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Thread: Kitchen Cabinet Cost per Lineal Foot?

  1. #31
    you cant build a door as fast or cheap but you can build a better quality door like people used to do, its what all the old trained guys did their whole lives the ones that are retired now.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Lake View Post
    you cant build a door as fast or cheap but you can build a better quality door like people used to do, its what all the old trained guys did their whole lives the ones that are retired now.
    I guarantee I can't build a door as good in quality as them. I know me, my tool and skill set, and I've received their work for 4 years. I can build a flat panel door. I can build a raised panel door. I can't build them as good as a company that's dedicated to it for 25-30 years.

    The days you speak of are nostalgic and don't pay the bills - not by any stretch of the imagination (in regards to kitchen and vanity cabinetry). At least not in my neck of the woods.
    -Lud

  3. #33
    I'm a firm believer in vertical integration, though there are things it doesn't pay me to do. I can finish, but I make more money cutting wood, so I sub that out.

    We can build doors fairly efficiently, and we can build dovetail drawer boxes fairly efficiently. It all boils down to equipment. I could make things much more efficient if I had the money to spend. I'll get there eventually, but it takes time and you nibble away at the bottlenecks as you go. Sometimes just making one thing faster creates a bottle neck on it's own too.

    I'm fairly stupid, and I make doors the wrong size all the time. Not a high percentage, but it happens. If I didn't have the ability to whip up a flat panel door in a few minutes when I botch entering a size I'd be in a world of trouble. I can't think far enough ahead of the lead time to stay in front of the potential problems of mis-ordering a door or drawer box.

    I'm pretty proud of our dovetail drawers. We are careful about material selection and doing glue ups so they are pretty darn perfect. I've had a couple of companies stop in selling doors and drawer boxes, they all say they can't build the drawer I do. Doors on the other hand, I always have their order form handy just in case I'm in a bind and don't have the time to build them myself.

    Once in a while I get roped into doing a full overlay job, which I despise. I always regret not ordering the fronts. I piss around trying to make all of my doors perfectly square, and while they're pretty close, they aren't as good as ones that are built oversized then squared after assembly on a cnc like the one local company does. You get a big run of full overlay cabinets, and those little tiny errors start stacking up on you and it drives me nuts. The customer can't tell, but I fart around enough getting them there splitting hairs that I don't think it's worth my time.
    Shortcut for putting me on ignore:
    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/profile.php?do=ignorelist

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Ludwig View Post
    I still sub out raised panel and mitered doors. Not worth my time or shop space. I mark them up 10%. I would mark them up more, but would lose the job if I did.
    Doors is where I make the most money...

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Wasner View Post

    I'm fairly stupid, and I make doors the wrong size all the time. Not a high percentage, but it happens. If I didn't have the ability to whip up a flat panel door in a few minutes when I botch entering a size I'd be in a world of trouble. I can't think far enough ahead of the lead time to stay in front of the potential problems of mis-ordering a door or drawer box.
    I stopped having those problems in 2012 when I started using Cabinet Vision. If you peruse the sets and different build styles (overlay, inset, etc) changing is simple. I export my door lists to excel and edit them to match WalzCraft's order form. I've messed up twice in 4 years and both times I didn't ordered 1 instead of 2 of something.

    If you're building doors wrong sizes, I'd take a look at your screen-to-shop exporting/reporting because if you have the program dialed in to your processes the doors and drawers will always be correct. I can talk for days on that end of the spectrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by jack duren View Post
    Doors is where I make the most money...
    I agree. There's a lot of $$ to be made. I've subbed out $30k in doors this year. 40-60% of that is profit after labor and material - if you can keep up. I couldn't keep up, so I would win less jobs and have less profit. It's a balancing act we all learn for our own individual trades/shops/set-ups. For me, I recoup that money in finishing my own cabinets. I used to NEVER finish cabinets, but down here I only trust 1 finisher and he's booked for months.
    -Lud

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Ludwig View Post
    I stopped having those problems in 2012 when I started using Cabinet Vision. If you peruse the sets and different build styles (overlay, inset, etc) changing is simple. I export my door lists to excel and edit them to match WalzCraft's order form. I've messed up twice in 4 years and both times I didn't ordered 1 instead of 2 of something.

    If you're building doors wrong sizes, I'd take a look at your screen-to-shop exporting/reporting because if you have the program dialed in to your processes the doors and drawers will always be correct. I can talk for days on that end of the spectrum.
    I'm running an ancient version of Cabnetware. All it does is make drawings, I manually figure the doors, drawer fronts, and drawers and punch the sizes into a spreadsheet. I've spent $45,000 on equipment this year and I keep promising myself I'll upgrade software, but it always seems there's something else more important to acquire first. Those days are coming to a head though. If I want to add a CNC, I'll NEED to drop $25k on a fresh version of Cabinetvision. I better have the software sorted before the hardware hits the floor.

  7. #37
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    Justin I 100% agree with you about Walzcraft. The raised panel mitered doors I got from them had zero sap wood (walnut) and I had to look really really hard to find the different pieces in the raised panel. Unbelievable attention to grain orientation. I couldn't find a single little flaw in all pallet it was delivered.
    I have made many raised panel mitered doors and I have yet to see that many doors in a batch job in that quality. BTW, all sanded and finish ready.

