By Greg Larson
As the owner of the New England School of Architectural Woodworking (NESAW), a five-month career training program for cabinetmakers, I’ve been exposed to a wide variety of cabinet construction methods. Over the past ten years, my students and I have had the opportunity to visit many professional cabinet shops all over the United States – both commercial and residential, large and small. It never ceases to amaze me how many different methods there are to put together a cabinet.
In our program, students build high-end custom kitchens for people in our local community; as you can see here, the students do amazing work. The best part of visiting so many shops and seeing so many different construction methods is that we’ve been able to incorporate the best practices we’ve learned from the different craftspeople we’ve met. As a result, we’ve developed what we believe to be a very efficient and high quality method of cabinet construction. We’ve continually modified it over the years as we’ve discovered more about what works and what doesn’t. Consequently, even students who are brand new to woodworking can build extremely beautiful and high quality cabinets consistently and easily.
If you’re like most cabinetmakers, you have your own way of building cabinets, and it can be difficult to contemplate changing that. That’s understandable because when you’re running a business, there is often no time to adopt an untried new system and its often the easiest course to just keep doing what you’ve always done, even if there’s a more efficient method. Luckily, since NESAW is a school, we’ve been able to try new things and keep adapting our system, which I would like to share with you in the video below.
If you’re new to cabinetmaking, or running a business and looking for a tried and true system, I would encourage you to take a look. The best part is that CabWriter fully supports this construction method and it conforms to the Architectural Woodwork Standards (AWS) that are published by the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI). Not only will you save money in labor while building your cabinets, but you’ll save a significant amount of money on your cabinet design software – while still enjoying most of the features provided by more expensive software packages including CNC Integration, professional shop drawings, advanced cutlist capabilities, and plywood optimization.
At NESAW, we’ve been using it to design and build all of our kitchens for the past several years, so we know you’ll easily be able to implement this system in your own shop using CabWriter. This construction method is not limited to just kitchen cabinets, but works just as well with bathroom vanities, custom closets, bookcases, storage units, media centers, or any other type of cabinet.