Linking Design to the Woodshop
We are so thankful to be celebrating our 40th anniversary this year. As part of our celebration, we are continuing to feature members of our team and unique aspects of our process throughout the year.
A critical aspect of creating custom furniture is ensuring that it has been engineered correctly. It is important that each piece is carefully considered in the design process to both provide the customer’s desired look, and to hold up to our lifetime warranty. That’s where our Design Engineer comes in. Marlin recently moved into this role after being a Craftsperson on our Case Team for many years.
Marlin joined us in 2016 as a Shop Apprentice and grew to be a talented Craftsperson on our Case Team, building many custom case projects. Marlin’s curious mind was constantly thinking of ways to make the process better and improve information flow. In addition to building beautiful furniture, Marlin expanded into a design support role over the last couple of years. Seeing the benefits this provided to our team, we realized that he was ideally suited for an expanded role as Design Engineer.
A big part of his day is to create CAD drawings to help our salespeople work with customers on their custom pieces. “This can vary from making a table slightly longer to a creating a completely custom piece,” Marlin says. “This process helps the customer get exactly what they want. I then create more detailed drawings and cut lists for builders to build those pieces."
“The part I enjoy most about my job is the problem solving that comes up with new designs and working with others to find solutions,” Marlin continues. “This often includes balancing aesthetics, functionality, the cost and efficiency of the building processes, the machine capabilities of our shop, and the limitations of the materials we work with. It’s a challenge to come up with a perfect answer, but we try our best to consider all these things when making decisions.”
Marlin also leads the efforts in updating product standards. As you might imagine with a 40-year old company, some of our product designs have been around for quite some time, while others are new. He reviews the details of all product lines to make sure they are consistent, and that older items are updated to meet our current design standards.
After all his years in the shop, Marlin notes, “I think people would be surprised to know how much effort we put into our lumber selection. We have very high standards, so builders will spend a considerable amount of time looking for the right boards. Matching color and grain, avoiding knots and defects, and taking into consideration sap lines and continuous grain across different parts of a furniture piece can be very difficult. At times builders have to look though every board we have on hand to find the right combination for a piece.”
Thanks Marlin for your thoughtful approach, detailed eye and significant contributions to The Joinery over the years!