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Door maker quick delivers quality products.

Quality, flexibility and commitment to service is the multi-faceted theme of Ohio Valley Door Corp. This 20-year-old New Albany, Ind., company offers four standard doors and numerous custom-made doors including dutch doors, lead-lined doors and wicket doors, as well as architectural paneling.

"We're still a small, family-owned company," said Devin Light, production manager for Ohio Valley Door, "but we can manufacture any type of door to meet our customers' specifications. The doors are available pre-fit, pre-machined and prefinished."

Producing work that meets customer quality expectations is made all the more challenging by the need to deliver them on time. Fortunately, Ohio Valley Door gets a little help from its friends.

"Our suppliers are mostly local companies with good delivery schedules," said Ross Shadix, general manager. "For example, Heritage Hardwoods, five miles from here (in Jefferson, Ind.), supplies us with wood veneers in a wide variety of species and sizes. That's a real advantage for us. We can manufacture and ship a door to a customer in no time at all because of our local supplier and also because we keep a large inventory of wood species (7-foot to 10-foot lengths) which include: red oak, walnut, mahogany and birch. Poplar veneer is bought for the crossbands."

Custom doors and more

Although Ohio Valley considers itself a custom house, its four standard doors are a mainstay of the company's business. The biggest seller is the particleboard core door. About 10 percent of its business is in fire doors with railed mineral cores made with fire rating approvals for 45-, 60- and 90-minute openings. Lumber core doors and the company's patented HOLID core doors make up the other two standard door lines.

The HOLID door was patented in 1976. It combines the strength of a solid core with the light weight of a hollow core to provide a strong yet versatile architectural door.

"We are active members in the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) and the Door and Hardware Institute (DHI). To ensure quality, we've made procedural checklists of AWI quality standards. Each production department has the responsibility of checking and complying with these AWI standards. The final inspection area has a master list to check the entire process," Shadix said.

Quality control begins when lumber arrives at the 18,000-square-foot plant. All wood is checked for moisture content. Any board that meters less than 6 percent or more than 8 percent moisture is rejected and sent back to the supplier.

Two-part glue system

Up until three years ago, Ohio Valley Door used five-part urea formaldehyde glues. But over the years, the company became disenchanted with these products. "The primary reason for us changing was the waste," Shadix said. "It got to be so expensive. Second, the environmental concerns, such as worker safety, were growing. Finally, the fact that urea formaldehyde has so many additional components that have to be mixed together meant longer set-up times and more opportunity for fumes in the air and, of course, increased labor costs."

In 1990, after a two-month evaluation period on door cores, Ohio Valley Door switched to Dor-Lok liquid PVA (polyvinyl acetate) emulsion from National Starch and Chemical Co. The company also uses National's Wood-Lok liquid emulsion in frame assembly.

"There are so many advantages we have found since using these products," Shadix said. "Our gas utility bills are down from $16,700 in 1988 to $11,661 last year because we have been able to decrease temperatures in the hot press from 275F to 225F. The adhesives have helped increase production capacity because of shorter set-up times. Unlike urea, there is virtually no problem with waste removal or chemical usage problems."

Making doors

In the busy assembly area, frame components are coated with Wood-Lok adhesive before being placed in a James L. Taylor clamp carrier for a 30-minute cycle. The glued pieces are then run through a Weinig Profimat 22N moulder that cuts them to uniform size for vertical stiles and horizontal rails.

Dowel-pin joinery is used for core assembly with the help of more Wood-Lok adhesive. Ohio Valley believes it is one of only a few door manufacturers that dowels frames together. The full door is placed on an assembly table and dowels are pneumatically driven into the stiles and rails.

After core components are assembled, they are conveyed to a Black Bros. glue spreader and roll-coated on both sizes with Dor-Lok adhesive. Coating weights of the adhesive are checked at this point before veneers are placed on top and bottom of the assembly.

After only about three minutes in the two-opening hot press the doors can be cut-to-size that day or the next. A K-Val machine cuts mortises and tenons for hardware fittings that will be installed at the job site. Operators work with different configurations of templates to ensure accurate machining. A Tagliabue automatic sander sands the pieces. Ohio Valley Door contracts the finishing to a sister company, where the doors and panels are sanded, stained and varnished.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Ohio Valley Door Corp
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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