I normally build a traditional face frame cabinet. In special applications a European style "frameless" can be constructed.
Each cabinet is designed especially for you. My cabinets speak for a time when "Made in America" meant something.
The industry standard is 1 year warranty on custom cabinets. I have more confidence in my workmanship and materials than that, therefore, I offer a 5 year warranty on my custom cabinets except for abuse or misuse. I also honor all manufacture warranties on the door hinges, drawer slides, and lazy susans, etc. Most of these items have a lifetime warranty.
My intention is to be there for you
long after the warranty has expired, as I want your
Cabinets That Will Stand the Test Of Time
Now lets talk about the type of cabinets I would like to build for you. Even if you don't chose my company I think this information will help educate you about the standards of custom cabinets and what you should be looking for.
Look Inside My Cabinets
It all starts with the carcass. There are many ways of constructing cabinets and just as many different types of materials. Normal for this area of the country is a traditional "face-frame" cabinet with overlay doors. For a more contemporary look, a European style cabinet is an option and is referred to as a "frameless" cabinet.
Custom Cabinets Should Last 20 to 30 years
I start with ¾" cabinet grade birch or maple plywood never particle board. This factory finish is very tough and they apply it in a paint booth that protects our environment.
I don't use particleboard in my cabinets. Some companies will tell you they hold up and keep the cost of cabinets down, don't believe them. Particle board construction is only acceptable in an application where there will be no exposure to humidity. This excludes kitchens and bathrooms or anywhere in Alabama. You should insist on cabinet grade plywood.
Cabinets should be built to last for 20 to 30 years of hard use. Using inferior materials in the base of your cabinets you will surely be remodeling sooner than later. You should specify that all materials and finishes be suitable for a kitchen or bath environments.
My Cabinets Have Finished Backs
Many cabinets don't have backs and you should request them for several reasons. First they add strength and rigidity to the cabinet. Next it makes the cabinet look better. I feel the inside of a cabinet should look as good as the outside. I use ¼" birch or maple plywood for my cabinet backs.
Details....That Is What Separate Most Custom Cabinet Shops
I pay attention to small details that most companies ignore. Check the underside of most cabinets and you find they did not finish them off. Feel of the edges of doors and drawer fronts - if they are sharp to the touch, the finish will fail at the edge.
Independent Testing Proved My Joints Are Strong
All exposed construction joints should and will be fitted in a workman like manner. I never face nail my cabinets together. From the outside of my cabinets you will not be able to see the joints that hold the cabinet together.
I use a joint that has been around for a very long time called a pocket hole. This joint is made by a special tool that drills a hole at an angle and then a screw is used to pull the joint tight. When properly glued the joint is stronger than the wood. This joint has been tested by an independent facility and proven to be stronger than dowel, biscuit and even mortise and tenon.
What's A Toe Kick? Is It Important?
Always inquire about the size of your toe kick space. This is the space at the bottom of the cabinet that allows your feet to extend under the cabinet. How many times have you stood at a kitchen sink and your toes struck the cabinet? I build my cabinets with a 4"x 3 ½" toe kick space.
Bracing Keeps My Cabinets Square
I use a lot of corner or lineal bracing where necessary to insure rigidity and proper joining. This helps hold the cabinet box square for years to come. These braces also give a good surface to mount your counter top.
Shelves...You Can Never Have To Many
Shelves are a very important part of any cabinet. All to many cabinets have one fixed shelf mounted where the cabinetmaker decided you needed it. I feel each cabinet should be flexible so you can make it fit your life style. I put adjustable shelf holes in all my cabinet's sides. I also use ¾" cabinet grade plywood edged with the same material that is used on the front of your cabinets.
Look At My Cabinet Faces
The next step is your choice of face frames. This is important because it is of course the part of the cabinet that you look at. I recommend that you chose a good hardwood for this application. There are many choices available and I'm sure we can find one to suite your taste.
High Moisture Content During Construction in Your Solid Wood Cabinets Will Cause Problems
I only use kiln dried solid wood for face frames, doors, and drawer fronts. I use only the best materials available and all exposed surfaces and edges are finished to protect them from the environment. The shop where your cabinets are constructed is humidity controlled so no problems will arise after installation.
Face frames are then joined with pocket holes and glue. Look inside most cabinets and you will find that they have been stapled or have no fastener at all. There are many ways of making cabinet joints. I feel this is the best joint and will last a long time without coming apart. It does take longer than fastening with an air stapler but I feel it is time well spent.
Now Let's Talk About Cabinet Doors
Cabinet doors, let's face it, they are the first things you notice about a set of cabinets. I can build several different types but my standard is a raised panel door. This door is best suited for the kitchen cabinet because it allows the wood to expand and contract with the changing seasons.
The average cabinet door made out of a hardwood like oak or maple will expand up to ¼" during the summer months. A cabinetmaker must take this into account when building your cabinets. The raised panel, while floating in the door, must be held securely so that it doesn't rattle when closing.
When gluing up my panels I use only the best boards for color and grain match. I chose the widest boards available and then pair them together for a natural look. I then recommend a concealed hinge. The hinge I use comes with a lifetime warranty.
If You Want To Check For Quality Cabinets Open A Drawer
Drawer construction is where anyone should look for a quality cabinet. Factory cabinets and many custom cabinets are ½" or 5/8” particle board with a very thin veneer or melamine covering. I make two types of drawers and both are rock solid and will give many years of trouble free service.
My first drawer style starts with 1/2" birch plywood edge. It is best to use plywood here because it doesn't expand and contract like a solid wood drawer would. I then place a 1/4" birch bottom to finish off the drawer. Large drawers get ½” bottoms so they don’t rack out of shape with heavy loads and heavy use. I use a Blum 230 series drawer slide which is a smooth action ¾" slide. This slide comes with a lifetime warranty.
I Can Produce the Super Drawer
My super drawer is done the old fashion way. It starts with solid maple 5/8" thick. I then join the side and front of the drawer with dove tail joinery. This joint is very decorative and functional, it will stand up to the heaviest demands. I then place 1/4" Baltic Birch in the bottom. The drawer is then mounted in the cabinet with a Blum full extension 100 lb. slide. This allows easy access to any items in the back of a drawer. This slide also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Both style drawers are then finished off with ¾" solid wood face with an edge profile that suites your taste. I then place plastic bumpers on the drawer and all doors for a quiet smooth closing. An upgrade option is a shock absorber type bumper for virtually silent closing for drawers and doors.
I use a multi-step finishing process with wiping stains followed by sanding sealer and then either wiped on polyurethane varnish or sprayed on pre--catalyzed lacquer. This results in a very tough finish that has been approved for use in a kitchen or bathroom by KBMA (Kitchen Bath Manufacture Association)
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