Woodworking Stories, Woodworker Profiles and Products

Focusing on the future

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 14:39

One large area of the woodworking business that often goes unrecognized, but is crucial to custom millwork, cabinet and furniture shops, is the wood components industry. Outsourcing, the practice of purchasing parts or finished products from outside companies, is a common way of doing business for small custom shops. Participating shops that do their homework are able to obtain a quality product while saving machinery and labor costs.

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Early risk reaps rewards

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 14:25

Loren Swanberg, president of Hayes Cabinets Inc. in Woodland, Wash., is a firm believer in shop efficiency and maintaining a smooth work flow. It has motivated him to equip his 50,000-sq.-ft. facility with the latest in CNC machinery in a continuing effort to streamline his custom production processes and mirror the successes of European-style manufacturers.

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Jazzed about his job

Wednesday, 03 September 2008 09:02

imageOnce a pianist, New Orleans furniture maker and restorer now works to a different tune in his tiny shop. Dan Alleger's life was all set; he was destined to be a professional musician. After years of study at Boston's Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory, his future had jazz pianist written all over it. But as happens with so many people in life, things didn't work out as originally planned and he eventually found himself in the Big Easy, building custom furniture and doing restoration work, much of it in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

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Building the stairway to heaven

Written by Dan Mac Alpine Friday, 11 July 2008 15:51

The traditional stair market is dead. At least it is as far as Fred Loucks, Brian Gulick and Dan Hill are concerned. The three partners in Salmon Falls Woodworks LLC in Dover, N.H., want no part of the mass staircase market as it has evolved.

Building staircases from pre-cut, essentially cookie-cutter parts isn’t for them, although they’re glad to make the parts for other woodworking companies.

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Texas twist of fate

Tuesday, 05 August 2008 20:52

El Dorado WoodworksThe thought of selling Arts and Crafts furniture at a Texas rodeo and livestock show definitely bucks the norm, but that is exactly how one Houston furniture maker got his foot in the door, developed a clientele, and created his successful business. Richard Loper, the owner of El Dorado Woodworks in Houston, has come a long way from a struggling career as a professional photographer to a nationally known maker of Arts and Crafts furniture. His two-man shop and showroom are a step back in time, filled with pieces originally designed by the likes of Greene & Greene, Gustav Stickley and Frank Lloyd Wright.

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