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"Alan and I can't thank you enough... The care and outstanding workmanship you showed while tackling many difficult situations only emphasized more that we made the right decision having you perform the work."
-- Allan & Sally K

Research

NHA provides design research reviewing similar functioning pieces for design, style, size, finish and materials used. We utilize books, design and trade magazines, and internet searches. All of this information is then presented in a sketch or drawing for the client to review. We have 25 years of furniture building experience behind us and are constantly updating our knowledge base through books, trade magazines, internet web sites and forums.

Wood Conditioning and Selection

Lumber materials are allowed to acclimate in our shop for at least two weeks or until the moisture content of 6-8% is achieved, prior to the start of construction. This is a time tested way of reducing excess seasonal movement after the item is delivered to a customers’ home or office. Additionally we will rough cut components and allow them to further acclimate and adjust prior to final dimensioning. As an example, a piece of solid wood that displays large curving grain would not be used to make the vertical components of a door frame. These pieces are utilized to fabricate horizontal (Rails) parts. Vertical components are made of tight and straight grained wood known as ‘quarter sawn’ lumber. This type of lumber is utilized for the vertical components (Stiles) of a door frame and panels, due to its ability to move less, during seasonal changes.

Finish Process

Finishing the wood prior to the application of color or finish, involves careful scraping, then multiple grit sanding of the woods surface. The idea is to gradually reduce the size of the scratch patterns left by the previous grits of sandpaper. When required exceptional clarity of the wood grain can only be achieved by hand planning and scraping the wood's surface.  Coloring or staining of woods is accomplished with either aniline dies or water/oil based pigment stains. Even woods such as cherry, oak and mahogany may require a stain or adjustment in color to highlight or subdue the grain. This staining process may require multiple coats of various colors to achieve the desired affect.  Final protective finishes such as shellac (traditional finish, easy to repair, mixed fresh with every job), oil or water based polyurethane and lacquer (for areas of high traffic or water contact) are hand applied by bush or pad in multiple layers. The finish is then cured for at least 72 hours prior to sanding and then rubbing out with a variety of abrasive products to archive the final sheen. NHA can even provide “French Polish”  an “Old World” form of hand (rubbed) applied shellac and oil that is applied in as many as 8-15 layers or applications. This process is extremely labor intensive, but the final finish is glass smooth and exceptionally luxurious.