Woodworking Stories, Woodworker Profiles and Products

An eye on outsourcing

Written by John English Monday, 17 December 2012 00:00

31_featureWhen it comes to kitchens, what’s the difference between a big-box store and a custom cabinet shop? It’s that one word: custom. It’s the ability to change the rules, make things work perfectly, be creative. It’s more than aesthetics. Custom means being able to fit a kitchen to the available space, rather than the other way around. Trying to fit the room to standardized cabinet dimensions is, by its very nature, more an exercise in arithmetic than craft. The results — lots of fillers and soffits and compromises — often leave something to be desired.

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Lean with machines

Written by Jennifer Hicks Monday, 19 November 2012 00:00

30_feature_1Located in the heart of the south end of Philadelphia, Carmana Designs was founded in 1981 by the husband-and-wife team of Carmen and Anna Maria Vona. The shop is a turnkey operation that designs, fabricates, finishes and installs custom cabinetry for residential and commercial clients.

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Acting vs. reacting

Written by Jennifer Hicks Monday, 19 November 2012 00:00

40_featureBill Lensi, owner of MasterCraft Building & Millwork in Phoenixville, Pa., found his custom woodworking niche in the high-end residential remodeling sector shortly after establishing his company in 1987. He chose to solicit clients directly after getting burned by commercial builders.

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A cut above

Written by John English Monday, 19 November 2012 00:00

44_feature_2When I began learning how to build cabinets 30-plus years ago, we still worked off hand-drawn blueprints and the only way to show a client what a job might look like was to jump in the car and visit a previous job. Now, technology can create a 3-D walkthrough of a kitchen that doesn’t even exist yet and the cabinetmaker can rotate shop drawings through three axes on a screen, just to get a better understanding of the joinery before he makes a cut.

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Handle with care

Written by John English Monday, 15 October 2012 00:00

40_featureWhile there are some woodshops that are dedicated to furniture repair, most of us only occasionally get talked into doing it. Usually it’s not a complete refinishing project — just fixing some missing veneer or regluing a drawer or two. After 30-plus years in the furniture-making business, here are a few notes that might smooth the way for occasional renovators.

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