The wood that is used grows on the distant hills in Germany. The timber that is used is both the tall, slim trees whose crowns tower high and mighty and the stout, knotty varieties. Many decades pass to make the trunks tall and thick before they are used. Then the tractors drag them to the lumberyard. At last they are shaped into the beloved nutcrackers.
The hands of the old experienced craftsmen guide the work piece to the high speed-milling cutter. Many machines are needed to produce such wonderfully detailed parts. Precision machines are used to make slots and curves. Special planes are used to straighten and thicken boards. It is during the shaping process that dovetailing form milling and drilling is preformed. As all this occurs the shaped pieces begin to be glued together under pressure in carpenters vices and are prepared for further processing.
Hand- Turning is an ancient craft that is second nature to the craftsmen at Steinbach. It is a truly fascinating event to watch as just in one turn of the hand a wooden nutcracker begins to form. It takes long practice and persistent application to form all of those nice, cleanly cut parts. All of the parts are done by hand meaning there are no jigs or patterns. It is almost second nature to these highly gifted craftsmen.
Automatic Lathes are complicated pieces of machinery that the technicians are quite skilled in. These machines allow mass output of turned parts that flow out of the delivery end. Piece by piece they drop into a receiving box and pass through the receiving drums. But don’t be fooled this process is not as simple as it sounds. They require a wide experience and knowledge to service and adjust the modern automatic wood turning machines.
Polishing and Drilling:
At the factory power drills and polishing wheels are constantly humming as the shaped pieces pass from hand to hand. It is here that the nutcrackers are glued and pegged together. They all take shape under the expert hands of one of the trained polishers. There are so many tiny parts here that it not only takes precision but also a natural gift.
Priming and Spraying:
Priming and Spraying is a special process on which the quality greatly depends on the output. Only the most experienced craftsmen do this work. This process gives the products a smooth white grounding by repeating a procedure of dipping and spraying alternated with drying.
Have you ever wondered how Steinbach’s work seems so alive? Well it is the detailed, rich work done by the turners and woodcarvers that gives the nutcrackers the finishing touch.
The painting department is the home of vibrant colors and of great artists. All of the painting is done freehand making every brush stroke count. Painting is a long process because each color must dry before the next layer can be applied.
The next and last step in making a wooden nutcracker is the shipping of the nutcrackers. The shipping clerks have their work cut out for them as they deal with the multitude of forms and documents. The packers are well trained to make sure each of the products completes their journey in wonderful condition.