Posts tagged 'Furniture Manufacturing'

We’ve Never Made The Same Product Twice

Nature is not in the business of consistency. There are no Formica® forests. Every hardwood tree that grows in the Appalachian mountains develops its own graining and tone depending on elevation, severity of the winters, rainfall and competition for sunlight. Once that tree makes it to the lumberyard, it’s up to our buyers to determine if it is Gat Creek-worthy.

“There are specific standards for grading lumber,” said Gat Caperton. “The National Hardwood Lumber Association has spent a century making them as confusing and complicated as possible. While we consider the standards, what we rely on is the old-fashioned eye test. Does it look like it will make a pretty piece of furniture or not.”

Sustainably Made-To-Order Products Are More Fashionable And Less Wasteful

For furniture companies manufacturing overseas, maximizing profits means using cheap labor and lesser quality materials, guessing consumer tastes well into the future, shipping many container loads, warehousing the stock and waiting for buyers. Inevitably, the goods that go unsold end up in the landfill to make room for the next wave of shipping containers. That model was always a no-go for Gat Creek. “A sustainable manufacturing model is what we have long been about, building to order and still being competitive with international businesses,” Gat Caperton said. “Our customer wants to pay for beautiful wood, finish and craftsmanship. So that’s what we invest in and get rid of everything else.”

Gat Creek Is Expanding Factory To Build More Furniture

Gat Creek is expanding our facility by 40,000 square feet to build more furniture faster and meet demand. And the work has already begun. A self-confessed manufacturing geek, Gat’s philosophy on expansions is that if you are going to add on space, add on as much as you can. The expansion will ultimately double the factory’s capacity.

Hard-To-Find Double Beds Are Sized Just Right For Some Bedrooms

The double bed (also called a full) may live in the shadow of the extremely popular queen-sized, but it remains the right choice for some. This is why you’ll find a double option available with every Gat Creek bed.

“I would only recommend a double for an adult who had a space issue,” said interior designer and owner of Design Associates in Wrightsville Beach, NC, Maggie Aardema. “For the amount of space difference, a queen is more comfortable and there are more bedding options for a queen bed.”

An Open And Soft-Close Lesson On Well-Made Drawers

The quality of a drawer box reveals worlds about the craftsmanship of the piece and the values of its maker. The first indication of authenticity? Joinery; look for dovetail joints. “The drawer front is almost always the first point of failure due to the forces of opening and closing,” Gat said. “Dovetail joints interlock the drawer front to its sides and will essentially outlast any other joint.” When crafting drawer sides, Gat Creek uses solid ash, an extremely stable and durable hardwood. For the drawer bottom, another area of potential failure, we select 3/8-inch wood.

Lean Is The Muscle Behind Our Makers

While it may seem like a magic wand invented by the auto industry, Lean Manufacturing is a process that encompasses a variety of practices depending on the trade. “Our business is particularly well-suited to Lean principles,” Gat explained. “With a piece of solid lumber I can make a bed, or a table or a dresser. Unlike a car manufacturer that is dealing with thousands of parts to source and manage.” Lean works for both industries, but for Gat Creek the complexity is vastly reduced.

“Really it’s as simple as listening to our customer and focusing on the things she cares about,” Gat said. “And our customers care about the finest material and craftsmanship.”

Itching For Scratch-Free Furniture? We Need To Talk.

It seems there are two kinds of people in the world when it comes to owning beautifully made furniture. Those who want it to forever look like it just arrived from the workshop, and the rest of us.

We’re only slightly kidding. The truth is that all things in life will show wear and tear when used — leather goods, household appliances, even a diamond can be scratched by another diamond. But when we’re talking about your new Gat Creek dining table we know that seeing the first little scratch can be stressful.