In addition to understanding the basic steps required for running millwork and the need for value engineering in designing millwork, achieving premium millwork requires quality cuts from a truly top-notch millwork operation. No matter how top-grade your lumber is, it can be absolutely ruined if the cutting isn’t pristine. Because of the highly visible nature of millwork, tool marks can create unsightly distractions from an otherwise beautiful piece of wood. There is simply no substitute for quality machining, when it comes to millwork.
Meeting Standard Requirements
Here at J. Gibson McIlvain, we get a bit obsessive about the details; we know that board support, blades, and feed rate have to be precisely just right to create the kind of millwork to which we’ll want to attach our name — and to which you’ll want to attach yours.
According to the certification standards set by the AWI (The Architectural Woodwork Institute), the current standard maximum number of knife marks allowed per inch is 21-22. The number of these little parallel lines certainly denotes the level of quality, and the 21-22 knife-mark standard limit can usually be met by the typical thickness planer, without any tweaking.
If we are able to get only 13-15 knife marks per inch, our Millwork Supervisor is still far from satisfied. Why? Even though the board may look and feel fine, once finish is applied, that number of knife marks per inch will still become readily apparent. After installation, each knife mark will reflect light and cause a disruption to the fluid lines of your design — which is precisely why we’re not content to meet typical standards.
Initially, we reset our machines by manufacturer standards. With the default settings, we can usually achieve about 18 knife marks per inch — not quite what we’re aiming for. To decrease the number of knife marks per inch, there are many adjustments we need to make. We may need to change the tracer’s height or the knife’s bevel angle (and we know we’ll have to regroup each time we change species.)
After a series of adjustments and fine-tuning, the same planer becomes capable of perfectly smooth moulding runs with absolutely zero knife marks marring the beauty of your millwork. With no knife marks interrupting the light as it spills across the length of the run, the beauty of the wood itself and your pristine design is allowed to shine through.
We know that as a builder, you carefully design and install your millwork. You deserve quality millwork that complements your own attention to detail. While we’re committed to helping you value engineer your moulding order and can even create a custom molding profile for your next project, our passion is quality control, in every area of our business. Whether your project requires custom millwork, hardwoods, softwoods, or even plywood, we want to earn your business because of the value that our lumber and expertise adds to your business.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
Since 1798, when Hugh McIlvain established a lumber business near Philadelphia, the McIlvain family has been immersed in the premium import and domestic lumber industry. With its headquarters located just outside of Baltimore, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods.
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian museums.
For more information on J. Gibson McIlvain’s lumber products and services, call Monday-Friday toll free (800) 638-9100 to speak with one of their representatives.