Questions with Muskoka’s Wood Mill Man of Lore

To those in Muskoka who know better, Jeff Rogers is something of a local legend in the building materials industry. As the owner-operator of LaserTrim, Muskoka’s premium custom millwork shop, Jeff’s name is well known among Muskoka’s finest builders. Here we catch up with Jeff and ask him a few questions about what has driven his manufacturing processes and about his experiences working with both contractors and the general public.

What is your background? Were you born in a workshop?
I was a carpenter/woodworker for many years before getting into the milling industry and working as an installer is what shaped my appreciation for the value of quality materials.

How’s that?
In my younger days as a carpentry subcontractor, it was not uncommon to have a burn barrel on site on many jobs burning waste material for the duration of the project. The reason was substandard materials. The homeowner, or contractor, would buy trim materials based on price, or out of convenience, because no better options were available. Ultimately, when buying under these conditions several key factors can be overlooked, such as grade, quality of milling, moisture content, and of course the long-term value and end result. With substandard materials one can easily see up to 30 percent or more waste from warped, wet, imperfect, or otherwise poorly milled products. 

What is the number one problem with most materials that contributes to a difficult install and subsequent waste?
Moisture content in the wood you’re buying and the milling of the wood. Also, choosing a wood that is appropriate for location installation dependent on interior vs exterior requirements. That can change plans for how it’s used on the job site.

What do you look for when sourcing materials for jobs?
We take great care in sourcing the best possible materials for each job, with special attention given to both grade and moisture content. These factors are critically important for interior products where moisture content is vital in maintaining proper wood stability.

How do you feel about below average products?
I really do have a hard time tolerating substandard workmanship. It’s hard work maintaining quality, and one has to choose to uphold high standards in this industry. The end product should speak for itself.

What do you offer?
We manufacture a limitless array of profiles, including casing, baseboard, crown, handrail, specialty mouldings, siding, v-joint, and flooring – all made to order, from the best grades of material available. 

Laser Trim Muskoka also offers custom architectural woodworking and historical restoration services including doors (entry, passage, screen), windows (TDL thermal, traditional sash), stairs, railing components (newels, easements, turnings), timber frame components, beam and post cladding, or virtually any wood product used for interior and exterior applications – bring us a sample, photo, or drawing and we can replicate it. We take great pride in creating a quality product, and look forward to assisting you with your project requirements.

Are you made from wood, and, if so, what kind of wood is it?
Just my hair. It’s a cherry-maple blend!