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Wood Castle Furniture Enhances Operation with Wood-Mizer WM4000
The WM4000 gives Oregon company ability to turn logs into high quality furniture while increasing customization and efficiency for their business.
By Chase Warner
Date Posted: 8/1/2014
Beginning as a big dream in a small Oregon garage, Wood Castle Furniture has grown into a thriving business providing handcrafted hardwood furniture for clients across North America. Established in 1978 by Ron and Shirley Loe, Wood Castle Furniture was built with an emphasis on quality craftsmanship – a Loe family woodworking tradition for 1,000 years. Today, the company operates with a Wood-Mizer WM4000 headrig, giving them the ability to turn logs into high quality furniture while increasing customization and efficiency for their business.
When the furniture market in the 1970s was transitioning to low quality particle board and composite products, Wood Castle Furniture Founder and President, Ron Loe, saw an opportunity to provide an alternative to the trend. Ron focused on a long family tradition of Norwegian and American craftsmanship and began producing quality hardwood furniture designed to last a lifetime. “For centuries upon centuries, our family has had a tradition of building quality products and long-lasting furniture,” Ron said. “We believe that furniture should be built to last in families for 100 years.” By positioning this high standard of craftsmanship as the foundation of his business, Ron continued to grow Wood Castle Furniture into the operation it is today with 50 dealer locations across the United States and Canada.
The Albany, Oregon based Wood Castle Furniture manufactures dressers, chests, mirrors, bed frames, night stands and occasional tables for high-end retail stores, hotels, resorts, banks and universities. For many years, Wood Castle was buying raw material from large corporate lumber companies because it was customary in the furniture industry. Ron realized that in a highly competitive market, he needed to look at new, unique ways of building furniture to stay ahead of the competition. “In order to survive and prosper, we must be more efficient and creative in improving our business,” he said. Ron decided to invest in a Wood-Mizer system which includes a WM4000 headrig, Green Chain, and Three Way Conveyor, which gave them the ability to cut their own local hardwoods into usable lumber for furniture products. “The WM4000 allows us to cut for furniture grades including figured and quarter sawn woods versus lumber cut for production only by lumber companies,” Ron said.
By milling their own high grade and specialty lumber on location, rather than purchasing it from a commercial lumber yard, Wood Castle is improving efficiency, customization, and saving on material costs for their business. The ability to cut lumber to specifications traditional lumber operations will not provide, allows Wood Castle to introduce new wood products to the furniture market. “The Wood-Mizer gives us the ability to create new niche products and provides security for times when custom lumber needs are not available by current [lumber] vendors,” Ron said. “The market requires successful companies to be more nimble and creative in our R&D designs and products, something the WM4000 does nicely.”
Wood Castle is also utilizing a very strong sustainable forest resource in Oregon with the ability to use logs that wouldn’t be accepted by production lumber companies. “The WM4000 enables us to be as efficient as possible in utilizing our local, sustainable hardwoods,” Ron said. “Our customers are becoming more aware of the supply line and efficient use of resources and rewarding companies who respond accordingly.”
By investing in Wood-Mizer industrial equipment, Ron Loe and family are keeping up with demand for high quality furniture and have positioned Wood Castle Furniture for continued growth and success in the industry.