Hello Flags Forever Customers, Friends and Followers! Cara Dale here to pick up where we left off in our previous article Flags Forever Flag Building Process Part 1.
In our previous article, we discussed how our materials are sourced and selected, how we cut, hand sand, and torch each piece of wood, and finally how we hand stain and wipe each piece of finished wood for that perfect look and feel.
In today's post we'll talk about the assembly process, the carving process and finally the detail and finishing process. So...without any further adieu here we go!
Once our new flag is stained and dries for 24 hours (we let each product dry 24 hours to ensure that the stain is set in the wood and will not peel away during assembly) we start putting all of the pieces together!
The finished wood strips are put on a special table that allows us to make sure they are properly aligned, and that they are compressed together to form a tight fit. Each piece is glued to the next piece and then we use 4 vertical braces to tie all of the bars together to form the body of the flag.
Once the body of the flag is tightly assembled, we use compressed air to remove any dust particles or left over wood debris. Now we are ready to carve the union and the body of the flag.
We now load the flag onto our CNC router, we use a Shapeoko 3XXL to carve most of our items. We also have several hand carving tools as some of our customers prefer a hand carved finish.
Prior to the assembled flag being placed on the CNC machine, our CNC operator will upload the proper files that correspond with the particular flag we are making.
At this point, we begin the CNC process, This process can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the complexity of the design. The CNC operator watches the carve closely to make sure that everything is operating correctly and that the carve looks as it should.
At the conclusion of the carving process, we remove the flag, and once again used compressed air to remove any sawdust or wood particles.
We are definitely getting close to a finished product, but it's not quite done yet....
right after the flag is removed from the CNC we put it on a detailing table Here we check to make sure that everything looks great, we usually sand a few spots here and there, we will torch the ends of the brace boards and check many other components to ensure the flag is in tip top shape before the next step.
Now it's time to put a protective coat of Polyurethane on this new flag. We use Minwax Helmsman for each of our products. We find Helmsman holds up best in the elements and will keep the flags looking good for years to come. (We do recommend that if our customers are keeping their flag outdoors directly in the elements that they spray the flag once a season to always keep it looking new.)
The process of adding the polyurethane must be completed outside. We bring each flag to a covered outdoor spray booth and apply 3 coats of Helmsman to each flad about three hours apart. We find that the three coats lasts for years and is the best way to protect the wood and keep the flag from fading.
At this point there are only 2 more steps.
1. We attached a heavy duty hanging wire using wood screws and washers, the wire we use is rated to hold 5X the weight of the flag and will keep your flag safely in place.
2. FInal inspection. We visually inspect each product to make sure it meets our criteria for color saturation, quality of the carve and overall appearance.
Well there you have it! At Flags Forever we take our time to make sure that every product we make will last a lifetime and that you'll be happy with your purchase for years to come! I hope you enjoyed learning more about our flag building process, we're always looking for ways to improve our products. We would love to hear your feedback, comments and suggestions, so drop us a line or post a comment. Oh yeah, one more thing.. While you here, why don't you check out our online store, filled with beautiful handmade flags and signs, military stickers and cool Thin Blue Line Hats and Mugs, you may just find something you love!