It all began in a garage in Cedar Falls, IA. At that time Rovan wasn’t even a furniture company yet - it was a custom drum company. Tinkering and experimenting with drum shells is what ultimately brought Andy to woodworking and furniture building. After taking a job restoring antique furniture in Saint Paul, then spending time studying woodworking and working in an unheated woodshop outside of Boulder, Andy came back to the Twin Cities in 2013 to lay down the roots for Rovan Hand Crafted Furniture. Every day since then, Andy has focused on providing custom pieces for commercial spaces, watering holes, and residential heirlooms.
Q: Tell us about the type of work Rovan creates.
A: We build one-of-a-kind, custom made furniture. Everything is built with a unique style and aesthetic for both commercial and residential environments. We really never build the same thing twice which makes every day and every project really interesting and fun. We've created pieces for yoga studios, coffee shops, breweries, museums... and also a lot of custom pieces for residential spaces.
Q: What is the best part of being a wood worker?
A: The satisfaction of being able to build something and at the end of the day, seeing the physical progress of a dining table or chair coming to life. It’s instant satisfaction daily. Working with my hands and being active all day – it’s the best.
Q: What activities in your work require you to wear a dust mask?
A: One aspect of my work that requires wearing a dust mask is sanding reclaimed wood. It is a species of wood that kicks up a ton of nasty dust and dirt that is caked into the wood – definitely things you don’t want to breathe in. Ripping wood on a table saw is another time I must wear a dust mask because there is so much dust kicking up right into my face. Of course you should always wear a mask when sanding, even if you can’t physically see the dust - I guarantee the tiny pieces of dust are there.
Q: How do you like the RZ Mask compared to any other mask you have tried?
A: I really like the M1 Neoprene mask as it fits very comfortably on my face. I don’t feel like my breathing is restricted at all like I do with some of the other masks I have tried and my glasses didn't fog up! The RZ Mask is a mask that I can wear all day and forget I even have it on.
Q: What are your Top 5 Tools
A: 1. Time Savers/ Wide Belt Sander - acquiring this tool is a huge milestone and allows us to flatten table tops and expedite the sanding process.
2. Saw Stop Table Saw - the daily workhorse, not a day goes by without turning on this saw and making dust.
3. Festool Track Saw - for obscure and unique cuts that the table saw otherwise cannot accomplish.
4. Mini Ball Peen Hammer - its amazing how often we find a use for a ball peen hammer in a woodshop. We often pull this special tool out to peen the end of a tiny brass rod on some custom drawer pull for a credenza or bookcase.
5. The Ping Pong Table - which doubles as a workbench, but it is important to play the occasional ping pong game to refresh the mind and laugh with my shop buds.
Q: What is one of your most memorable projects?
A: About 2-3 years ago we built the furniture in the museum lobby of the Minnesota Museum of American Art. It was a very rewarding project because we worked with some prestigious architects and got to build furniture to very specific drawings they provided. It was a HUGE challenge but with help from other specialists who worked on the brass or metal or glass work, we were able to create some really beautiful pieces. It was about a five month project and when it was done, we were able to go visit the pieces and watch people interact with the work we did.
Q: If you had a daily mantra, what would it be?
A: Work your butt off and get as much done as you can, and what’s done is done. There’s always tomorrow for more. I have to remind myself of that every day that I don’t need to get every single thing done in one day.
The Importance of the new RZ M3 Mask -
Enhanced Safety in Woodworking with RZ M3 Mask
Woodworking is a rewarding and creative hobby that allows individuals to craft functional and aesthetic pieces from raw wood. While it brings immense satisfaction, it also comes with its fair share of safety concerns, especially when it comes to respiratory health. This is where the RZ M3 mask steps in, significantly enhancing safety in woodworking projects.
Dust and Woodworking:
Woodworking often involves tasks like cutting, sanding, and shaping wood, which can generate a substantial amount of fine dust particles. These airborne particles can pose serious health risks when inhaled. Wood dust can irritate the respiratory system, leading to discomfort and potentially severe conditions over time.
Respiratory Health Protection:
The RZ M3 mask is designed to prioritize the safety and well-being of woodworkers by providing essential respiratory protection. Here's why wearing the RZ M3 mask is a game-changer for any wood project:
High Filtration Efficiency: The RZ M3 mask boasts a remarkable 99% filtration efficiency, capturing particles as small as 0.1 micron. This level of filtration is crucial for trapping wood dust effectively, preventing it from entering the wearer's lungs.
Comfortable Fit: Woodworking projects can be time-consuming, requiring prolonged mask wear. The RZ M3 mask offers a secure and comfortable fit that ensures it stays in place during the entire project, eliminating the need for constant adjustments.
Breathability: Woodworkers often engage in physically demanding tasks like sawing and sanding. The RZ M3 mask prioritizes breathability, allowing users to breathe comfortably even during strenuous activities, thanks to its innovative design.
No Fogging: Many woodworkers wear safety glasses or goggles for eye protection. The RZ M3's no-fog design ensures that eyewear remains clear and free from condensation, promoting better visibility and safety.
Versatility: Woodworking projects can vary widely in scope and complexity. The RZ M3 mask is versatile, accommodating different woodworking tasks, from intricate detail work to heavy-duty sanding or cutting.
Protection Beyond Dust:
While wood dust is a primary concern in woodworking, the RZ M3 mask offers protection beyond dust particles. It also guards against other potentially harmful elements like varnish or paint fumes, depending on the project. This versatility ensures that woodworkers can confidently tackle a wide range of tasks without compromising their health.
Conclusion: Empowering Woodworkers with Safety:
In conclusion, woodworking is a deeply satisfying craft, but it comes with inherent risks to respiratory health due to the generation of wood dust and potential exposure to fumes from finishes and paints. The RZ M3 mask is a valuable addition to any woodworker's toolkit, enhancing safety and enabling a healthier working environment.
With its exceptional filtration efficiency, comfortable fit, breathability, and no-fog design, the RZ M3 mask empowers woodworkers to pursue their passion with peace of mind. It's a tool that allows individuals to breathe easy, figuratively as they express their creativity through woodworking and literally as they protect their lungs from potential hazards.
The RZ M3 mask is not just an accessory; it's an essential partner in any woodworking project. It's a symbol of empowerment, allowing woodworkers to focus on their craft while the mask takes care of their well-being. In the world of woodworking, where precision and attention to detail are paramount, the RZ M3 mask adds another layer of precision – precision in protecting one's health. So, whether you're crafting a masterpiece or embarking on a simple DIY project, remember that with the RZ M3 mask, safety is always at the forefront, making every wood project safer and more enjoyable.
Visit Rovan Handcrafted Furniture to see more of their work or to commission your own piece!