Our M+M (Methods + Materials)
What is the most we can make with the least? We strive to make the most elegant, useful, affordable, and comfortable furniture from the most sound and common materials with the least waste of resources and energy. The Function (Fn) of our products is key. The shapes are body-fit, the build is sturdy, and the fabrication is local. Our furniture parts nest like puzzle pieces to use 95-100% of each sheet of plywood.
Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) router tables are becoming common in cabinet shops worldwide. Mostly, the shops use them to make quick, rectangular cabinet parts. For us, the shops make the exacting parts and joints of our furniture. The speed and accuracy enable efficient, cost-effective production.
Our furniture is carefully designed to use 94 to 100% of each sheet of plywood. Plywood is made from thin tree peelings. It uses less glue than other composites and feels better. It is more stable than regular wood because the grains are crossed and glued to reinforce one another.
We use a multi-layered Baltic Birch Plywood. The extra layers make the boards extra stable and the edges extra handsome. It passes CARB II emission standards for Formaldehyde (California 93120 Phase 2 compliant for formaldehyde), the strictest emission standard to date.
UV Cured Acrylic Finish
Our standard finish is 100% acrylic cured by UV light. Light cured finish has been used since the 70's. Unlike other finishes, no solvents are needed to help it dry, so nothing evaporates into the atmosphere. It contains no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) or Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPS.) The finish needs to be evenly exposed to the light, so it works best on flat surfaces. Our furniture starts out flat, so it’s perfect for us.
The acrylic cures very hard and is solvent and scratch resistant. It does require some care because if it gets damaged, invisible repairs are difficult.
Acrylic does not yellow, though the plywood may naturally bronze with age.
UV bulbs now replace standard bulbs in the process. They last longer, conserve energy, don’t need to heat up, and don’t heat the plywood or the finishing room.
The finish cures immediately.
Any overspray that is not exposed to the UV light can be reclaimed. So waste can be almost completely eliminated.
We use shellac to seal the plywood edges.Shellac has been widely used since the 1600’s. It is made from the resin of the lac beetle, thinned with alcohol. It is a natural, non-toxic product often used to add a polish to apples. We don’t recommend eating it, though. And it does take some care. Hard alcohol will remove it, so spills should be cleaned right away. It is easily repaired by light sanding, then applying more shellac. Any finish or paint can be applied over our de-waxed shellac, after a light sanding.