International Wood International Wood 2005 - Page 30

“We love just about everything about Honduran mahogany – its ease of workability, beauty, and durability.” CARTER LEE “We like the older moulding machines because they still accept the old square tooling heads. Unlike the newer cylin- drical heads, square heads can hold as many as eight or 10 knives in different combinations to cut different parts of a profile, giving you an infinite number of possibilities. “If I had a 10-inch crown to run for a historic duplication, some odd thing that was originally made in 1800, I’d have to commit a set of 10-inch knives on a newer moulder. This gets quite expensive for the extremely short runs we do, some as small as 20 lineal feet. Using a square head, though, we can blend different smaller knives together, altering only one or two of them to get a match for the profile. This makes it much easier and more cost effective to match an existing profile. Of course if it was originally made by Carter Lee, we’ve got records that go all the way back to 1873.” Carter Lee favors Honduran mahogany for its custom door orders, Welch says. “We love just about everything about it – its ease of work- ability, beauty, and durability. It’s perfect for our custom work, 50 percent of which is matching existing doors on historic and landmark buildings. Some of those doors were originally old-growth pine, poplar and fir, woods that just don’t exist anymore so it’s impossible to match them with the same species. We think Honduran mahogany is a perfect solution. When necessary we can stain them to match the existing doors, but often people who own these historically significant homes are required by architectural guidelines to paint at least the exterior of the door. We don’t usually know how the door will be finished, so we make them all out of the same grade of lumber and send them out ready for finishing. “We’ve done many entries where we mix wood species: Honduran mahogany on the exterior, and a completely dif- ferent wood on the inside, like knotty pine, oak, or poplar. We do this by making a staved core and using a thick veneer skin on each side.” When he isn’t matching existing doors, Welch says he’s bringing an architect’s vision to life. “They specify the exact 30 IMPORTED WOOD design they want, whether it’s straight, square and weird, or something that’s completely carved and exotic. “Doors made from Honduran mahogany are vastly superior in weather resistance to any other species,” says Welch. “If a customer wants a white oak door on the south side of a house that has no overhang, where it will be directly exposed to the weather, I’ll push hard for them to consider Honduran mahogany. I’ll stand my ground in that situation, and if they insist on oak we will not warranty the door. The CONTINUED ON PAGE 33