From Lumberyard to Millwork Shop â Woodworking Metamorphoses
For the past 56 years, a family-owned West Palm Beach shop has continually changed itself to keep on top of the industry.
By Lisa Whitcomb
Blumer & Stanton Inc.
West Palm Beach, FL
Year Founded: 1946
FYI #1: AWI member since 1954. Two of the three co-owners have served in the past as the Florida Chapter president. Marcille served from 1994 to 1995 and Roger served from 1999 to 2001.
Originally a lumberyard, Blumer & Stanton Inc. was founded in 1946 by the current ownersâ familial predecessors. However, the lumber business was not as lucrative after WWII as the owners at the time would have liked, so they decided to broaden their prospective client base by âputting a sign out frontâ to do millwork. The decision proved to be wise, and the West Palm Beach, FL, company has been growing ever since.
In 1947, the shop began fabricating doors and windows. By 1949, after purchasing the necessary equipment, it began to manufacture custom millwork and mouldings as well. âDemand established a customer base here, because the shop could do work that no one else was doing for the high-end residences around here. This was important because the clientele of Palm Beach and Jupiter Island wanted to have something very specialized and very customized for their homes,â Roger Stanton says. He adds that this still is the case. âWe are grateful for that, too. It keeps businesses like ours going and wood from being replaced by plastic and polyurethane types of products that can be purchased [for the home].â
Today, after buying the business from their father (who purchased it from his father, uncle and grandfather before him), the shopâs owners, Roger Stanton, his brother, Bill and their sister Marcille, still cater to high-end architectural millwork clients. Roger is the companyâs comptroller, while Bill is the shop foreman and Marcille is the chief estimator.
Shop Grows with Machinery & New Services
Approximately 20 percent of the companyâs business is commercial and 80 percent is residential, with 65 percent in remodels and restorations. Like most architectural woodworking shops, Blumer & Stanton runs the traditional gamut of doors, windows, columns, pediments and more through its machines. But the shop prides itself in its specialty, which is creating custom moulding profiles, matching existing profiles, and other types of radius moulding work.
|The millwork in this bedroom was fabricated from white oak, which was pickled. Arched openings and other radius trim including multi-pierce interior cornices, circlehead doors and concave wall panels were used throughout.|
âPalm Beach and Jupiter Island projects are always interesting to work on, because they are older and larger residences that are historical landmarks,â says Roger Stanton. â[Jobs like these] give us a chance to stretch our legs with our ability to match existing moulding profiles. It is a real asset to us to be able to offer that service.â
The owners decided last year to purchase a Northwood CNC router from Stiles Machinery with a special moulding head and AlphaCam software to increase the production capabilities in these specialty areas. This is in addition to numerous machines already in use at the shop. âMost of them are quite old, but they are heavy-duty and still quite sturdy,â says Bill Stanton. âAll they need is to be oiled and have bearings replaced on occasion. You just canât buy heavy-duty equipment like that anymore.â Among the many pieces are two Wadkin moulders â an XJ and a custom-built high-speed model, two Ogam gang ripsaws, a Joe Hill dust collection system, and a new E-Line three-head, 54-inch sander from BÃÂ¼tfering.
âOwning the Northwood has opened a lot of doors for us. It has also reduced the amount of time that we need to run our shapers, which is safer for the [men in the shop],â Roger Stanton says. âBecause of the risk of injury involved while running a shaper, we could only have the highly-skilled tradesmen run them. But with the new CNC, we can train someone who has a basic understanding of wood properties to run it,â he adds.
Blumer & Stanton grinds all of its own knives for the CNC. This allows the shop to produce interior and exterior millwork for radiused casings and mouldings for curved walls faster, in addition to other custom moulding profiles, baseboards, arches, circlehead and elliptical openings.
âRadius work used to be cyclical, but it has come back strong and sta
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