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Trust the Experts: The George Smith Frame

All great pieces of furniture start with a great frame. ..

The frame determines the final shape and design; depending on the materials and techniques used, the frame will establish the furniture’s overall quality and longevity.

Meet Richie, Master of the Frame Shop...

    1. Richie Miller is the secret ingredient in the George Smith furniture recipe; having worked at our factory for 22 years, he is a fount of knowledge. As makers of exceptional furniture, our upholsterers require the finest frames to provide the enduring comfort that our discerning clients demand. Built using a hybrid of traditional and contemporary joinery methods, our frames support the heavy-duty jute-webbing and the cone springs to deliver both inner strength and outer beauty. So Richie, what makes a great frame? “The George Smith team has a strong foundation in traditional joinery techniques and stays up to date with the latest industry innovations, never compromising on quality. For us, a great frame starts with the best quality materials, we use kiln-dried hardwood that has had all the moisture removed, enabling it to retain its shape and stability for generations to come.”

Plywood

    In recent years our product development team has been instrumental in the evolution of the way we produce our furniture, leading us to modernise our manufacturing process and invest in new technology to create better products. Where applicable, we are re-developing the internal structure of catalogue and bespoke styles to strengthen the frames and enable us to manufacture complex designs. As a happy coincidence, using hardwood plywood boards improves not only the quality of our furniture but also the sustainability. Plywood (not to be mistaken for medium-density fibreboard (MDF) or chipboard) is a material manufactured from thin layers or ‘plies’ of birch and eucalyptus wood that are pressed and glued together, with their grain rotated up to 90˚ to one another. This alternation of the grain is called ‘cross-graining’ and has several important benefits: it reduces the tendency of wood to split when nailed at the edges; reduces expansion and shrinkage; provides improved dimensional stability and makes the strength of the panel consistent across all directions. For outdoor furniture we use marine plywood, which performs longer in both humid and wet conditions and resists delaminating and fungal attack. Its construction is such that it can be used in environments where it is exposed to moisture for long periods.


    At George Smith we buy in the highest grade of plywood, which means it has no voids and also ensures that it is TSCA (Toxic Substance Control Act) Title VI Certified, which is the formaldehyde emissions standard from the US Environmental Protection Agency. To cut the pieces quickly and efficiently we programme our CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machine to cut the pieces in a ‘nesting’ technique, as seen in the image below. This technique maximises the boards to their full extent and minimises our wastage.
sustainable craftsmanship
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CNC plywood nesting technique
sustainable craftsmanship
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George Smith plywood section

Why do we use a CNC machine?

    A CNC machine, when required, ensures that every piece of the ‘frame puzzle’ is cut with immense precision; this process reduces material waste, allows for greater levels of customisation and creates a stronger frame foundation. Digital modelling lets our developers test designs before they go into production more efficiently, making almost anything possible.
    CNC Fact: It takes a whole day to programme one furniture design into CNC machines.

Want to learn more about our craftsmanship?

Call our London showroom to learn more about the craftsmanship that goes into every piece of George Smith furniture.

Contact the Showroom!

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