Monday, September 10, 2007

Cast Wrought Aluminum Furniture

Whenever I think of metal patio furniture, I think of the cheap flimsy chair that aunt Mary sat on that just slowly folded to the ground under her. Of course, Aunt Mary did weigh around 200 pounds, but a decent chair should be able to support that. But the metal outdoor furniture has come a long way since I was a small child. Much of the better quality outdoor patio furniture is cast wrought aluminum furniture.

The most common metal outdoor furniture is made from iron or cast wrought aluminum furniture, although the use of steel, especially stainless steel, is growing.
Metal is fashioned into furniture in one of three main ways by extrusion, casting, and welding. Extrusion forces melted metal through long pipes and forms long narrow tubes of metal, sometimes solid, but often hollow.

Casting metal involves creating a form or cast that is shaped like the finished product. Then the molten metal is poured into the form and then the form is removed when the metal has solidified. Cast pieces are almost always solid.

Forging is a process in which metal is heated and hammered into shape to produce the type of furniture known as "wrought" metal. It uses pipes and various solid pieces of the metal and joins them together by welding or bolting.

Aluminum is a silvery, lightweight and easily worked metal that never rusts. Much of the early aluminum furniture from the 1960s was made from hollow-core extrusion tubing. Such furniture was extremely lightweight but not exceedingly wind-stable nor particularly sturdy. It weight limitations were very low approximately 130 lbs. The frames bending under the weight of a 180 pound man was a common occurrence. Such flimsy pieces are still available today but I do not recommend their use. Inexpensive plastic outdoor furniture is in the same price range and somewhat sturdier.
cast wrought aluminum furniture is a much better choice for use in outdoor dining or sitting areas.

If you are considering purchasing extruded, cast or wrought aluminum items, there are a few things to look for that indicates a quality piece. Joints should be welded preferably full-circumference welds rather than bolted. If bolts are used to connect webbing, they should be made of aluminum or stainless steel. Otherwise they will begin to rust even though the main frame does not.
The best quality cast wrought aluminum furniture pieces have a powder-coated finish that determines the final color of the piece and the durability of the metal. Powder coating is a process in which colorful polyester powders are applied and then baked onto the frame.

Vinyl webbing or straps used on cast wrought aluminum furniture needs to have been processed with mildew inhibitors and ultraviolet stabilizers. Any wooden pieces mounted on aluminum frames should be treated with a waterproof finish to guarantee durability.

Suntan oils, human perspiration, car exhaust and salt spray can all eat away at the powder coating on cast wrought aluminum furniture. To ensure long life, clean the aluminum furniture at least twice a month with a solution of mild dish detergent and warm water. Rinse well. You can then apply paste car wax to any smooth finish frames for added protection.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

California Custom Furniture Manufacturers

California custom furniture manufacturers have been building high quality custom furniture since the before the Spanish owned territory become part of the united states. The craftsman are formally trained as a cabinetmakers who have come through labor union apprentice programs. Each generation passes on the skills of thier ancestors while at the same time incorporating new materials and technologies into the process.

The local craftsman build a variety of styles, from early American to Arts And Crafts Style, following close to the tradition and style of using only the highest quality of materials and craftsmanship in joinery designed to last generations. It is not uncommon to find that most of the construction joinery is purposely left exposed to be admired and respected. It is that joinery that will make your furniture and cabinetry last for many years.

Many of the local cabinetmakers have attended art school as well as schools of industrial design in addition to their apprenticeships. These furniture manufactures have forged a partnership between the artist, the design engineer and the cabinetmakers to produce some of the finest furniture available. They take the traditions of the past and carry them into the twenty-first century through their extensive experience with both traditional hand tools for woodworking and efficient modern machinery.

The majority of the work is done on commission and includes all types of residential furniture, entertainment centers and special interior installations. But they also do commercial installations and major conference tables. They work directly with clients and through architects and interior designers to ensure the clients get what they want.

Of course, California custom furniture manufacturers begin with the design process, taking into regard both the functional and aesthetic considerations of the piece at hand. The design process does not stop at the drawing board, but continues right up until the final decisions are made in the wood itself. Each piece is made with as much care and technical integrity as possible. It is the nature of wood to be responsive to changes in atmospheric moisture and hence constantly in motion. This must be accounted for.

All detail work is carved by hand, using both power carving tools and traditional gouges and riffles. no two pieces are exactly identical. This is the hallmark of custom work adds a warmth and variety otherwise impossible to obtain.

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