Cabinet finish quality - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 Old 07-25-2014, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 24
View CarpenterSFO's Photo Album My Photos
Cabinet finish quality

Every once in a while we do a custom window, or door, or cabinet doors, where for some reason - schedule, matching a wood or finish, using some custom veneer, some custom shape - it seems sensible to make the item in-house. As my contracting business changes, I've felt that I either need to find a way to accomplish the work more efficiently or reliably, sub it out, or stop providing some of the custom touches that have been important for some customers in the past

A big productivity killer in particular has been achieving factory quality on rail and stile construction, for example on Shaker cabinet doors. I have a nice bandsaw, good jointer, good-enough thickness planer, a decent router (running Amana cope and stick bits) but not a shaper, a mortiser that I rarely use now that I use Dominos, and a good small (10") Performax belt sander, and I don't have any problem getting the stock perfectly dimensioned and straight. I get to shaping the profiles and assembly, though, and things don't quite line up perfectly, so I spend some time (or have an employee spend the time) with sanders, getting things clean and flat. Spraying goes fine. The results are great, but it costs me way too much.

I'm curious about others' experience and suggestions about making that one step up? Is it a mistake to think this can be done efficiently in a small shop? Does it just require more time with a micrometer, adjusting things? Is there a silver bullet (a belt sander wide enough for full doors? a shaper?)?

I'm not planning to expand my cabinet-making business, just trying to figure out how to keep offering the custom details.

I'll be grateful for any advice.

Bob Cram
Robert Cram Construction
http://www.robertcramconstruction.com
fb page
CarpenterSFO is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 Old 07-25-2014, 09:35 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 26,042
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
I often add a section of cabinets to an existing set of cabinets and offer to match the tooling but most of my customers would rather have it similar than spend the money for an exact match. I also never build anything onsite. For me it's too labor intensive to build away from my equipment so everything is built and finished in the shop and then delivered. What I normally do to match the color is to remove a door or drawer from the existing cabinets to match the color to. It often takes a lot of tinkering to develop a matching stain color therefore I charge for 2 hours labor just to come up with the formula.
Steve Neul is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Steve Neul For This Useful Post:
CarpenterSFO (07-26-2014)
post #3 of 9 Old 07-25-2014, 09:58 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,043
View Masterjer's Photo Album My Photos
A drum sander is a perfect tool for making rails and stiles come out perfectly planar with one another. I share your frustration, although all my builds are for myself and not for any clients.
Masterjer is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Masterjer For This Useful Post:
CarpenterSFO (07-26-2014)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 9 Old 07-25-2014, 10:05 PM
Senior Sawdust Producer
 
Leo G's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Posts: 4,363
View Leo G's Photo Album My Photos
Tablesaw, tenon jig and dado set are all you need for a shaker door. I make them all the time. Mostly my tenon is offset so my panel has a deeper depth than you can achieve by centering it. I have made quite a few different setups so I have samples to start off. But you always need to fine tune it. Make the tenon first and then you can fit the slot to it perfectly.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
Leo G is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Leo G For This Useful Post:
CarpenterSFO (07-26-2014)
post #5 of 9 Old 07-26-2014, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 24
View CarpenterSFO's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo G View Post
Tablesaw, tenon jig and dado set are all you need for a shaker door. I make them all the time. Mostly my tenon is offset so my panel has a deeper depth than you can achieve by centering it. I have made quite a few different setups so I have samples to start off. But you always need to fine tune it. Make the tenon first and then you can fit the slot to it perfectly.
Thanks, Leo. I'm not sure when or why I stopped doing exactly that for shaker (possibly after several jobs with ogee profiles). I do get a more consistent result on my table saw than on my router table. I'll spend a couple hours in the shop tomorrow and see how things come out.
- Bob

Edit: I'm probably going to keep wondering about a wide sander, though I really can't justify the investment or the use of the space in the shop.

Bob Cram
Robert Cram Construction
http://www.robertcramconstruction.com
fb page

Last edited by CarpenterSFO; 07-26-2014 at 12:26 AM.
CarpenterSFO is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 07-26-2014, 12:32 AM
Senior Sawdust Producer
 
Leo G's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Posts: 4,363
View Leo G's Photo Album My Photos
Find someone nearby with one and make good friends of them. I did. It's not one of the bigger ones, but it's a 36" single belt with a 15HP motor. A little lacking when you start pushing wide panels and tabletops through it. But it sure is about 10000 times better than doing it with a RO sander. But you still have to RO sand it afterwards, or at least you should.

Measure Twice Cut Once -- It's a lot easier to cut more off then it is to cut MORON.
Finishing is 3 parts chemistry and 1 part VooDoo http://lrgwood.com
Leo G is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Leo G For This Useful Post:
CarpenterSFO (07-26-2014)
post #7 of 9 Old 07-26-2014, 01:10 AM
Wood Snob
 
Al B Thayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 5,963
View Al B Thayer's Photo Album My Photos
SFO

I think you would benefit from a mid sized shaper. Doesn't have to be a monster. I cut doors on both router table and shaper. I get better quality and quicker setup with the shaper. Especially the raised panel. If you buy one you will be more empowered to go after jobs you can run on it and it will make you money.

Is your router on a lift? Is it good sized. If its not on a lift I would buy one or build one. They offer micro adjustments. This cuts the setup and trial and error time down quite a bit.

Also, are you facing your stock on the jointer? If you face then plane. Your wood will be truly flat.

Al


Al B Thayer is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Al B Thayer For This Useful Post:
CarpenterSFO (07-26-2014)
post #8 of 9 Old 07-26-2014, 05:41 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 9
View RoostinRidge's Photo Album My Photos
Find a shop and pay to use their wide belt sander or pickup or own if you have 3-Phase. Its stupid how fast it goes and what a good job it does. You need to spend 20 sec a door sanding out cross grain scratches.

Shapers are nice, and produce a good product, but with where you are at the biggest payoff is most likely to decrease sanding time.
RoostinRidge is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to RoostinRidge For This Useful Post:
CarpenterSFO (07-28-2014)
post #9 of 9 Old 07-26-2014, 05:48 PM
Old School
 
cabinetman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,027
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
You might consider a stroke sander. If you can locate a shop that has one you can try out...you might like it.






.

cabinetman is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to cabinetman For This Useful Post:
CarpenterSFO (07-28-2014)
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Finish for outside cabinet piokoa Wood Finishing 14 03-17-2014 09:08 PM
newbie in houston area- in search of a quality cabinet saw jmatic Power Tools & Machinery 21 09-15-2012 11:39 PM
Hello everybody newbie here in Houston- needs quality cabinet saw jmatic New Member Introductions 9 09-15-2012 08:17 AM
Gifted an Ikea Table (I'm Dubious of Finish Quality) Getfamiliar Wood Finishing 4 02-03-2012 02:50 PM
Resource for good quality vinyl (faux) wood finish veneers? fredonian Wood Finishing 1 04-15-2009 07:26 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome