It's finally Autumn! I'm fairly busy in the shop, working time is about a week prior to ship.
It's finally Autumn! I'm fairly busy in the shop, working time is about a week prior to ship.
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New Materials

My products are always changing, just a little bit.  I’m always trying to build them a little better, a little cleaner, and reduce chances of flaws.  It’s tricky with plywood.  The material is made from a bunch of layers of wood that’s laid in alternating directions with glue, then pressed.  This “sandwich” of wood makes for a great sheet product, and it’s really designed to be used in larger square type sheets.  I do something different, I cut it into intricate shapes and machine into the top of it and do a lot of things that it wasn’t intended. This means that when I do so I encounter more voids and gaps and rough wood than others do.  In the past I’ve dealt with this by using a similar color wood filler, and applying it carefully so it’s not very noticeable, but I’m trying to do even better moving forward. 

5 ply maple
This is the current wood I’m using.  It’s FSI certified, comes from North America, and from a sourcing/sustainability perspective is great.  But all of the above problems about the voids and holes and rough wood apply here.  It’s hard to get a quality edge so I’ve been spending a lot of time sanding them and filling them.

Baltic Birch
This is the future wood I’ll be transitioning to for most things. It is FSC certified, which is a more strict and meaningful governing body and comes from sustainable managed forests as well.  It comes from Russia, Latvia and Finland.   It’s widely used in the furniture and cabinetry industries and considered the finest choice for any product where the edges are shown (such as everything I make).

I’m happy with the sustainability picture for baltic birch, I only question its origin from outside our country. I don’t want to be nationalist about it, but in general I like to support American companies at the least for the reason that choosing local means decreased transportation and pollution.  There is a product available domestically called “Apple Ply” which costs three times the amount of baltic birch.  It’s top quality stuff, but it makes the products much less affordable for everyone. 

So for now, I’m proceeding with Baltic birch.  When I have my products in stable production on it my plan is to offer the same in Apple Ply and see if there is an interest in paying more for the US sourced material. 

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