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In Love With Purpleheart

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While the trend for darker woods continues, along with celebrating the month of love, we thought we would spotlight a very prominent, exotic wood type called “purpleheart”. This worldwide favorite wood may come from about 20 species of Peltogyne (trees of the Leguminosae Family), and is found throughout Central and South America. The wood from each species is so similar in appearance to one another that the lumber industry accepts them all to be allocated and distributed as one. Tall and large trees grow abundantly, sometimes reaching a diameter of five feet with clear, knot free lengths – it’s a great tree that yields a lot of high-quality lumber! Purpleheart has a creamy, white/gray sapwood, and when freshly cut, the heartwood is a dullish gray, purplish, brown (darkening into a deeper purple or brown with sun exposure & age). There is a high degree of variability in cutting characteristics, depending on the piece of wood or possibly the exact species of Peltogyne. Some wood seems to be relatively soft and easy to cut while other wood is incredibly hard. The grain is typically straight but some material may exhibit a particularly interesting curly grain pattern on quarter sawn surfaces. The wood is hard, heavy and can be pretty rough on tools. On the upside, Purpleheart glues easily, polishes well, and brings a nice “wow” factor to the finished project. Foster Planing Mill offers two of their stocked profiles in this gorgeous wood – profile #530 can be found on p. 8 of our catalogue, along with profile #700 on p. 18. You may also request to have another profile of choice custom milled with this wood type (minimum of 200′ required).

Helpful hints for finishing purpleheart:
Before applying the finish, put your project in the sun for a few hours, as this will make the color more intense. Over time, with exposure to ultraviolet light, purpleheart will inevitably darken to a brownish color – this process can be slowed (although not completely stopped). To prolong the length of time that the wood remains a lustrous purple, it’s recommended to periodically apply a UV-resistant finish to the completed piece. Also, if your project calls for screws in the joinery, take precaution by pre-drilling the holes.

Foster Planing Mill at WCAF 2011

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Yes, we will be there with bells on in booth #1200 (our regular location). We are sponsoring select workshops this year, such as “Creating Custom Finishes on Wood”, which is offered on Monday, January 24th from 2-5pm. We also plan to have various painting & staining demonstrations at our booth throughout the duration of the show, so please stop by, say hello, sign up for our raffle to win a free workshop, talk with us about the variety of profiles we offer, as well as woods on display, and be sure to enjoy this amazing and informative event! For more information, visit the WCAF website: www.wcafshow.com

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Profile spotlight 3″ keyed stretcher bar set & a visit with a local restoration specialist

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With dimensions 1-1/16″ x 2-3/8″, this highly demanded stretcher bar size can be found on the backside of our price list.

A recent visit to Aleksei Tivetsky’s Art Restoration and Conservation studio in Los Angeles, CA was very enlightening, as being a restorer & senior conservator for museums (amongst many other titles), Aleksei is accustomed to working with canvas and stretchers from various time periods (he has even worked with archeological pieces dating back to 4th Century BC). Aleksei explained that stretchers with keyed-out sides and corners are the only choice – this style has been used as a standard in Europe for centuries, up until present day. He offered the tip that when working with period stretchers, he stains the bar set with either an oil or water-based product (no specifics were recommended), as this makes the bar set look older, helping to match the period the artwork stemmed from. When working with modern pieces, he leaves the wood on the bar set plain (unstained).

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An outside look at how stretcher
keys fit inside the created slots

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Example of a 17th Century European keyed-out stretcher (crossbar side)

Ordering Foster Canvas Stretcher Bars

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Our keyed-out stretchers come in three different sizes:
2″ Regular Bar: 3/4″ x 1-11/16″
3″ Large Bar: 1-1/16″ x 2-3/8″
3″ Bar with 1-3/4″ Cap: 1-3/4″ x 2-7/8″ (gallery wrap style)
Simply call with the dimensions of the artwork you are planning to stretch, along with the stretcher bar size you would like to use. Tongue and groove corners will be created for easy joining, along with appropriate sized keys. Stretcher bar sets will arrive disassembled for easy shipping. (Barstock is also available by the lineal foot for those who want to create their own stretcher sets. Note: when ordering barstock, tongue and groove corners, as well as keys, will not be included). We encourage and wish you luck with your projects!

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Spotlight custom “Couse” profile in basswood

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Couse Bird parts A & B (shown in above photo) was designed by Marty at Goldleaf Framemakers of Santa Fe, located in Santa Fe, NM. This shop focuses on hand-carved, gold-leaf, period picture frames. Marty and his team members strive to find the perfect marriage between the frame and the artwork with every given project – their mindset is that the period of the artwork should perfectly match the period of the frame which surrounds it. These frames are finished with exquisite goldleafing, which is Marty’s long life passion, as well as his special trademark.

How to order custom milling with Foster Planing Mill:

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1) Open your mind & unleash the possibilities
2) Draw/map out profile (include dimensions)
3) Specify which wood type you would like your profile to be milled in
4) State the quantity you are looking to order (min 200 feet)
5) Estimate the date of when you will be needing the order (allow 10 days – 2 weeks)
6) Have a name ready for your custom profile so that we can safely file it away
7) Email or fax your drawing to: (323) 758-4071, info@fosterplaningmill.com
8) We will create a price quote and contact you shortly
9) Smile, as you are in the process of creating something exciting and unique

Getting creative with custom milling….

