Today, I had the opportunity to sit down with some of Grabill’s Finish Department Team Members, who have the crucial role in providing a consistent and quality finish on every unit that leaves our shop. Now I thought I knew enough when it came to finish (well, enough to be dangerous), but I was so wrong.
Meet John Wnuk. John is a jack of all trades here at Grabill, with his main focus of work in the Finish Department. He and his team of finish experts shared some highlights of their positions, and provided a little insight into the finish world.
Q: What is involved in your finish process, and what are the most important factors when it comes to finish prep?
A: The finish process varies between the material type chosen and finish type chosen for the job. For example, one of our current projects involves a five-step hand patina process. The number of steps involved is derived from the custom color desired by the client. Since each project is different, our team does a lot of work developing and testing finishes for the client, and after a couple of rounds (sometimes more), we arrive at a finish they just love.
As far as finish prep, it is an extremely critical part of the process. It’s most important to NOT MISS ANYTHING, which is as difficult as it sounds. When working with the patina finish, gloves are needed to keep all surfaces clean and free from oils. As a general rule of finish, time is always of the essence, and certain finish types require us to be even more time conscious.
Q: Are there certain types of wood that you prefer to use solely because of their finishing qualities?
A: Personally, we all kind of like the rustic look, so we don’t mind the wood with knots and imperfections. In general though, any type of hardwoods are very easy to work with when it comes to finish, but we work with both softwoods and hardwoods.
Q: What are some of the biggest highs/lows when working with finish?
A: One of the most rewarding parts of my job is when we hear that the first truck has arrived on site and the clients are ECSTATIC about the finish. That kind of feedback makes it all worth it. One challenge involves matching someone else’s color, as it takes a great deal of R&D to arrive at that exact color.
We are Grabill, and we are Built with Integrity; Built to Last.
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