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What Tools Are Necessary to Begin Cabinet Manufacturing?

If you play your cards right, cabinet manufacturing can be a lucrative form of professional woodwork, as cabinetry is routinely upgraded and replaced to improve the appearance of kitchens, libraries, and dens. The fees for custom cabinetry are some of the best in the woodworking business, with a full set of cabinets for a 12’x12’ kitchen easily yielding $8,000 or more. So, how do you play your cards right and become a successful cabinetmaker? As you might expect, it begins with identifying the right type of woodworking machinery for your cabinetmaking needs.

Four Essential Tools for Cabinet Manufacturing

The majority of woodworking machines are useful to cabinetmaking, depending on a cabinetmaker’s particular designs and preferences. But there are four machines to purchase before you purchase others: a shaper, a planer, a CNC router, and a belt sander.

1. Shaper

Also referred to as a spindle molder, a shaper is a machine that uses a spindle and cutter head arrangement to shape various wood pieces into products that range from functional to decorative. In terms of cabinetmaking, a shaper could be used to make various accent designs and support pieces. But it could also be useful for other woodwork, particularly furniture making. For many woodworkers, an industrial grade shaper is their first significant purchase toward taking their cabinetmaking business to the next level.

2. Planer

A planer is used to reduce the thickness of rough wood and give it a flat surface. Industrial grade belt sanders are also used for this purpose, but mechanized planers don’t cause wear to your sanding belt. Shapers and planers are often found in the same machine, particularly in domestic grade and commercial grade woodworking machinery. But in high output operations that require an industrial production line, planers and shapers are often found as separate machines on the same line, with the planer generally preceding the shaper.

3. CNC Router

To save money, some cabinetmakers opt for standard routers instead of CNC routers. But while standard routers work fine for hobbyist cabinetmaking, cabinet manufacturing as a business requires the faster, more intricate cutting capabilities of a CNC router. If a new CNC router is out of your budget, shopping for one among used industrial woodworking machines at a professional seller of used industrial woodworking machinery can result in finding new machine quality at a used machine price.

4. Belt Sander

Belt sanders come in various models. For high output operations that transform raw wood stock into finished products, a belt sander with planing capabilities is usually in order. But if your wood stock has had the majority of its roughness planed away, buying a light commercial grade sander should serve you well.

Buying a shaper, a planer, a CNC router, and a belt sander is the first step toward opening your own cabinetmaking business, a decision that could give you a well paid career in woodworking, and one that combines artistry with functionality. To save money on your machinery purchases, shopping for your equipment at professional resellers of used woodworking machines is the best choice.

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