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Cabinetmaking Procedures for the Small Shop

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Learn professional woodworking techniques that really work!

  • Principles and preliminaries: Standardization, guidelines, estimating, schematic planning
  • Workshop procedures: Dividing the plan, case cutting, layout, components, stacking
  • Assembly: Face frame, case, attaching the face frame and back, sanding
  • Doors, drawers, roll-outs: Flat-panel, frame-and-panel, manufactured doors
  • Frameless cabinetry: Tooling, layout, edge-banding, boring the holes, building doors & drawers, assembly
  • Appendices: Countertop materials, finishing a toe-kick, lazy Susans, split stiles, measuring tips, materials and supplies, and more


Learn how to manage the transition from amateur to production cabinetmaking with Cabinetmaking Procedures for the Small Shop!

Any amateur cabinetmaker, no matter how skillful, runs into a whole new set of problems when he or she takes on a large project—making all the cabinets for a kitchen or a study, for example—or ventures into cabinetmaking as a commercial venture. For these larger production projects, the issues of accurate and consistent measurement, standardization, efficiency, and procedure become crucial.

This practical manual explains how to keep the work flowing and the quality high in a custom cabinet shop. Cabinetmaking Procedures for the Small Shop contains an updated rundown on how commercial cabinet shops work, with advice for the amateur as well as for the professional. Inside, you'll find practical standards and sensible procedures, plus tips and tricks. There is an emphasis on sound craftmanship, smart planning, accurate measurements, and organized workflow.

What happens when you want to build enough cabinets for a whole room, or for an entire house? How do you measure everything correctly, where can you stack hundreds of parts, how can you be sure they'll all fit neatly together, and what if the results are too big to go through the doorway?

A simple bathroom vanity with drawers contains about 30 pieces of wood, and each of them must be accurately listed, cut, and joined. Most amateur woodworkers have the knowledge, tools, and experience to make that single household cabinet. The difference between making one cabinet at a time and making a whole roomful of them is the difference between amateur woodworking and small-shop professional woodworking.

Any woodworker who has tried to make a roomful of cabinets can't escape the feeling that there must be a logical, straightforward way to proceed. This handbook provides the missing ingredients: Practical standards and sensible procedures, plus the tips and tricks that come from long experience in the workshop.

The techniques inside Cabinetmaking Procedures for the Small Shop emphasize great craftsmanship, efficient productions methods, and design flexibility. This book includes traditional face-frame cabinetry as well as contemporary frameless cabinets, and the methods covered will work for a single cabinet or enough build-ins to fill a house.

Co-author Kevin Fristad is production manager of a busy cabinet shop near Seattle; co-author John Ward is a management consultant in Sonoma, CA. They self-published a version of this book in 1981 when they worked together at Artisan Woodworks in Sonoma. After another 20 years in the workshop, Fristad completely revised and updated this new edition.

Whether you're an amateur with a large project to tackle or are starting a small shop of your own, learn how to streamline production without sacrificing quality with Cabinetmaking Procedures for the Small Shop!

Our Promise To You.

If it is for sale in our store -- it is because we use it and love it!

We are happy to share our experiences with these tools which may enhance your own. Given care, maintenance, and love, each of these fine tools is capable of lasting a lifetime. We do limit warranties to those offered by our supplying manufacturers. If ever you have a question or concern regarding any of the tools we sell, please let us know.

Online. On Campus. On The Job Site.

These tools, toys and supplies are in constant use by our students, timber framing crews, and family. At Shelter Tools, we have a working knowledge of every product we sell. Graduates will find particular items recommended in class and on site.

If you don't see the tools or items you need, we can find it for you. Write us or call us anytime.