You may have wondered how does the
process work in creating a customized piece of furniture, architectural millwork, or
cabinetry. Or perhaps you are unsure of what are the differences between
"store bought", "custom", and "semi-custom".
This information page may serve to answer some of those questions. This is not
intended to be a Frequently Asked Questions page, but it is intended to help the
understanding of the steps usually taken in moving from your inspired vision of
custom woodwork to a crafted reality.
Remember that woodworking is a form of
artistic expression, similar to painting a mural, sculpting a stone statue, or
embroidering a design into fabric. A form of woodworking called marquetry is the
process of using wood inlays that results in a wood "painting".
And wood can be carved and sculpted just like stone or marble. In
woodworking, Mother Nature has already provided the brush strokes, coloration, wavy grain
effects, and natural aromas that can be blended into an awesome creation of
beauty. The difference that distinguishes fine furniture crafting from
simple carpentry is the meticulous attention to design detail, accurate cutting
and milling, followed by precision jointing, thereby resulting in gallery grade
productions that will stand the test of time. The possibilities are
Step1: How does this all get started?
After you have shopped around and not
found any store bought creation that is pleasing to you, then you should call or
e-mail and we can talk about what you "really want". Or alternatively,
you've seen something you like, but want certain customizing changes to it.
something we have done several times in the past. Semi-Custom is
like saying, " I saw this piece of furniture over at the blah-blah store,
but could you add or modify it to look like this and/or that"? Also,
you may have already
toured the design gallery on this web site and found representative creations of
some past projects that have stirred your imagination into something more
original and creative. We also have an extensive stock of foreign and domestic
woods, molding samples, wood veneers, and certain exotic woods. When you see
some of the exotic wood samples, perhaps these will tickle your imagination and cause
many other artistic visions to emerge. Depending on the wood species and
how the wood was sawn or cut from the logs, the grain characteristics can be truly
awesome in coloration and artistic beauty. Some of the burled wood pieces are magnificent
with grainy vibrations that resemble crumpled velvet, particularly the species
like Birds Eye and Curly Maple, Lacewood, or Satinwood. Then consider that woods
like Wenge, Cocobola, Aniegre, Bubinga, Zebrawood, Padauk,
Purpleheart, or East Indian Rosewood can add dramatic highlights to your
creation. We want to help realize your desire. Perhaps we can help stimulate an endeavor that
will result in a gallery grade production to last many lifetimes and become a treasured
family heirloom. A visit to our studio and workshop will not be a waste of time, perhaps
Step2: How does your vision get communicated?
It all begins with an assessment of
your needs and doing what we call a "Vulcan Mind Meld".
Seriously, there has to be close communication so that what gets drawn and rendered
in the computer software is
what you, the client, think is what is in your mind's eye. The piece
should have intended functionality, optimum wood grain alignment, balanced grain
and color, and aesthetic proportionality that is pleasing to anyone's eye.
It must be designed and crafted to provide strength and durability with quality
woodworking joinery. We prefer not to take work that results in painting over or laminating over
the beautiful wood grain and coloration in what Mother
Nature has provided. Although, if that is what is
desired, so be it. If a
certain classical styling is desired, then this is taken into account at design
time. Arts & Crafts, Southwestern, Shaker, Mission, Mexican, Stickley,
or whatever you desire, then that is what we will craft.
Step3: How does the work get accomplished?
After a few design discussions about
the project, then the design is translated from doodles to CAD drawings and rendered to accurately scaled
dimensions and modeled in 3D-CAD, if necessary. This helps to assure you that the
design is what you, the client, truly wants and also gives you a real-life vision of
the end product. A Bill of Material is created which provides the basis for
accurate estimates of material, labor, finishing, delivery, and other associated costs. If
there is agreement at this point in the process and you fully commission
Mainstreet Wood Works to
do the work, then there is an agreed upon down payment, usually 50% of the total
project price. Delivery is scheduled based on project complexity, work
load, and other project priorities. Please understand that one-of-a-kind
custom creations take extra time and frequently the waiting time is significant,
sometimes several months. Final payment is expected upon delivery, or
progress payments can be arranged for larger projects.
We look forward to meeting with you and
help in creating your woodworking endeavors.