Road Trip to Pierce and Pterce (2/18/2012)

Today we were treated to a shop tour of Pierce and Pierce Architectural moldings by Scott Parr (managing partner) and some of his staff.  Pierce and Pierce makes hundreds of styles of stock moldings out of primarily 5 species of hardwoods.  The tour started with the area where incoming lumber is sorted and sawn to sizes for their stock moldings.  At this point, Scott disclosed to the audience that some of the wood has too much figure to be used for molding and is set aside until another use is found for it.  Many of the audience volunteered to help with his challenge.  It waits at this stage for orders to cut a molding profile into the stock in inventory.  The next stop on the tour was the tool room where molding knives are cut and maintained.  The machine floor was the next stop where there were many highly automated machines that would cut highly complex moldings in a single pass.  Of particular interest, was a CNC molding machine that cut all 4 sides of a complex 12" red oak crown molding in a single pass through the machine.  The tour finished up with a lengthy discussion of the operation of the custom shop where more traditional woodworking shop equipment is used to make custom doors, cabinets, and even furniture.  For one customer they even made some custom caskets. The conclusion of the tour was a visit to the custom shop's hardwood scrap pile where Scott turned the group loose to take what they wanted.  In a very few minutes, all that remained was saw dust.

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