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View wkndwrnch's profile

Ordering vs making cabinet doors

by wkndwrnch
posted 12-20-2018 01:04 PM


10 replies so far

View Robert's profile

Robert

3537 posts in 1989 days


#1 posted 12-20-2018 02:37 PM

I would go with a local cabinet shop, rather than a mail order place.

A flat panel door is really not difficult to make, its the finishing that makes it worth having them done professionally. ;-)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1618 posts in 2239 days


#2 posted 12-20-2018 02:56 PM

Decore ative Specialties. Started using them in the mid ‘80’s. Takes about 4-6 weeks from day of order to delivery date…... ........ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View DS's profile (online now)

DS

3294 posts in 2929 days


#3 posted 12-21-2018 02:26 PM

There are lots of benefits to outsourcing doors (among other things).
  • You instantly get the benefit of all the capital equipment the manufacturer has invested in.
  • You get the benefit of economy of scale since he will buy larger quantities of material for all the jobs he does.
  • You don’t have to make room (in real estate terms) for making doors. This room can be shifted to increasing the volume of other operations you perform in house.
  • You can focus your time and labor to other operations.
  • You can become a little bit bigger fish in your pond – expanding your production beyond the walls of your facility without the expense of expanding your facility.

As for which to use – that is up to you.
Decore-ative Specialties, Caldoor, Corona Millworks, Northern Contours, Element Designs are a few of the regional/national companies I’ve used.
Then there are a handful of local companies in my area that I can also use.
Sometimes, who you use depends on the specific product you are sourcing.

Most all have high reputations for quality products and service. (Of course, YMMV)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1458 posts in 3358 days


#4 posted 12-21-2018 02:39 PM



I would go with a local cabinet shop, rather than a mail order place.

A flat panel door is really not difficult to make, its the finishing that makes it worth having them done professionally.
- rwe2156

Just completed a project for all of the cabinet doors and drawer fronts in the house for the kitchen and 3 vanities. Almost 30 doors and 7 drawer fronts. Simple shaker design with painted finish, reusing all existing hardware and fixtures. We have a 3 year plan to move from the house and the existing were rigid-thermofoil that was failing badly. New cabinets.. NO Way!, priced order for doors and drawers around $3k, cost of materials to include paint and a $40 pawn shop router (to give me four so my set-ups could stay set up) near $300. Now, since time is money… the wood working took about 3 days in the shop and the 5 coats of finishing and surface work between all coats took almost two weeks of work from start to installation. The worst part of the job was that it was production and that began to feel like WORK. I’m happy that I saved the cash, and the final product is good, but my wife told me to just quit fussing with it all because whoever we sell to will most likely just rip them all out any way…..

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View PPK's profile

PPK

1526 posts in 1318 days


#5 posted 12-21-2018 02:43 PM

DS has some great points. I agree with them.

When I worked in the cabinet shop, we’d order doors if it was a big job, and then the economy of scale kicked in. Otherwise, it if was a smaller kitchen job that had, say 15 doors, I’d make them.
Especially shaker doors, they are very easy to make. I really enjoy making doors, and was always a bit disappointed when the truck delivered them!

One thing to consider: Sanding the doors. The company we ordered from did a pretty good job (I can’t remember which now) but there was still some cross graining on the rails. This had to be hit with a RO before final finish. You get what you pay for.

If you’ve got a decent drum sander and a “double” router table or set of shapers, it’s really not at all hard to do doors. Your decision of course!!

-- Pete

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

1403 posts in 2544 days


#6 posted 12-21-2018 06:46 PM

The upside of ordering doors is as DS states.

The disadvantages are:
1) Several weeks lead time.
2) If a mistake is made in ordering, then #1.
3) If a mistake is made in manufacturing then #1.
4) If a door/s are damaged in shipping, then #1.
5) Sometimes the manufacturer can’t make the design or size desired.

I see a pattern here.
I always advocated getting shaper knives to match the doors ordered, then if something happened, you could always make that one door quickly enough to get it in the stream along with the others.

Also, one must get confirmation on the design as soon as possible, because of #1.

Just depends on what you need and your situation.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View DS's profile (online now)

DS

3294 posts in 2929 days


#7 posted 12-21-2018 07:00 PM

Yes, I agree, these are some of the downsides to outsourcing in general.

Usually, if a manufacturing error, or damage happens, the replacement can be expedited.
The effect of #1 is shortened quite a bit if you are using a local manufacturer rather than someone out of state since shipping/delivery is in town.

For a mfg in an adjacent state, they often have company trucks come into town once, or twice a week depending on sales volume. Mfg’s further away usually use common carrier freight.

For us, doors usually take 10 business days (two weeks) and we just plan our production around this schedule.


The upside of ordering doors is as DS states.

The disadvantages are:
1) Several weeks lead time.
2) If a mistake is made in ordering, then #1.
3) If a mistake is made in manufacturing then #1.
4) If a door/s are damaged in shipping, then #1.
5) Sometimes the manufacturer can t make the design or size desired.

I see a pattern here.
I always advocated getting shaper knives to match the doors ordered, then if something happened, you could always make that one door quickly enough to get it in the stream along with the others.

Also, one must get confirmation on the design as soon as possible, because of #1.

Just depends on what you need and your situation.

- Underdog


-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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Underdog

1403 posts in 2544 days


#8 posted 12-21-2018 07:07 PM

Yeah. That’s what we did too. When it worked right, it was good.

Frequently doors didn’t get ordered in time to be finished with the cabinets, didn’t get installed with the cabinets, then when the doors did get finished, they didn’t match the cabinets… So the doors came back to the shop and had to be refinished. All kinds of chances for damage or loss…

I never was comfortable with ordering doors without a backup plan.
We had all the equipment anyway…

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View wkndwrnch's profile

wkndwrnch

72 posts in 2878 days


#9 posted 12-21-2018 09:40 PM

Thank you for the replies. I will decide when the customer definitely decides what style they will go with. It made me realize to allow for extra sanding and finishing time on ready made doors,and being able to finish doors at same time as cabinets would keep everything same. So lead time is critical. I will continue researching different companies. Maybe a road trip is in order!

View DS's profile (online now)

DS

3294 posts in 2929 days


#10 posted 01-08-2019 03:05 PM

Most of our doors come from manufacturer about 6 blocks down the road from here.

We just had a whole shipment of doors come in with the incorrect applied molding on them. (Mfg mistake)
Since they were local, they came and picked them up, then returned them 3 days later with the correct moldings.

This would have been far more drawn out and complicated with an out of state vendor.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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