Furniture studios are always a work in progress. Both the machinery and the methods of work (maybe work process) evolve and progress over time. The type of furniture produced, the materials used, and the joinery employed all impact on the studio environment. The accuracy of one’s work also determines whether certain machines are required. Equally true, the quality of the machinery employed can have a significant impact on the accuracy of the pieces produced. Definitely, a bit of everything affects everything.
The Noble Artisan’s Studio consists of 1200 feet of space occupied by different zones. It is where ideas flourish and take on new forms, where woodworking passion overrides any concept of time, and ultimately where design visions are brought to life. It is safe to say that our studio will continue to evolve with time, focusing on the most pertinent machinery, tools of the trade, and best use of space to ensure the most efficient operations possible.
Studio Zones and Process:
The first zone of the studio is receiving and rough processing of lumber and sheet goods. This area contains custom lumber racks tied directly into the framework of the building, an industrial cast iron Omga Italian made chop saw, a Format 4 Dual 51 20” wide jointer/planer combination machine. as well as an Italian Agazzani 20” heavy duty bandsaw. This zone is where stage one milling of the rough lumber starts the transformation to wood that is flat, smooth, even thickness and cut to slightly over-size, and therefore usable as furniture components. Milling is done in several stages as the wood moves and attempts to find a new equilibrium, requiring a second or even third milling.
The second zone is where much of the machining is done on the Felder KF 700 Professional sliding table saw and shaper combination machine. This machine can process sheet goods and hardwood lumber accurately in both large formats (a 4 foot by 8 foot sheet of cabinet grade plywood) as well as much smaller hardwood components. This zone includes storage for a variety of saw blades and shaper cutters which are used for operations on the Felder table saw/shaper.
Zone three is a bench room containing a traditional joiners workbench, a large, low torsion box assembly table, and a large flip top vacuum press table (with custom power raise and lower from its wall storage position) by Vaccu Press Systems of Maine. A number of different style clamps assist in glue ups of wider stock. Joinery is enhanced by a variety of Festool products such as routers, track saws, Domino loose tenon joiner, drills, and sanders. Further joinery tools and jigs include Leigh jigs and a Powermatic hollow chisel mortiser. This is where the components come together in sub-assemblies and final furniture form.
A finishing room off the assembly area keeps dust of un-cured finishes. The shop is kept clean by an industrial dust collection system which hooks the dust ports of the machines to an Oneida Super Dust Gorilla cyclone via quick fit Nordfab ductwork, as well as several Festool shop vacuums. These connect to the Festool portable machines to provide virtually perfect dust collection for those operations.
Completion and delivery of a project leave room for the next process of creation to begin.