Jim Tolpin's Guide to Becoming a Professional Cabinetmaker

Jim Tolpin's Guide to Becoming a Professional Cabinetmaker

Jim Tolpin

Language: English

Pages: 125

ISBN: 2:00233095

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Your Blueprint for Making Good Cabinetry and Good Money If you've ever dreamed of making an honest living with your hands, then let Jim Tolpin show you how to become a professional cabinetmaker without losing your shirt - or your sanity.

Thirty years ago Tolpin almost destroyed his custom cabinetmaking business because he committed every easy-to-make but hard-to-avoid mistake. He fixed his shop, his woodworking techniques and his business model so that instead of them making him crazy, they would make him a comfortable living. With the help of Jim Tolpin's Guide to Becoming a Professional Cabinetmaker you can follow the same successful and detailed path as you set up your own woodworking business (or make your existing business run more smoothly).

Here's what you'll learn: Be as good at business as you are at woodworking. Structure your business correctly. Keep records that allow you to set accurate prices. Find new business and keep the old. Configure your shop, buy your tools and build your jigs so they earn their keep. Blend high-tech European cabinetry techniques with American furniture styles to make cabinets that are quick to build, easy to customize and a snap to sell to people in your market.




















Since Murphy's Law dictates that the object of desire will always be in the back corner of any drawer, consider incorporating full-extension slides in the other drawers as well. Protect the cabinet with a water-resistant finish, such as lacquer or a polyurethane varnish; the presence of the water-stones above will assure a steady trickle of liquid onto the cabinet face below. The cabinet above the bench can be a standard, adjustable-shelf upper. Build it right up to the ceiling, and fit it with

hold-downs to hold the stock down on the table tightly against the rip fence. Use a push stick as shown at right to move the edge-banding offcuts through the blade; keep the push stick parallel to the table to get under the arms of the shop helpers. As each band is cut off the board, joint the rough edge of the parent material and rip out another band. Continue until you've milled them all. Let the jointer, table saw and dust collector run continuously throughout this operation. This saves wear

space in the right location, adjusting the tools and fixtures to be just so and fine-tuning the production process until everything meshes together as one well-oiled cabinetmaking machine. Unfortunately, these activities do not a business make. Having created the machine, it is also necessary to run it; you have to establish a business and find work. For many cabinetmakers, accustomed as they are to shaping things with their hands, this is the biggest challenge of all. At the outset, you must

handshake is fine when greeting potential customers, but it's not the way to seal a deal. If a customer wants something from you, get it in writing; that's the only handshake that counts. Unless you have a client's signature (two signatures if you contract with a married couple) on a document that specifies exactly what you promise to supply and for what price, you will have no recourse if the client decides not to pay you for your work. You could end up owning someone else's custom cabinets (not

A similar analysis of a door run yields a cost of $24 per door. Since the china cabinet had two drawers ($60) and eight doors ($192), subtract $252 from the total cost of $2,450. Dividing this new figure ($2,198) by 28 square feet yields a cost of $78.50 per square foot of face; the universal factor for hutches. Thus the price of the 4½′ × 7½′ kitchen hutch under consideration can quickly be estimated as shown on page 112. Abbreviations of Production Process Job preparation C Consultation

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