Since 1993, the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, has been educating a wide range of woodworkers from beginners to professionals. A key part of that program is finishing, and the school has been able to augment its professional program with the addition of new spray booths from Global Finishing Solutions.

For about 10 years, the school used an open-face paint booth from GFS, but with an expansion of the program, the school has enlarged its finishing operation with more dedicated space, better facilities and more educational opportunities.
“Finishing is a critical component of furniture making and a critical consideration in furniture design,” Korn told GFS. “Yet, prior to the construction of our new finishing facility, the Center’s instruction in spray finishing was necessarily limited to a two-week summer workshop taught by Teri Masaschi and a one-week session for students in the Center’s flagship professional-training course, the Nine-month Comprehensive.”
From hand to spray
Going back even farther in the school’s history, before they obtained their first booth, processes were strictly manual.
“Prior to the arrival of our original GFS booth, all finishes at the Center were hand-applied – oil/varnish mixtures, shellac, or varnish,” Korn said. “Having a booth meant that we could offer instruction in the full range of finishes that a skilled furniture maker wants at his or her disposal, including water-based and solvent-based lacquers, catalyzed and non-catalyzed finishes, spray stains, and pigmented coatings.”
Korn added that the improvement is especially important for profession-track students because spray finishing offers advantages of speed, quality, control of appearance, and durability.
Part of expansion
Addition of the two new GFS spray booths is part of all new Finishing Studio at the school. That was one facet of a 1,420-square-foot addition to the previous 832-square-foot woodturning studio. The turning studio was enlarged from 832 square feet to 1,288 square feet. The new Finishing Studio takes up a full 964 square feet of the building.
Impetus for the finishing expansion came from cramped quarters. The old booth was located between a dust collection system and a lumber storage rack. Korn said that had been the only space available when the first booth was acquired, but it wasn’t the best situation.
“Not only was dust an issue,” Korn said, “but every time we wanted to spray we had to shut down the adjacent machine room. This greatly limited the extent to which we could incorporate spray finishing into our curriculum.”
Cramped conditions in the woodturning area also limited the scope and duration of turning courses the school could offer, so the expansion of the building benefited both finishing and woodturning programs.
More finishing opportunities
Korn said the new two-booth spray finishing setup offers many benefits for the school and its students.
“Students in our current finishing courses will have a better educational experience,” he said. “With two booths operating at once, the amount of hands-on spray finishing experience per student will double.”
Furthermore, Korn said the expansion offers more options to the wider woodworking program as students in both the furniture making and turning courses now have spray finishing as a dependable option to complete their projects.
Looking ahead, the expansion of the facility with two spray booths makes possible adding a 12-week intensive course in professional finishing. “We believe that this training will be much needed, as there is nothing similar available at present to aspiring finishers,” said Korn.

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