Quality Custom Louvered Doors
Estate Millwork creates each custom louver door from your detailed specifications. We use premium materials, state of the art equipment, and an experienced, quality oriented staff to produce our doors. We follow each of the steps below to produce the finest louver doors on the market.
1. Hand Selection and Inspection of Materials
Our lumber procurement process is computer driven so that we are sure to be getting the best possible price on the highest quality materials. Once your order is "green-lighted" for production in our plant, the lumber demand is compared to our shop inventory and automatic replenishment orders are placed if necessary. When production begins on each custom door, the material is hand selected and the best of our high quality stock is used for the solid stiles of the doors. Louvers and rails are generally selected from the same lot of material to afford the best match, within the natural variation of hardwoods.
2. Precision Ripping of Rails and Stiles
We minimize the costs of our high quality products by maximizing the yield on the rough lumber. Once the lumber of the appropriate thickness has been selected, it is passed through our ripping department where a specialized gang rip saw is used to get the maximum yield from each board. Our operators are trained to reject defective materials either during the selection process or during the sawing process, as some defects are latent and are not visible until the board is "opened up".
3. Hand Jointing of All Louvered Door Components
The next step is to hand joint each rough sawn board to get a true flat edge, and to relieve any internal stress in the solid wood. This is a step that is skipped by many modern door manufactures, but one that we believe is so important that we honor the tradition. Our most skilled craftsmen in the plant are responsible for this function which requires judgement, precision and experience. Lower quality door manufacturers skip this step, or use particle cores and veneers to fake the look of a real door. But by hand jointing each board, we insure that every other step in the process is operating on a flat, smooth board, and that the door will remain stable for its lifetime.
4. Precision moulding of all door components
Once the rails and stiles have been ripped to width and jointed on one face, we process them through a 5 headed moulder which reduces the louvered door components (rails, stiles, louvers) to their final cross sectional dimensions and profiles. We offer 3 stock louver sizes, but can customize them to any other size or profile. Again, at this phase, parts are inspected for defects to make sure that the final piece meets our high standards
5. Precision CNC Machining of Mortises, Tenons and Louver Slots
Because we do not cut corners, we also use old fashioned, but time tested joinery. Our doors are held together with true mortise and tenon joints, rather than the cheaper, less time consuming and lower quality options of dowels, screws, or biscuits. Our mortise and tenon joints are so precise and tight fitting that gluing the doors is not even necessary, they hold themselves together. Our CNC eqiupment is accurate to .001 inch, and is automatically programmed by our advanced plant management system that monitors your order as it proceeds through each department. Our CNC operators are highly skilled and go through a year of specialized on the job training where they learn the safe operation of the equipment, and advanced techniques like radius and pattern machining.
6. Hand Assembly by Experienced Craftsmen
Once all of the louvered door parts are completely machined, they are pre-sanded and then hand assembled by a team of meticulous craftsmen. On fixed louver doors, the louvers are hand beveled and inserted into the deep seat louver mortises in the stiles, and then the entire door is clamped in a clamping system while the pegs are drilled into the tenons. Operable Louver doors are assembled in a similar fashion, where each louver is set in a nylon bushing for maximum life, and a custom louver rod is attached to the louvers to give trouble free, friction free operation for many years.
7. Machine Sanding to tolerance
Once the door has been completely assembled, it goes through our machine sanding department -- giant sanders big enough to sand garage doors are used for multiple passes to bring the surfaces to their final dimensions and grit. In most cases our doors are machine sanded to 150 which removes most visible roughness.
8. Hand Sanding.
The final step in our process is the hand sanding of the doors to break edges, and to finish sand areas that are not sanded by the machine process. Our finishers are the best in the business and during this phase, they carefully inspect the finished product and either prepare it for paint or stain, or carefully pack the door for shipment.