Forcey Lumber Company, Inc.
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Company Profile:  Forcey Lumber

 

By Bridget McCrea

 

A match made in heaven

 

Sometimes all it takes to stand out in a competitive industry is to give customers exactly what they want. The owners of Forcey Lumber Co., used that strategy a few years ago when they developed a process known as “lumber match,” which enables the Woodland, Pa.-based manufacturer to match kiln-dried Hardwood lumber with veneers in a way that no other company has been able to replicate.

 

Forcey Lumber’s discerning customers, which include yacht manufacturers and architectural millworkers, have embraced the process with open arms, knowing how impressed their own clients are when wood colors and grain structure are matched perfectly. “If a customer is building a room that includes veneer panels and solid hardwoods,” explained Brant Forcey, company president, “we can match the color and structure in a way that no one else can.”

 

Those capabilities have put Forcey Lumber in a league of its own when it comes to lumber-matching of veneers, and created an additional revenue stream for the manufacturer.

 

“Our customers love it,” said Forcey. “It’s been going over very well.”

 

With one location and 15 employees, Forcey Lumber is a wholesale concentration yard that specializes in kiln-dried hardwood lumber and linear-sliced veneers.

The company also has surfacing and straight line ripping capabilities.

Situated on 15 acres in rural Pennsylvania, the third-generation family-owned company is headed up by Terry Forcey, owner (father of Brant and Ross); Brant Forcey, and Ross Forcey, vice president. Sales are handled by the firm’s management team, which works with exporters and distribution yards, plus domestic furniture, moulding and flooring manufacturers.

 

Forcey Lumber buys its raw materials from sawmills located within 50 miles of its plant and purchases Red Oak, White Oak, Cherry, Soft Maple, Poplar, Ash and other domestic species in 4/4 to 8/4. The firm sells about 2.5 million board feet each year.

 

“We buy lumber from a choice group of local sawmills, focusing on only those that share our quality oriented philosophy,” said Forcey. “We’re located in the midst of some of the finest timber in the world, but we go one step further by selecting only the best from the best.”

 

Forcey Lumber’s Irvington-Moore dry kilns feature dehumidification units, and have a total capacity of 130,000 board feet. “The dehumidification units create a better, brighter wood than conventional kilns, and tie in well with the quality-conscious programs that we have in place,” said Forcey, who is referring to the firm’s intentionally-low production numbers. “Our goal here is quality, not quantity. We stress excellence and attention to detail throughout our operations.”

 

Forcey Lumber’s quality focus dates back to 1946, the year the company was founded by Maxwell Forcey, Jr., (Terry Forcey’s father), as a sawmill operation. The firm’s sawmill was closed in 1982 as the second generation of ownership shifted Forcey Lumber’s attention to a concentration yard operation. A member of the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association, Indiana Hardwood Lumber Association, and the Penn-York Lumbermen’s Club, the company built its own veneer plant in 2004, thus opening the door for new business in the linear-sliced veneer market.

 

“We’re servicing door and panel manufacturers nationwide with quality veneer products, with capabilities up to 2mm (1/12”)” said Forcey. Those products dovetail nicely with Forcey Lumber’s lumber-match process, which was highly experimental at first. “Customers didn’t even know it could be done,” recalled Forcey. What customers did realize, however, was that the solid wood purchased from a lumberyard would not be in sync with the veneers bought from a different source.

 

“By combining both processes under one roof, we’ve been able to match the wood and create perfect color and structure matches for those customers,” said Forcey. “When we introduced the process, we went two steps beyond what was being done before in the industry.”

 

Despite its innovative offerings and solid reputation in the industry, Forcey Lumber has been challenged by the current economy. To offset the challenges, the company has downsized its employee base slightly, and even further increased its commitment to quality through new products. “About three years ago the economy made us look closely at what we were doing,” said Forcey, “and made us become even better.” 

 

With future planning difficult at best right now, Forcey said the 63-year-old, family-run company plans to continue with its focus on quality over quantity. “As demand increases for our lumber-match products,” he said, “we plan to build a new facility for our linear-sliced veneer operations, and then continue expanding in that direction.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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