Q & A
1. Do you use plywood in your pieces?
We generally use solid wood and design the furniture to shrink and expand with the wood. Solid wood can be refinished. Particleboard, medium density fiberboard (MDF board) and most plywood cannot. In addition, particleboard or plywood cannot take the stripping process during refinishing so it limits the life of the furniture to 20 to 30 years. Solid wood pieces, however, can last centuries and can be refinished numerous times or even rebuilt if necessary.
If the customer requests or wants to keep the cost down, we will use plywood for drawer bottoms, backs and side of kitchen cabinets, etc.
2. What type of finish do you use?
Polyurethane is the finish that we use because of the ease of applying it by hand. In addition, it is moisture resistant. Our projects are more labor intensive because we build them with solid wood and hand finish. Explains Rick, “Most wood workers would probably consider me outdated, especially with hand finishing, but I appreciate the way the furniture in the 1800s and early 1900s were built and tend to copy their building practices.”
3. How long does the finish last?
The best finishes have a 25 to 20 year lifespan because they are petroleum-based products and do break down over time. But since our products are made out of solid wood, they can be refinished.
4. Can I paint it?
Yes, solid wood furniture or cabinets can be painted.
5. Can I match an existing furniture piece?
Maybe. Factory finishes look different from hand finishes. Hand finishes show more grain than a factory finish. When an existing furniture piece has a clear finish, it is easier to match.
6. How durable is the finish?
We use the best product that suits the use of the piece. For example, if the piece is a tabletop or exterior door, where it will get a lot of use, we use Spar Urethane® because it can take extreme heat and moisture. For most furniture, we use polyurethane, which is also moisture resistant.
7. Does wood “breathe” and if so, how does it affect the piece?
Even after it has dried for a long period of time, solid wood still retains some moisture and can expand and contract. Even though we accommodate for this movement in the way in which we produce the piece, there still can be slight changes. For most pieces, the movement is not noticeable. The exceptions would be a piece that has been exposed to extreme humidity or dryness.
8. What type of hardware do you use?
We generally use Accuride®, Amerock®, and Blum® European hardware. These companies are the leading manufacturers of hardware in the cabinet and furniture industry.
9. What types of wood do you use?
We use many types of woods including White or Red Oak, Cherry, Maple, Popular, Elm, Hickory, Birch, Cedar and Pine. We can also order exotic or specialty woods if a client desires.
10. What are the advantages of a hand-made piece over a factory-built item?
Clients who opt for a handmade piece generally are looking for a specific item that they can’t find, or are tired of expensive factory-built furniture that just doesn't hold up. In addition, handmade furniture is flexible as it can be refinished if the client wants to change the look. Finally, handmade furniture can be passed on from generation to generation.