Factory Tour

EA Clore Factory Tour

Our Madison County factory (separate from our showroom) is the place where all the E. A. Clore Sons furniture-making magic happens. With its old-school time clock, worn wooden floors and local craftsmanship atmosphere, at any one time you might even find great-grandson Troy Coppage doing quality control on a kitchen chair or his father hand-crafting a chest of drawers. One thing you will not find in our factory, however, is low quality, mass-produced furniture. This photo factory tour offers a small taste of a typical day in the world of Clore furniture. The factory is not available for tours by the public, however.

Our factory in bucolic Madison County was re-built in 1930 after a fire. We proudly take “corner office views” to a whole new level.

These rough piles of newly delivered green wood are air-dried outside in the sun and fresh breeze for anywhere between a few months to over a year.

This same wood is then brought inside to our kiln, to undergo more drying until it reaches only 6 percent moisture.

All of our wood is separated by species (walnut, cherry, oak, mahogany) and thickness, then organized in specific areas where any department member can go and select what is needed.

This large plank of raw mahogany is ready to be transformed into a stunning dining room table.

We further sort all of our wood by size and cut length for easy access for chair legs, turn posts, and pedestals.

Stacks of posts for beds and other bed parts.

All Clore bed components are strategically placed according to bed type and size, with our signature curved sleigh bed pieces requiring the most careful of arrangements.

 

When we purchased this Italian-made lathe in the early 1990’s, it was the only one of its type in the United States. Used to turn bedposts, chair parts and table legs, wooden blanks are placed into the machine with one of the many classic and ageless patterns you see hanging on the wall behind. Some of these original Clore designs are more than 100 years old.

In existence for more than a thousand years, the lasting mortise and tenon joint we use in all our Clore pieces is both simple and strong. Drilling the mortise cavity for the tenon to fit into is an exacting skill.

Using traditional hide glue, board edges get a coating, are clamped in place and placed on the glue wheel overnight. When the boards are cured, they are removed and excess glue gets sanded away.

Our old-fashioned steam boiler is not only used for burning wastewood, but it also generates heat for the entire factory building during cold Virginia winter months, steam for the bending process and the kiln.

Carcasses of corner cabinets are put together with shelves in-place as an integral component of keeping these dining room and kitchen storage essentials together. This cabinet awaits its finish and doors.

This large sander is a perfect example of true Clore furniture-making artistry—with the need of a larger sander offering extended craftsman possibilities, but unable to locate anything like their vision, Clore woodworkers constructed their own.

Hand-planing is a crucial step for our vanities and dressers. This subtle detailing is one of many time-honored steps in every Clore piece.

Chair Foreman Roger Morris carefully sands a chair post.

This vintage saw is used to rip boards to size for various chair parts.

Chair rungs ready to be fitted into place.

Built on-site, this mortising machine cuts the slot on the chair posts. Hanging behind are forms used in bending the arms for our classic 92C rocker.

All chair slats are diligently sanded for a smooth finish and precision fit.

Chair slats lined-up by shape, size and species.

After our steam-bent arms are removed from their forms, they are prepped by gluing and sanding.

A large amount of handwork goes into every item we make. Here, our fireside bench gets sanded between each lacquer coat.

After inspection, Clore chairs are stacked and ready to be delivered.