Preparing the Pearwood - Part 1 of 5
Most of our brushes are made with pearwood handles. We chose pearwood because of the grain and fibers in the wood which are extremely fine. This makes the handles smooth without needing to lacquer them.
We try to avoid lacquer not only because of the chemicals that can be avoided but also because lacquer creates static when brushed against hair and beard.
The pearwood is harvested from Austria where it is grown in sustainable forests. All the wood we use is FSC certified. What that means is that it is grown in forests that managed responsibly and every tree cut is replanted. All FSC certificates are issued by independent inspectors who verify that the forest is being managed properly.
Pearwood arrives and is put to dry
The wood arrives on large pallets from the timber mill. Once it arrives it is measured for humidity content and stored under roofs. If the weather is warm it dries naturally and relatively fast. The reason there are no walls on the structures is to facilitate air flow which helps remove humidity.
In winter and when it rains a lot the wood needs might not dry fast enough just under the roof. In those cases the wood is moved to a drying tank. The structure is heated by recycling the air that is used to cool the machines in the factory - that air is channeled to the drying tank in order to speed up the drying process.
But accelerating the drying process also brings some challenges since the wood can warp so it needs to be managed carefully.
Once it is dry, it is cut
The circular saw runs pretty much all day. With a pneumatic lift, the operator can lift the large blocks of wood and cut them to the right thickness.
The first part cuts the wood into large strips, which are then planed top and bottom.
Wood blocks are ready for routing
The wood which is now in strips and planed (smoother than what the saw provides). Are now ready to go through the next machine which turns them into blocks.
This is the last step in preparing the wood before it goes to the handle making line.
Getting the wood ready and right is one of the most important steps to getting precise and durable beard brush handles.