Visits to Value-Added Wood Manufacturers on the Island

Posted by Rumin Mann
May 12th, 2010

Last week, BC Wood along with FPInnovations and CAWP went to Victoria to discuss the Business Innovation Partnership program and meet with value-added wood manufacturers.  I got a chance to visit Swifsure WoodWorkers, M-Time Developments, Vintage Woodworks, and Douglas Grant Cabinetmakers with Randi Walker from BC Wood and Brian Ehrecke from FPInnovations.

swiftsureThe first company I visited was Swiftsure Woodworkers in Victoria with Randi Walker and met with Peter McCutcheon, the President of Swiftsure Woodworkers.  Swiftsure Woodworkers designs and manufacturers cabinetry for fine homes in the greater Gulf Islands region of BC.  They have received multiple CARE awards and GEORGIE awards.  The CARE award recognizes the winning efforts of Vancouver Island’s professional builders, developers, architects, interior designers, and sales and marketing professionals.  The GEORGIE award by the Canadian Home Builders Association of BC recognizes excellence in home building.  We also got a chance to check out the shop and see a CNC machine at work.  This was the first time I saw a CNC machine at work and I was amazed.

Peter also mentioned they employ Joiner and Carpenter Apprentices from Vancouver Island University’s apprenticeship program.  This is a great way to get hardworking and enthusiastic workers, and help develop the skill of the next generation of craftsmen.  I do encourage all of the value-added wood products manufacturers to follow Peter’s footsteps in employing BC apprentices.

For more information on Swiftsure Woodworkers, please visit their website: www.swiftsurewoodworkers.com.

The next morning, I met with Dave Miller of M-Time Developments with Brian Ehrecke. They produce a number of different value-added wood products including panel wall homes. Their goal is to operate an ecologically and socially responsible milling operation which purchases the bulk of its logs from local, sustainably managed (and certified) sources. Dave talked to us about some interesting projects he has worked on and is currently working on.  I don’t think I have ever met someone so enthusiastic and passionate about what they do as Dave Miller is.  It was great meeting someone with so much enthusiasm.

For more information on M-Time Developments, please visit their website: www.m-timedevelopments.com.  Also be sure to check out Dave’s new website: www.bamfield-millworks.com.

imgReglazingWindowI then visited Vintage Woodworks with Brian Ehrecke which is located in what used to be a hotel decades ago.  Vintage Wookworks is BC’s heritage millwork supplier.  They specialize in providing restorations and restoration products for historic windows, doors, moulding, and brackets.  Brian has been working on a technical project through the Business Innovation Partnership program with Vintage.  I got a chance to go on a shop tour and see all of the different machines they use for producing different products.  The most interesting part was seeing all of the improvements that were made through the project.

For more information on Vintage Woodworks, please visit their website: www.vintagewoodworks.ca.

douglas grantThe last company I visited was Douglas Grant Cabinetmakers in Victoria with Brian Ehrecke.  This is another company located in a unique building.  Douglas Grant Cabinetmakers provides quality finished kitchens, bathrooms, built-in furniture, and more.  Douglas gave us a tour of his shop and showed us a gorgeous cabinet he was working on that showcased his attention to detail.

For more information on Douglas Grant Cabinetmakers, please visit their website: www.douglasgrantcabinetmakers.com.

I want to thank all of these companies for their time and interesting stories.  I also want to thank Randi and Brian for taking me with them to visit the companies.  I learned a lot about the value-added wood products industry look forward to meeting more companies!

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