- Wood is a strange, living thing. It’s always alive—it expands, contracts, reacts to light and temperature. Wood definitely has spirit.
- Selection. There are 80,000 species of wood, and five ways to cut a log that make every piece of lumber completely different. Our knowledge of wood is a huge part of what we offer the client. The science of wood—how it moves, how dry it is—is a big deal. The cellular makeup of every wood is different.
- Construction. All wood moves; a few woods move two directions. You have to allow space inside the frame for that expansion, or you’ll blow a door, for instance, clear apart, over time. Design may be an art, but construction is a science.
- Hardware. Cabinet hardware has improved 10,000 times since the 1980s, in quality and variety; we’ve got in-depth knowledge of hardware to match aesthetics and function in the best way for the piece.
- Finishes. If the client wants a particular look, I want to find a natural wood that has it. If it can happen without coloring the wood with dye or oil, it’s more beautiful and lasting, and you’re not hiding the wood itself. If not, we go to finishes. We achieve color by creating dye and oil stains, first dye and then oil, which gives a very deep look of the work, twice as beautiful. It takes more time and more procedures, but it becomes almost translucent. We have to know how light and air is going to affect the product over time.
We’re environmentally sensitive: our scraps are saved for small projects or used for kindling. We generate lots of cardboard and recycle all that. We don’t use endangered woods; we buy from people who harvest properly and responsibly.
There are two main wood-working standards organizations—AWI, the Architectural Woodworking Institute, and WIC, the Woodworking Institute of California. They lab-test joints and create standards from utility to custom and premium grades. We build everything to meet the premium grade standards of both organizations. For instance, you’ll see no surface fasteners or nails in our work.