and refinishing old furniture for several generations. At Schanz Furniture we have gained a reputation for high-quality, handmade furniture and a beautiful hand-rubbed finish. We are located in the historic Amana Colonies on Highway 6, just 1/2 mile east of South Amana, Iowa. You can visit our showroom and workshop Mon-Sat 9-5 or call 319-622-3529 for more information.
How Our Family Business Got Started
In 1966 Norman and Joanna Schanz opened Schanz Furniture and Refinishing in West Amana, Iowa. Norman started the business in the basement of his family’s home, by repairing and refinishing friends’ furniture. As time went on, the reputation of Norman’s work grew and spread by word of mouth. People then began to ask Norman to reproduce some of the furniture he was refinishing, which led him into making new furniture. At first this was something he did at nights and on weekends, until he had enough work to leave his full-time job and start his own business. Schanz furniture has several skilled craftsmen working alongside each other in the shop. In 1996 Norman’s son, Mike, became one of these craftsmen and is now carrying on the tradition of furniture making. To this day they continue to repair and refinish old furniture as well as build new and custom “made-to-your-specifications” furniture in your choice of woods.
Norman and Joanna are also responsible for reviving two traditional crafts in the Amana Colonies: broom making and willow basketry. Broom-making by hand, on an antique “kicker” broom machine, can be observed at the Broom and Basket Shop in West Amana. Handmade baskets made from reed or traditional willows by local weavers, are available at the Broom and Basket Shop in West Amana, Iowa. For more information on this business please visit https://www.broomandbasket.com
Here At Schanz Furniture & Refinishing the Four Areas We Specialize In Are:
- Designing custom built furniture in your choice of hard woods. – The most popular woods are walnut, cherry and oak but we occasionally have requests for specialty woods.
- Repairing and re-gluing furniture.-We see a wide range of repair needed on furniture that is brought to us. We are happy to take a look at your furniture repair needs.
- Refinishing furniture with a hand rubbed satin oil base varnish. – This multi-step process can bring life back to your older furniture ensuring it many more years of enjoyment.
- Caning chairs with real bamboo and weaving seats with fiber rush. -The art of caning/rushing chairs has become almost a dying craft but is still alive here.
What Makes Us Different?
At Schanz Furniture a huge difference is our employees. Each of our craftspeople have 20+ years of experience doing what they do! We could not build and finish the furniture we have without these talented people. With this much experience going into each piece of furniture it’s easy to see how this makes us different.
The next noticeable difference is the select solid hardwoods we use. From start to finish, each piece of furniture is hand-built by one craftsman. We start with only select and better-graded hardwoods that are kiln dried to 6-8% moisture content, ensuring the stability of each piece of furniture. Our most common native Iowa hardwoods are walnut, oak, cherry, hickory, maple, and ash.
Another difference can be seen in our ability to uniquely design furniture to our customers need or style. Customers often come to us when they want a piece of furniture that they can’t find elsewhere or when they want something that will last. Working directly with the builders to design what they want, customers can feel confident that they are getting exactly what they want. Each craftsman selects and matches his own wood, and then cuts, glues, sands, and assembles each piece from start to finish. When a piece of furniture is done, the individual craftsman proudly signs it, assuring his approval of the workmanship.
Finally, our quality hand-rubbed satin finish is a difference that our customers really can see and feel. The finishing process begins with spraying a sanding sealer followed by two to three more coats of a satin varnish. Between each coat of finish the furniture is hand-sanded, using progressively finer grits of sand paper. After the last coat of finish is applied, each piece is hand-sanded again and then hand-rubbed using #0000 steel wool, to obtain a smooth satin-rubbed finish. The final step is a coat of lemon oil, to remove the sanding dust and reveal the depth and beauty of our finish. We believe that by using this multi-step process and high quality materials in our furniture we offer a better product and value to our customers. Our furniture can become your family heirloom.
We invite you to visit our shop, experience our furniture, and see WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT!