Deep-rooted component producer adapts to changing markets
August 1, 2019 | 5:25 pm UTC

Taylor Brothers Manufacturing’s roots run deep in northeastern Georgia, but the company has done well by adapting to changing markets and conditions.

Jeff Taylor said the Toccoa, Georgia, company’s work tends to be more custom and in smaller runs, instead of the large-run components that may be imported.

They specialize in architectural millwork and custom glued-up panels, and make architectural interior and exterior components, lineal wood mouldings, fingerjoint stock and mouldings, primed mouldings, do some assembly of components, and provide cabinet doors, jambs and entry doors. 

“We have always been diversified in our millwork, changing and adding machines to do a very wide variety of wood components,” Taylor said.

Lineal wood mouldings, fingerjoint stock and mouldings, and primed mouldings are specialties for the Georgia millwork producer.

Customers are companies that make that architectural millwork, furniture, cabinets, shutters, and windows. Poplar is the most-used species, then maple, sapele, oaks, cypress, basswood, and many others used in lesser amounts.

Taylor said that the company used to serve furniture manufacturers in the area, but now the focus is more on architectural millwork, with components produced in Toccoa winding up in hotels, private schools, court houses, churches, restaurants, custom homes and mobile homes.

Toccoa was a major furniture and casket manufacturing center at one time. The former Trogdon Furniture Co., was nearby, and Habersham is active today as a furniture and cabinet manufacturer. Also in Toccoa is Osborne Wood Products, Inc., a maker of wood table legs, corbels, mouldings and other wood components.

Taylor said that window shutters also used to be a large part of the business. A large customer moved all that business to China, but then returned to Taylor Brothers when the quality of imported shutters was not adequate. Then a new owner bought that company – and the shutter business went back to China.

They are also ready for unexpected markets. A current customer makes beehives, and Taylor manufactures pine components and assembles them with galvanized steel.

Lumber for the fingerjoint process is gang ripped and fed into the computer programed optimizer to cut out the knots and other defects.

Deep roots

Taylor family roots run deep in the area. Jeff Taylor’s great grandfather, a Confederate Army veteran, owned land in the area, ran a steam-powered mill and made wood products. Taylor’s grandparents and parents were also involved in chair and casket manufacturing and his sister now makes hand-crafted wood caskets.

Jeff and brother Kenny started this company in 1991. Kenny was a tool and die maker, and this is still his specialty. They are a third generation manufacturing family, and currently Jeff’s son Jacob represents the fourth generation. He now runs the plant and oversees production from beginning to end of processes. There are 14 employees total. A photo album details the company’s expansions and construction of their current building.

Taylor Brothers Manufacturing does all of their machine tooling in house prior to setting up machines, with a complete tooling department for the cutter knives.

Making mouldings and components

The company has a warehouse to house lumber that is brought in for stock to pull from depending on what the customers need.

“We bring kiln-dried lumber into our 12,000 square foot warehouse, then send bundles to our gang rip area for dimensioning the widths needed for the job,” Jeff Taylor said.

“If we are cutting a lower grade lumber for our fingerjoint process we will grade this lumber after being gang ripped to feed into our computer programed optimizer to cut out the knots and other defects”

“If we are cutting high grade lumber that may be moulding blanks, it is moved to either of our two moulders. One is a high-speed long-run jointed machine and the other is a short-run computer setup machine. We sometimes will have to split the lumber after gang ripping it so we can do that with a thin kerf band saw. Other saws that we use in our lumber preparation include a straight line rip, vertical band, and a sliding panel.

Taylor Brothers Manufacturing also offers a large selection of glued up panels that are glued by a clamp carrier that will handle 16 foot lengths and also RF gluing systems. They use a 42-inch planer-sander, and a 52-inch sander for cleaning up the panels after they are glued up for a smooth finish. Panels that are larger than this are built in sections and hand-built, with finish sanding by palm or belt sanders.

CNC machines can cut out a wide variety of parts and components for special use or to produce items in volume for customers.

The brothers started out with Wadkin moulder equipment, along with a resaw bandsaw. They bought a Weinig Hydromat moulder in 1993, and a Newman Whitney KF-24 gang rip saw. In 2000 they added Cemco widebelt sanders, and an Altendorf F90 saw.

They have a Cemco 52-inch widebelt sander, and a Shoda CNC router. Also here is a Doucet clamp carrier, and an older L&L Machinery Glu-All RF gluing machine for gluing panels. They also added a Weinig Powermat that Taylor said could handle 25 setups in a day if tooling is available.

Taylor Brothers Manufacturing also does all of their machine tooling in house prior to setting up machines, with a complete tooling department for the cutter knives, as well as CAD drawings, and templates produced for a no waiting process to produce lineal profiles quickly for customers.

The company also has prime lines for priming and sanding profiles once they come off of one of the moulders. They use a Makor UV finishing system for priming and spray lines for lacquer and water-based coatings when required by customers. About half of their products are finished, and they do some assembly but mostly sell individual components.

“We cross train our employees so that they can move from machine to machine to operate and work together to be more effective,” Jeff Taylor said. “We have been green with our waste since we opened our plant in 1991, selling our sawdust and shavings to companies that pick up and deliver them into poultry houses.” (Nearby Gainesville is a center of poultry activity.)

Jacob Taylor, left, represents the fourth generation of the family and is running most of the operations and is looking at new opportunities to grow and expand, along with Jeff Taylor, right.

The company has focused on making better quality products, with quicker turnaround time in production, less waste, and more control of the entire process.

For the future, Jeff Taylor said an expansion is planned. “We are looking at expanding the plant to better handle current and future production needs,” he said. “We have some younger blood (Jacob) running most of the operations now and are looking at new opportunities to grow and expand.”

“There’s still a need for the short-run product,” Taylor said. “The long-run product is seeking the lowest price. We’re able to provide that work today while raw material costs have gone up. I see a lot of potential for growth in architectural and custom work.”

Future plans for Jacob Taylor include exploring end-use products rather than supplying components to other companies. Also, Jacob has a 13-year-old son, Aiden, who may enter the business. By that time the customer mix may be different.

A goal is to seek opportunities for the company to make end-use products. “We want to have our own product,” Jeff Taylor said.



Taylor Brothers Manufacturing

Toccoa, Georgia

Architectural millwork, mouldings, panels and components

Employees: 14

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Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at [email protected]