  8. #38
    its not to do with flaws or even sap wood there are so many details thought wise that can go into a door from material selection to material selection again to layout to construction to finishing. Door makers do volume start with lesser materials, they simply cant put the attention into making the best door. They are very good value for the money and turn around etc. Ill stick to that as its what ive seen in the last 40 years looking at every stick of furniture I come across. I remember one magazine where the cover proudly showed a shop that made some huge number of cabinets per week. I emailed them to tell them all the doors were on upside down. Im microscopic like an ameba compared to them in fact I would not even register on their scale. I dont call it nostalgic just doing my best work at the time and always trying to get better.

  9. #39
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    I would fully agree with you, Warren, were it concerning all the other door companies I've worked with. Every time I unpack a load of doors from WalzCraft, my mouth drops and David and I look at each other and smile. Because everything is perfect. They even allow me to order doors to the 1/32 for my inset applications. If you saw one (let alone 100 in a meticulously packaged pallet), you'd understand.

    I too, am always trying my best and to improve. :thumbs up:
    -Lud

  10. #40
    thats good that is one of my many things on a door. Beaded inset I do 7/8" door for ease of how I lay it all out. Of course now that they saw 4/4 material so thin it almost puts me into 5/4, really does but not in the old days. Ive made doors up to 1 1/4 though depending on hinges so one aspect I can make any thickness doors door makers here are 13/16 take it or leave it, then ive seen up to 11 rips in a door which is pathetic. Be good for me to see 40 doors at once from them seems they operate at a much better level than the others. Id struggle with that volume as the attention to details get way harder in quantity at once. On one type of work I was doing I could pick the 200 feet i needed from fresh top grade 1,200 un opened bundles. That allowed me to do many things as I was selecting the material not selecting material someone sent me for the job.

    When you order your doors for your base cabinets how wide is the top rail, how wide is the bottom rail on those base doors? do they clamp panel material where sometimes one cathedral goes up and one goes down stuff like that. Just curious be nice to stand in front of 40 doors at once.

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Lake View Post
    you cant build a door as fast or cheap but you can build a better quality door like people used to do, its what all the old trained guys did their whole lives the ones that are retired now.
    I'm trying to understand this post. Most the guys who trained me in 1983 are dead or near dead.. Somebody?

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Williamstown,ma
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    We do absolutely everything in-house, and have for about 25 years.
    Every single measurement and calculation for parts is done in my head. Why buy and learn software that almost always has limitations, or problems of a sort.
    I have yet to see a door or drawer from a supplier that is as good as we can make it.
    We also do the entire kitchen start to install including all trim- undercabinet panels, trim to ceiling, toekick, etc, etc...
    All plywood in the box is a minimum of 3/4" - sides, tops, bottoms, and backs.
    Mitered integral end panels- matched, ripped and folded mitered corners to the faceframe.
    3/8" plywood bottoms on 1/2 blind 5/8" solid hard maple drawers- almost always 1 piece sides.
    We do not let anyone install our cabinets or trim.
    We are still here.
    We eat every day.
    We have a very well equipped shop.
    How do you define profitable?
    And we work for average income people.
    I like diverse projects, that are challenging.
    Some here will tweak their specialty to gain every penny out of each process- they are businessmen, and smarter than I.
    For me, that is equivalent of a "factory job" I simply do not function like that.

    I need some creative freedom-I have a thirst to do difficult work that everyone else turns down, or says can only be done on a CNC- which I will never have. In short, I need variety.
    That is why I decided to become a woodworker.
    I try to do my best work, and the money has followed.

  13. #43
    Peter, glad it's working. Seen a couple of companies buy a succession of computor programs at great cost that never paid off. Keeping everyone busy is the best plan. There are too many guys standing still waiting for a machine to do something. And when an outside "fixer" is needed to get broken stuff moving, everyone in the offices come out to stand and watch.
    Like they are going to be able to fix it next time.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter gagliardi View Post
    We do absolutely everything in-house, and have for about 25 years.
    Every single measurement and calculation for parts is done in my head. Why buy and learn software that almost always has limitations, or problems of a sort.
    Good to hear that Peter. Do you use a rod layout and make a handwritten cutlist?
    "Whether you think you can, or you think you canít - youíre right."
    - Henry Ford

  15. #45
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    No rod for layout, but yes, a handwritten cutlist. And yes, there are the occasional mistakes, but not enough to warrant changing.
    I draw almost nothing, but work off known good measurements for the space. It takes on average, about 2-3 hours of my time to generate all the cutlists and notes- plywood, finished end panels, doors, drawer fronts, drawers, shelves, moldings, faceframes, etc.
    I need to do it this way, to "get my head into the job"
    I have digital cutting tools, so tape measures are mostly there to confirm things.
    Holding measurements, and accuracy has become easy, across however many guys are working the job.
    My door and drawer front parts that are multi piece are cut to assemble 1/8" oversize at glueup.
    I then use the digital setups on the Martin slider to cut exact.
    This works really well, even with inset. Hardly have to use the edgesander to fit the doors and drawerfronts into the faceframes.
    Of course, we certainly do have some setups and systems that are a little archaic, but we achieve a nice end product without a lot of fussing

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