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You may have wondered how does the process work in creating a customized piece of furniture, architectural millwork, or cabinetry.  Or perhaps you are unsure of what are the differences between "store bought", "custom", and "semi-custom".  This information page may serve to answer some of those questions.  This is not intended to be a Frequently Asked Questions page, but it is intended to help the understanding of the steps usually taken in moving from your inspired vision of custom woodwork to a crafted reality.

Remember that woodworking is a form of artistic expression, similar to painting a mural, sculpting a stone statue, or embroidering a design into fabric. A form of woodworking called marquetry is the process of using wood inlays that results in a wood "painting".  And wood can be carved and sculpted just like stone or marble.  In woodworking, Mother Nature has already provided the brush strokes, coloration, wavy grain effects, and natural aromas that can be blended into an awesome creation of beauty.  The difference that distinguishes fine furniture crafting from simple carpentry is the meticulous attention to design detail, accurate cutting and milling, followed by precision jointing, thereby resulting in gallery grade productions that will stand the test of time.  The possibilities are endless.

Step1: How does this all get started?

After you have shopped around and not found any store bought creation that is pleasing to you, then you should call or e-mail and we can talk about what you "really want".  Or alternatively, you've seen something you like, but want certain customizing changes to it.  Semi-custom creations are something we have done several times in the past.  Semi-Custom is like saying, " I saw this piece of furniture over at the blah-blah store, but could you add or modify it to look like this and/or that"?  Also, you may have already toured the design gallery on this web site and found representative creations of some past projects that have stirred your imagination into something more original and creative.  We also have an extensive stock of foreign and domestic woods, molding samples, wood veneers, and certain exotic woods.  When you see some of the exotic wood samples, perhaps these will tickle your imagination and cause many other artistic visions to emerge.  Depending on the wood species and how the wood was sawn or cut from the logs, the grain characteristics can be truly awesome in coloration and artistic beauty. Some of the burled wood pieces are magnificent with grainy vibrations that resemble crumpled velvet, particularly the species like Birds Eye and Curly Maple, Lacewood, or Satinwood. Then consider that woods like Wenge, Cocobola, Aniegre, Bubinga, Zebrawood, Padauk, Purpleheart, or East Indian Rosewood can add dramatic highlights to your creation.  We want to help realize your desire.  Perhaps we can help stimulate an endeavor that will result in a gallery grade production to last many lifetimes and become a treasured family heirloom.  A visit to our studio and workshop will not be a waste of time, perhaps quite enlightening. 

Step2: How does your vision get communicated?

It all begins with an assessment of your needs and doing what we call a "Vulcan Mind Meld".  Seriously, there has to be close communication so that what gets drawn and rendered in the computer software is what you, the client, think is what is in your mind's eye.  The piece should have intended functionality, optimum wood grain alignment, balanced grain and color, and aesthetic proportionality that is pleasing to anyone's eye.  It must be designed and crafted to provide strength and durability with quality woodworking joinery. We prefer not to take work that results in painting over or laminating over the beautiful wood grain and coloration in what Mother Nature has provided.  Although, if that is what is desired, so be it.  If a certain classical styling is desired, then this is taken into account at design time.  Arts & Crafts, Southwestern, Shaker, Mission, Mexican, Stickley, Art Deco, or whatever you desire, then that is what we will craft. 

Step3: How does the work get accomplished?  The Commissioning.

After a few design discussions about the project, then the design is translated from doodles to CAD drawings and rendered to accurately scaled dimensions and modeled in 3D-CAD, if necessary.  This helps to assure you that the design is what you, the client, truly wants and also gives you a real-life vision of the end product.   A Bill of Material is created which provides the basis for accurate estimates of material, labor, finishing, delivery, and other associated costs.  If there is agreement at this point in the process and you fully commission Mainstreet Wood Works to do the work, then there is an agreed upon down payment, usually 50% of the total project price.  Delivery is scheduled based on project complexity, work load, and other project priorities.  Please understand that one-of-a-kind custom creations take extra time and frequently the waiting time is significant, sometimes several months.  Final payment is expected upon delivery, or progress payments can be arranged for larger projects. 

We look forward to meeting with you and help in creating your woodworking endeavors.

Kind Regards,

Dave Glodo 

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