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There are various reasons which may lead one to take the plunge and design their own custom moulding profiles. Perhaps there is a project which involves restoring a particular part of a home (interior moulding), or one side of an outdated or historical picture frame needs to be matched. Could it be no one seems to carry exactly what you’re looking for – the profiles you are seeking out are similar to what you are finding…but not quite close enough? Or maybe you just want to be completely original with everything you do, and nothing short of a unique and ingenious design will suffice. Regardless of the reason for embarking on this creative adventure, we at Foster Planing Mill support your initiatives and are very proud to offer custom milling as a service to the public. After being in operation for 88 years, believe us when we say this company has seen its fair share of the rare and the wild when it comes to moulding designs – it is always an interesting challenge to plan out the execution of each design, and ultimately watch it come to life. We would like to encourage having an open mind and some fun while entertaining any new ideas that enter your head from here on out. People continue to demand and enjoy original work, and what better way to compliment a part of the home or a work of art than with something completely unique and/or off the wall (excuse the pun). What an inventive way to market your abilities and shop by offering exclusive moulding profiles that cannot be found anywhere else in the world! Some exercises to spark inspiration include thinking about the overall theme of the room the interior moulding is going to enhance, along with the look and feel of the artwork about to be framed. Think of the moulding as an extension of the room or the artwork – what types of lines and movement will really engage onlookers when they enter the room and/or admire the artwork? What shapes and styles are most effective to really make this project stand out and grab attention? Ask yourself what the ultimate design for any particular project would look like and dare to sketch something out and send it over to us for an evaluation. Were you aware this opportunity existed? Have you ever explored the possibility of designing a moulding profile with multiple adjoining parts? As you now realize you have the mental tools and ability to cross over into higher levels of detail and extravagance – hmmm… this really makes you begin to think, doesn’t it?

Request for new catalog ideas

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With the new year quickly approaching, we thought it would be nice to release a brand new catalog for 2011 – we would like to include all of you in our search for new profile ideas. mu legend power leveling Many of you have given us suggestions over the last couple of years, but now is the time to shout out and get our attention. mu2legendzen Please send us your ideas via fax or email with the subject heading: “New Catalog Idea” fax: (323) 758-4071, email: info@fosterplaningmill.com.

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Profile spotlight #530 in sapele w/ some “Random” finishing tips

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Small and basic, this universal profile has the following dimensions: 5/8″ x 1″ and can be found on page 8 of our catalog. After speaking with Douglas from Random Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, it was apparent there are some classic, yet clever ways to work with our sapele wood, and its unique color. moncler outlet uk store He said we could share his information with our audience, so here goes: Rockler-Sam Maloof’s Poly Oil Finish is a forgiving product that leaves the wood looking beautiful. Simply rub on, let set for 24 hours and apply beeswax. mu legend zen for sale The next suggestions are based on classic chemical treatments, wherein safety equipment is a must (goggles, mask, gloves). mu legend zen Sweatshirt Ferrous sulfate comes in a dry powder and when mixed with water and applied to the wood with either a sponge or brush, it reacts and brings out a striking grayish color. mu legend zen Similarly, potassium dichromate reacts and brings out an eye-catching deep red.

Sapele wood – the popular alternative to mahogany & why Foster made the switch

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Genuine mahogany was once the premier imported wood species. adidas superstar Its primary growing region is in South America and, to a lesser degree, in Central America and small portions of Mexico. T-shirts tech short sleeve In November 2003, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) imposed stricter regulations on the trade of genuine mahogany, stating that when shipping this wood species, it must be accompanied by a CITES Appendix II permit. After the regulations were in effect, shipments from some areas, such as Brazil, halted, while supplies from Peru and Bolivia scarcely trickled in (supplies still being brought in from Guatemala and Mexico were available, but considered to be of lesser quality). Due to a lowered supply, the price of genuine mahogany doubled and what now was available had a reduced quality. High prices paired with low quality made most people back off from buying genuine mahogany at this stage, and in turn, the overall demand greatly declined. rucksack jack wolfskin perfect day Alternatives to genuine mahogany were quickly being sought out, and one popular candidate was a wood species called sapele (pronounced: suh-pee-lee). Sapele, also called sapele mahogany or scented mahogany, grows in large sections of western and central Africa, from Sierra Leone to Uganda, and south to Angola (this is one of the large canopy trees in the equatorial West African forest). Sapele is a bit harder than genuine mahogany, a little more crystalline in appearance, the sapwood is a white to pale yellow, and the reddish-brown heartwood resembles African mahogany. Cheap MU2 Legend Power Leveling When freshly cut, sapele has a spicy smell, which some compare to a “cedar-like” aroma. mu legend items online It also has characteristics that make it easy to work with, and is said to stain and polish with ease. Foster was one of the many establishments which had to adjust to the situation taking place with genuine mahogany several years back, and thereby searched for an equivalent substitute that we could stand by and be proud of. Ever since we made the switch to sapele and incorporated this wood species into our catalog, we have heard nothing but positive responses.