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Each handcrafted frame begins with the selection of native cherry grown on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake bay here in Virginia. The cherry planks have been left to dry outdoors for a minimum of two years
Selected stock goes through the milling process to become the raw molding material.
Lengths and widths for each frame are precisely cut using a professional guillotine miter chopper.
The inside of what is called the rabbit is sanded and prepared for gluing.
The frame is glued together using steel corners; clamps to achieve the tightest miter corner possible.
After 24 hrs. each frame is released from its clamp and rough sanded to clean any residue of glue.
Each of the four corners of the frame is placed in a saddle and cut to exact dimensions allowing for the insertion of a spline made from native black walnut.
Every spline must be carefully tapped into place. They are intentionally snug fitting and help to enhance the strength of each corner as well as add to its beauty.
After 24 hrs. the spline tails are cut and the entire frame begins a series of several sandings using a successive series if finer grit sandpaper until the frame's surface is smooth and without a blemish or scratch. All the sharp edges inside and out of the frame are lightly sanded (broken) to prevent cuts or splinters. The frames are now ready to be finished. Each frame receives a base coat of oil and left again to dry.
A series of finishes using a combination of tung oil, linseed oil and a hard spar varnish is hand rubbed into the frame. A soft steel wool is applied after drying for a smooth, soft luster finish.