National Hardwood Magazine

 
 
 

September 2013 Feature Story

 

The staff at Just Milling Around Molding & Millwork Inc., Rhome, Texas, include: (from left) Steve Samsill, Enrique Ramirez, Jeff Papenfuss, Katharine Ramsey, Amy Ramsey, Tim Vrbka, David Ramsey, Gregory “Hoss” Lance and Miles Ramsey.
Just Milling Around Molding & Millwork Maintains
Quality Reputation With Quality Hardwoods

By Clare Adrian

Rhome, Texas–Production is fine-tuned to creating one-of-a-kind architectural millwork exclusively at the Just Milling Around Molding & Millwork Inc. (JMA) manufacturing plant here, and president and founder, David L. Ramsey, intends to keep it at that, “to do molding extremely well.”

The molding and millwork style possibilities are endless; the knife profile count is up to 400-plus. Whatever species of wood a customer wants, Ramsey will get. The factory is set up to do any volume, small or large. However, demand has shaped his company and tailored it specifically toward molding because of the quality of workmanship that his company has demonstrated.

Ramsey purchases 160,000 board feet annually in FAS grade, No. 1 Common lumber from various suppliers. The types of wood products used are all across the board, though Red and White Oak, Maple, Poplar, Walnut, Cherry and Mahogany are mainstays. It all depends on what the customer wants whether in historical molding or custom trim work, to wood flooring or wood siding, which might be assembled into complex custom packages or to match a preexisting edifice.

JMA purchases 160,000 board feet annually in FAS grade, No. 1 Common lumber from various suppliers, and turns that lumber into customized millwork. The types of wood products used are all across the board, though Red and White Oak, Maple, Poplar, Walnut, Cherry and Mahogany are mainstays.
“Someone might bring in a picture of what they want and we match it,” said Ramsey. Recent commissions include millwork supplied for the Dallas Country Club, Saint Frances, Saint Michael, Gateway, Lake Point churches, and the Anatole Restaurant, which consisted of a wood species medley in White Oak, Peroba Rosa, and Genuine Mahogany. 

The chances of a company developing the kind of integrity demonstrated at JMA are greater when founded on a passion for the work. Ramsey had just that for building furniture when he first got a taste of it during his four years of high school shop classes. His talent was evident and nurtured, and he received an industrial arts award that prodded him further to continue building custom furniture in his dad’s garage. By 1986, when his cabinetry building enterprise showed no sign of slowing down, he built his own shop in South Lake.

The next definitive step was to buy a molder. Ramsey was producing so much molding for cabinetry that he had begun to outsource it. As he produced more and more molding for other companies, it succeeded in taking on a life of its own. He was working 16-hour days doing it all, from ripping lumber to setting the molder, to deliveries and grinding knives at night.

The novel business name swirled into being as friend, Tyler Hubbard, drafting CAD drawings for Ramsey, created a logo that incorporated the words, Just Milling Around. The name stuck as the molding side of the business took off to where it is today. Ramsey closed the cabinetry side in 2005 that had its official start in 1984. His wife, Amy, who holds the title of VP helped out with the secretarial duties and more. In 1996, Ramsey hired Jeff Papenfuss, who set up the molders and continues as chief knife profile grinder, and in 1999, brother-in-law Steve Samsill, now supervisor, signed on. Enrique Ramirez, hired in 2008, is a valuable asset in helping Papenfuss in the profile room and Samsill out on the floor.

The mill in which the millwork is produced is set up for several levels of production capable of achieving intricate and massive molding packages. Among the equipment used at JMA is this Timesaver 2-head, 37-inch wide belt sander capable of sanding all flat profiles at a variety of finishes.
Today, Ramsey is content to leave the physical work to his close-knit crew and sit behind a desk to write up jobs and order lumber. His wife, too, has pared down her assistance and turned her attention to raising the couple’s four children. Now daughter Katharine, who was at her mom’s side as a toddler sitting in a stroller at the office, has assumed the secretarial duties, while her brother, Miles, delivers small loads of finished product and sometimes works with Samsill in the shop. Gregory “Hoss” Lance, with the company since 2006, delivers product loaded on a 24-foot Mack flatbed truck directly to customers. Tim Vrbka rounds out the employee collective as sales rep. Ramsey recalled that before the economy reconfigured the market, he was working in the shop, side by side with up to 20 employees.

Samsill discovered the current facility, a 23,000-square-foot factory and offices, conveniently located on a 1.8-acre site in Rhome, close to the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex, where Ramsey does most of his business. 

The mill is set up for several levels of production capable of achieving these intricate and massive molding packages. Equipment on hand includes 4 SCMI molders, a Timesaver 2-head, 37-inch wide belt sander capable of sanding all flat profiles at a variety of finishes, a Stenner bandsaw to resaw to the desired thicknesses, a Northfield EC double-head planer for surfacing, an Extrema gang ripsaw and an RF (radio frequency) glue machine, capable of gluing up large panels.

JMA’s RF (radio frequency) glue machine is capable of gluing large panels.
Specialty moldings from Just Milling Around produce an extremely smooth finish with a minimum of 16 knife marks per inch and up to 24 upon customer request requires running the molding extremely slow, and the more knife marks, the better the quality of finish.

Eventually Ramsey intends to upgrade machinery. However, he said, his men are so good at keeping it topnotch, he can adhere to the adage, “If it works, don’t fix it.” He’s free to concentrate on the goal to increase sales and increase the range of moldings, and to generally continue specializing in molding. “We want to be able to do a couple of things well, rather than be like companies that grow so big that the quality and the service starts to suffer and both aren’t as good as in the beginning. That won't happen to JMA. Quality is our number one priority.”

More information on this company is available at: www.justmillingaround.com.









This PF-90 computer cutting system enables JMA to manage precise millwork orders. Also, specialty moldings from JMA produce a smooth finish with a minimum of 16 knife marks per inch, and up to 24 upon customer request requires running the molding extremely slow. The more knife marks, the better the quality of finish.

 
 
 
     
 
 

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