From the Author
In this book I am going to attempt to inspire you to switch from
manufacturing face frame cabinetry to True32 cabinetry. Switching from
Face Frame to Frameless utilizing the True32 system will probably be one
of the most painful experiences of your cabinetmaking career, but it
will also be the most rewarding.
Simplicity is one of the foundations
of the system, but the very nature of this simplicity leads to a level
of complexity I can only describe as mind numbing. The only comparison I
have would be a Christian conversion. Christianity hinges on one simple
premise (Jesus Christ is who he said he was, Lord), but the simplicity
of that statement is what most people trip over. Many of today's cults
(especially eastern religions) win followers because of the very
complexity of their religious systems. These people think there can't be
eternal life available unless there are some really complex and
difficult systems to follow. Like Christianity, True32 truly is elegant
About the Author
I was born in Birmingham, Alabama on November 15th 1959. I
attended school in Central Florida, married the former Deborah A. Austin
on July 14th 1979, accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord on November
11th 1979, became a father to Christina Danielle on January 27th 1983
and was blessed with a second child, Holly Shannon on March 21st 1987. I
started in the Cabinet Industry as a salesman for a hardware
distribution company my dad owned in Nashville, TN in 1983. In 1986 I
started Cornerstone Machinery. I continued to sell hardware as an
independent representative and started selling Vega saw fence systems as
the first product for Cornerstone Machinery. As time went on I would
add new items, like Powermatic, Ritter, Weaver and many other time
saving tools for the Face Frame Manufacturer.
In 1988, Cornerstone
Machinery became a distributor for one of the Design Software packages.
This would set in motion a chain of events that would eventually lead to
my starting my own cabinet manufacturing business in 1990. As I would
sell this package, I would have to go back to each plant and install the
software. I did approximately 21 installs over the course of about 2
years. Some of my demonstrations and sales would be to cabinet shops
that built frameless cabinets utilizing the 32mm system. At the same
time I started getting more and more requests for machinery to build
frameless cabinets utilizing the 32mm system.
As I learned more
and more about the system I could see that it was a very predictable,
systematic approach to cabinet manufacturing. But many of the early
plants to convert were either bankrupting or having to switch back to
face frame to stay in business. In hind site I think it was a problem
with trying to sell people what you want to sell them instead of what
they want. Don't get me wrong on this, I am a firm believer in selling
what you make, not making what you sell, but you have to have a product
that people want to buy. The look of the typical Euro cabinet was very
contemporary. That is why it worked well in Florida and California, but
was not received well in many other parts of the country. Many made no
attempt at getting the same traditional look their customers were
accustomed to with the system. Another problem stemmed from material
availability. In the late 70s and early 80s, materials like edgebanding
and melamine were hard to come by. This made material acquisition a
major problem and consumed a large portion of the shop owners time.
the other hand, some of the early converts were wildly successful. One
of these shops was owned by my good friend Mark Poole. I called on Mark
hoping to sell him the Design Software package. I was not successful in
doing so, but a long and very intense friendship would start that day.
My Bible tells me as iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.
Every time I talk to Mark on the phone or see him personally, I am
motivated (inspired) to improve some part of what I do.
many years of traveling, which put me in motels 8 nights a month and my
children getting old enough to notice I was gone, I decided to make a
change. This would be the beginning of my cabinet manufacturing days.
Having $20,000.00 in the bank, I started trying to figure out how to set
up a plant. I realized real quick that my money would not go very far
trying to set up a frameless plant, so I decided to start with face
frame cabinetry and work up to frameless cabinetry utilizing the 32mm
system. I built a 5000 square foot building and put in typical face
frame type equipment. I was able to do this debt free with the exception
of the building mortgage. I built high-end residential face frame
cabinets from 1990 till I converted to frameless in August of 1996. At
first I tried to do a slow conversion. In March of 1996, I bought a
sliding table saw, thinking I would keep building face frame cabinets
with it until I could afford to buy the next piece of equipment. Paying
cash for each of them and just using them in my face frame system till I
had all the pieces in place and paid for. Then I would make a very
careful slow switch. That would have been fine if my saw times had not
gone from 8 hours to 12 hours on the same type job.
panel saw is designed to cut two sided materials very accurately
(holding +/- .2mm tolerances), but it is extremely slow compared to a
standard 10" table saw. I had to either back up or bite the big bullet
and buy the other pieces of equipment and convert immediately. I chose
to convert and never looked back.
True32 is a fully integrated,
math intensive system of manufacturing cabinetry. The question to ask
yourself is, "Do you want to predetermine your methods and processes in
the office and make every step through production easier, or would you
rather be completely dependent on each of your employees to reinvent a
method for each job over and over again?"
There are no short cuts
and no half steps in my opinion. You need the right equipment and you
need to utilize the proven system as it is intended, in Metric. As I
mentioned earlier, converting to True32 is similar to a spiritual
conversion, you have to put off your old ways of thinking and start
thinking in a new way.
To be successful, we must first define
success. I am convinced that the definition for success will be
different for each of us, but there are several universal principles
that we must consider. These principles are like a compass, they lead us
in the right direction whether we agree with them or not. First we must
consider that we were created as three dimensional beings, we are
physical (our body), mental (our mind), and spiritual (our inner being).
We must feed and nurture all three to be balanced. If we ignore
one, we will fail in some area of our life. That is not to say that we
can't be wildly successful in one area while we are ignoring another,
but if we were to work our physical body beyond it's limits we may
become socially and financially successful but die young doing it or
become permanently disabled doing it. God has given us free will to
choose our course any way we see fit, but there are always consequences
to our choices.
I try to arrange my days and weeks around feeding
each of these areas. I try to exercise regularly and eat moderately to
keep my physical body in shape, and I read books and trade magazines
daily to feed my mind. I read my bible, pray daily, and attend church
several times a week to feed my spirit. Being fit in all three of these
areas makes us better able to face the challenges of life. I have to
agree with Eli Goldratts statement, "The Goal of a business is to make
money, now and in the future." That statement is absolute truth. A
company that does not make money will fail, but it should not be our
personal goal. When money becomes our passion all other areas of our
life suffer. Money is a by-product of doing something well. Good work is
a hard thing to come by today. If we seek excellence in what we do the
money will be secondary but more than ample.