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National Hardwoods Magazine Feature Story

Attention To Detail Keeps Kirkwood Stair Ahead Of The Pack. With 111 years of history under its belt, Kirkwood Stair Company isn’t the kind of firm that rests on its laurels. In fact, the family-owned and operated company stays on the cutting edge by frequently upgrading its equipment and operations to reflect new trends and innovations. Most recently, this manufacturer acquired a C.R. Onsrud 5-axis CNC router with proprietary software that’s being used to engineer and mill complicated stair systems. Kirkwood Stair purchases Poplar, Red and White Oak, Hard Maple, Cherry, Birch, Hickory, African Mahogany, Ash, Jatoba, yellow pine and various exotics in FAS, Select & Btr., No. 1 Com., SAP & Btr., 4/4 through 16/4. All of its lumber is kiln-dried to furniture specs, and is all skip surfaced with no straight line. According to company President Brian Berger, 70 percent of lumber purchased are uppers in Poplar, Red Oak and yellow pine, with the remainder comprising furniture grade domestics and exotics. With 50+ employees and three locations, the firm purchases 250,000 board feet of lumber annually, including 5,000 board feet of certified lumber. “That investment of the router with software made us a standalone company in the Midwest for complex stair projects,” said Berger. With the CNC machine, Kirkwood Stair can handle tight radiuses, wreathing, complicated “S” and elliptical stairs, and carvings that “meet just about any design an architect can come up with,” said Berger. “We can also design and show the stairs in 3-D, thus allowing clients to get a feel for what the stairs will look like before we build them.” That attention to customer service and detail has kept Kirkwood Stair at the forefront of its industry for over 100 years. Founded in 1899, the firm manufactures fine, handcrafted stairs and balustrades, and more recently added doors, mouldings and casework for homebuilders in the greater St. Louis area…Continue reading the full story here at National Hardwoods Magazine »