“I believe your workmanship to be superb and your standards of excellence to be exacting…”
Chairman & CEO, BMG
Pollaro has three main departments: Drawing, Cabinetmaking, and Finishing.
Every project starts with a drawing. Our drawing department employs the latest AutoCAD systems. We are capable of transmitting or receiving a drawing via e-mail using PDF or AutoCAD files.
We work hard in the drawing department to make sure that the piece is aesthetically beautiful on paper and that the prescribed joinery has been designed with integrity.
After your furniture is designed and drafted, the next step is material selection and material yield. This involves looking at drawings, laying out templates, and yielding the veneers and substrates that will be used for the job. This phase is stringent; we only start with the finest pattern grade lumber and face veneer. This process can be time consuming because we examine every piece of wood before we start. In fact, we eliminate approximately 30-40% of the solid wood we buy, and we will routinely reject 90-95% of the veneer we see based on our attention to grains, color, and veneer production quality.
Next is milling the rough lumber for the solid wood portions of the project. Each piece is jointed straight and planed parallel. Simultaneously we cut, tape, and press the veneer faces for the project. This layout of veneers is perhaps the most important part of the project because it is largely what will be noticed when the piece is finished. All veneer faces are personally inspected by Frank Pollaro prior to lay-up. We are masters of veneer layout and matching. Our experience in this area is unparalleled. This type of work comprises nearly 98 percent of all of our work.
After the veneers are cut, taped, and pressed to a stable substrate, we can begin the construction of the project. The construction process starts with the cutting of all joinery. We use machinery as well as hand tools for cutting our joints. Complex joints like half-blind dovetails can only be cut with a hand saw and a chisel.
Once the joints are cut, we can begin assembling and gluing the piece together. It is essential that all parts of the project mate perfectly before gluing can commence. Sometimes, as many as one hundred clamps can be required to assemble the joint during a single glue-up.
When we have the basic structure of the furniture standing, we can then add any moldings, trim work or inlays. Each one is completely done by hand, with each piece being cut one at a time. Once cut, the hand made molding or inlay is then glued and clamped in place.
When the finishing touches are put on the unfinished piece, we can then begin the painstaking process of sanding and preparation for finishing. At this time, the entire piece is disassembled so that the finishing department can begin their process.
The sanding process is perhaps the most tedious part of the construction of a piece of furniture. For the finish to be perfect, the sanding must be perfect. While the finishing process composes nearly thirty percent of the total time on a project, sanding is more than fifty percent of the finishing time.
After the sanding is complete the oiling or staining process can be performed. Although most of our work is finished in clear varnishes, occasionally we are asked to stain something. In this case we use a variety of colorants including aniline dyes, oil stains, and toners.
Finally, the finish is applied. We use the finest finishing materials that are available. Fine finishes can only be achieved by repeated sanding and coating. After several coats of varnish are applied, the finish is then hand rubbed or buffed, to obtain a perfect silky smooth feeling.