Our Quality

It is probably impossible to completely eliminate movement in wood, but this may be approximated by chemical modification. This is the treatment of wood with chemicals to replace the hydroxyl groups with other hydrophobic functional groups of modifying agents (Stamm, 1964)

At KIEC we do not use chemical modifications! This is to ensure the completion of the product life cycle for disposal purposes.

Wood retains its hygroscopic characteristics after it is put into use. It is then subjected to fluctuating humidity, the dominant factor in determining its EMC. These fluctuations may be more or less cyclical, such as diurnal changes or annual seasonal changes. In order to minimize the changes in wood moisture content or the movement of wooden objects in service, wood is usually dried to a moisture content that is close to the average EMC conditions to which it will be exposed. These conditions vary for interior uses compared with exterior uses in a given geographic location....Since wood is a hygroscopic substance wood taken out of a kiln in Thailand can reabsorb moisture while here and during transport in the container. This can cause changes in the wood on some piece - Read Complete Article ©

A note on Natural Monkey Pod Wood

For Samanea saman (aka Rain Tree, Acacia, and others depending on the country of origin) the heart wood color ranges from light reddish beiges to dark reddish browns (sometimes with black swirls). Due to humidity, the wood ages in front of your eyes as small cracks appear in the grain over time depending on where you live. It's a little piece of life transported straight into your home. Direct sunlight can cause more checking on the ends (cracking), but simply rub in a natural clear wood oil to seal again and enjoy the beauty of the Monkey Pod wood!

Drying the products after Carving

First Stage

After hand carving, the rough products are brought to a solar oven where over a period of months they are brought down to below 30% MC (moisture content) as measured with non-invasive and invasive Delmhorst wood lumber meters.

Solar Oven loaded

Second Stage

If the items are needed before drying naturally below 11% MC in the solar ovens, they are then placed into a propane fired kiln where they're brought down in stages at varying temperatures to 20% MC and then again to below 10% MC. At the end of this stage we finish by raising the temperature high enough (80°-90°C or 176°-194°F) to insure that there are no parasites in the wood. Drying can be difficult as most of our designs have varying wall thickness. We “lose” a percentage of products in the process from structural stress cracks at this stage. However, it is better to happen here before the customer receives the product. We also use the "lost" wood for repairs so as not to waste anything

Kiln loading

Third Stage

After obtaining an internal MC of below 11%, we sand the product to smooth the rough carving into the desired shape. This is all done by eye so every piece is unique, sizes are not exact, and products are not perfectly square. The beauty of the completely unique piece can start to be seen at this time!

Invasive wood meter use

Fourth Stage

Now that we have exposed all of the natural and drying cracks and wood inclusions by rough sanding, we smooth and blend these areas. This is the finishing sanding stages. One group will finish sand the overall product, while another inspects and finish sands any inclusions, cracks, or marks by hand

Sanding and preperation for finishing application

Fifth Stage

At this stage the product goes through final Quality Controls, individually piece by piece, to discuss any corrections required with the finish sanders. Once approved the piece is assigned to an order for the required finish

 

Sixth Stage

Applying the oil is a time consuming art. Even though the wood has been sanded smooth with progressively finer sand paper the nature of the wood is to have cross hatched surfaces exposed at times. The oils are applied in three stages over the course of five to seven work days. Depending on the weather the oil has to absorb in and dry into the wood to build up a surface that can be buffed to a matte finish. We do not use any wood sealers or chemical bases so there can be dull and rough spots. This is keeping with our policy of creating an all natural piece that can complete the product life cycle and be safely disposed of into the earth from which it came

Finish being applied to products