It is with increasing frequency that we are receiving comments from happy customers surprised by the quality of materials and workmanship that goes into each of our handmade gifts. Even more surprised are the customers who have previously purchased signs from other businesses that use vinyl stickers and MDF.
In light of this, we wanted to share a bit about the materials we use and why it makes our products different.
All of our gifts are made with real wood, and painted by hand. We use locally grown and milled wood, as well as partner with local businesses to reduce waste by recycling unwanted pallets. This is not the fastest, or least expensive, method for acquiring materials but the final product features a resilience and depth of rusticity that can't be duplicated using a different method.
Locally Grown Lumber
We love shopping local! By acquiring our materials through local businesses we are ensuring high-quality materials while supporting responsible forestry practices which help maintain essential habitat to protect local species of fish and wildlife. Our favorite supplier is Mill Outlet Lumber, which stocks a tantalizing variety of wood at fantastic prices, all with wonderful customer service. We especially love working with their cedar, which is perfect for our bird feeders and nestboxes, and Knotty Pine is a favorite for large custom signs.
We have partnered with local businesses, like Taylor Shellfish Farms, to reduce waste by recycling old unwanted pallets. Taylor Shellfish was even generous enough to deliver their larger pallets to our property for dismantling! Harvesting pallets involves hauling, dismantling, removing nails, staples, and bolts, cutting to size, and finally planing for a smooth finish. This results in a versatile material that bursts with a weathered, rustic character while still retaining a quality strength we seek for our handmade gifts.
Milling Our Own Lumber
Occasionally certain projects seem to beg for something extra special. For these projects we mill our own logs with our dear friend, Wes, who always loves an excuse to fire up his backwoods mill.
To mill our own wood we first have to find a log of the proper length, diameter, age, and quality. Then, once its delivered to Wes's mill, we carefully position it on the saw and "square up" the rounds.
Once the log has been squared-up we then cut our boards to the proper thickness, remove uneven ends, and finally trim them to the proper width to be planed smooth.
This produces a high-quality sign especially suited for carving, or a combination of carved and hand-painted techniques.
Why not MDF or Vinyl Stickers?
Though a faster, less expensive option, MDF and Vinyl stickers do not hold up to weather exposure. MDF has a tendency to dent, warp, and absorb moisture at an incredible rate. This can distort the lettering and cause vinyl stickers to peel. Though they make beautiful signs, we do not use MDF or Vinyl stickers because the finished product is not made to last.
By crafting our gifts by hand the old-fashioned way our customers receive a unique, one-of-a-kind product that is both made to last and age beautifully.