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Fabric Spreading Table

One of the nice things about Folkcraft is the history. There's a history of fine players of course, but there's also a history of tool and jig making. Since we started making instruments in 1968, we have built quite a collection of shop-made tools, many of which we use daily. Some are fancy power tools, others are intricate fixtures used for specific, repetitive jobs.
With that in mind, here's a photo of my van with the load of particle board and dimensioned lumber that I picked up at the local hardware store. Next step - build a table.

van full of lumberLots of lumber to make a single table!

Now that we're making instrument cases in-house, one of the fixtures we've been needing is a table for spreading and cutting fabric. I bought the actual spreading tool a few weeks ago, and now we're making a table to support it. The table is going to be 70 inches (just shy of 6 feet) wide, and 16 feet long. This is a huge table. And with Bruce's design, it will take a LOT of material to build.

Level base cutting tableMake the base, make sure it's level

This table, along with the spreading and cutting tools, should be in use for decades. I sure won't want to move it (1500+ pounds of materials just to get started!).

table under constructionMake and install the shelving

I'm trying to keep things going forward - Howard Rugg (founder of FolkRoots, 1968) and David Marks (founder of Folkcraft, 1973 and owner of FolkRoots starting in 1989) never sat still and accepted the status quo - they were always working on improving the company. There's a tremendous legacy, but Folkcraft Instruments will continue to thrive only by building on the legacy, not coasting along.

assembled fabric spreading tableInstall the top, position the fabric spreader, install the guide track

Adding a case department is a huge undertaking - equipment, materials, staff. Just the learning curve (working with polyester is NOT the same as working with walnut!) is tremendous. It is a whole new set of suppliers, and really, a whole new language for us.

spreader installedInstall the fabric spreader and make sure it rolls (it does, by the way)

There's always something happening around the Folkcraft shop. It has been that way for 47 years now. Nothing stands still...

fabric cutting toolReady to start cutting some fabric.

Thanks for reading!

Richard Ash