The strength of being small - What's next

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The strength of being small
A custom shop
In the shop
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“Most of our furniture is done in cherry. It’s a predominant wood that people ask for and, from a woodworking standpoint, it’s a great wood to work with and to finish.”

For finishing, the shop specifies Watco Danish Oil to bring out the natural hues of the wood and a top coat of conversion varnish. Staining is only done with special requests. Stone, glass and metal are occasionally used, typically fabricated by local craftsmen.

What’s next
Nowadays, Huston spends much of his time designing basic hand drawings, but that’s subject to change because he’s learning about CAD programs and CNC equipment.

“We would like to increase our capabilities and are looking into CNC and actively researching, talking to CNC people, and visiting shops with CNC equipment. An essential question we are trying to answer is if CNC fits our custom, predominately solid-wood shop,” says Huston.

“As we work along on projects, we keep track of parts or processes that could be done, or done better or faster, with CNC equipment. We have a concern that CNC might slowly steer us away from our style and type of furniture, simply because the equipment is quick and efficient at making certain parts that aren’t really us. Maybe it is a false concern, but we’ll only find out by exploring the possibilities. We want to see if it’s a good investment in all definitions of the word.”

Huston is comfortable with four to six employees and he’s not looking to expand. Having worked in larger shops, he knows that bigger does not equate to “better” — at least for him.