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Cherry Built-in Bookshelves

 
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:09 PM   #1
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Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


I'm about to bid on a built-in. Client has an architect drawing. I've done lots of built-ins but always painted. this is a wall of cherry shelving with cherry base cabinets and a granite top.

Now I have to decide how to approach this:

1) I could build out of cherry stock and cherry veneered plywood and order cabinet doors and then stain myself. I am not that experienced with staining, I've built desks, stereo cabinets, etc, all stained, for my own house, but not for clients. I don't have a cabinet shop.

2) Go thru my usual kitchen cabinet supplier. Problem is he's really a distributor and by the time I mark-up on top of his mark-up either the price will be too high or my margin will be tiny.

3) Work directly with a cabinet shop where I can order finished/stained shelving, crown, doors, etc and then I build it on site. Does Home Depot have suppliers that will provide this?

I actually did a wall of built-ins: book shelves, fireplace mantel, tv out of Ikea parts upon a client's request. She was thrilled and it was profitable for me. I'm pretty sure these clients would not go for anything Ikea.

thanks for any ideas
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:27 PM   #2
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


Here is another approach, one of the companies I work with and buy doors from will also send me the matching stain, and veneers. Get all the doors and drawer fronts prefinished, then use the veneers and stain to finish up the job. GMOD.

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Old 09-29-2010, 04:44 PM   #3
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


Cherry is known to have a Blotched Look if a conditioner is not used. I have done some nice cherry work but the finishing ALWAYS takes longer than I want it to. Spray is the way, if you can't spray it, avoid that part at least.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


either build it yourself and stain it yourself, buildit yourself and find a finishing shop, or find a local built to order cab shop and have them do it 4 ya
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:15 PM   #5
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


If you dont own a shop, how is you going to build them? I dont stain Cherry I just use a clear finish.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:01 PM   #6
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


Here is another approach, one of the companies I work with and buy doors from will also send me the matching stain, and veneers. Get all the doors and drawer fronts prefinished, then use the veneers and stain to finish up the job.


This might be a good approach.
Who is your vendor? do they sell in the Chicago area?

thanks.
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Old 09-30-2010, 06:07 PM   #7
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


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Originally Posted by CJ21 View Post
If you dont own a shop, how is you going to build them? I dont stain Cherry I just use a clear finish.
Cherry should not be stained It only gets a clear lacquer finish. if you want to stain use alder But cherry is too classic and will darken over time on its own.

ML
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Old 09-30-2010, 06:54 PM   #8
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


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Cherry should not be stained It only gets a clear lacquer finish. if you want to stain use alder But cherry is too classic and will darken over time on its own.

ML
past three jobs have been dark stained cherry. Damn shame if you ask me.
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:48 PM   #9
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


Quote:
Originally Posted by llpcas View Post
I'm about to bid on a built-in. Client has an architect drawing. I've done lots of built-ins but always painted. this is a wall of cherry shelving with cherry base cabinets and a granite top.

Now I have to decide how to approach this:

1) I could build out of cherry stock and cherry veneered plywood and order cabinet doors and then stain myself. I am not that experienced with staining, I've built desks, stereo cabinets, etc, all stained, for my own house, but not for clients. I don't have a cabinet shop.

2) Go thru my usual kitchen cabinet supplier. Problem is he's really a distributor and by the time I mark-up on top of his mark-up either the price will be too high or my margin will be tiny.

3) Work directly with a cabinet shop where I can order finished/stained shelving, crown, doors, etc and then I build it on site. Does Home Depot have suppliers that will provide this?

I actually did a wall of built-ins: book shelves, fireplace mantel, tv out of Ikea parts upon a client's request. She was thrilled and it was profitable for me. I'm pretty sure these clients would not go for anything Ikea.

thanks for any ideas
I will say it again despite it pizzing some people off. Why waste time building them when you can buy them complete and just install the boxes. Sure you will make less money but for almost no work and no fuss. Plus using products from a major manufacturer you can give your customer a lifetime product warranty and in most cases brag that the product is KCMA certified. The finish and quality will be consistent from box 1 to box 1 million. You just can not achieve this with home made boxes.

Price. You are afraid the dealer you bought from is too high and there will be no room for you to markup for a reasonable profit. Then you are buying from the wrong guy. As a remodeler you should develop a relationship with some one who will offer you at least 60% off list and more if you buy frequently. You mentioned the big orange who only wants your little green. They charge full list price on cabinets. That's as stupid as paying MSRP sticker price for a new car. Who the hell would do that?

I have in the past posted some of my libraries and home offices in our picture thread here. They are masterpieces and all built from parts right out the catalog. No finishing, no building. Take them out of the cardboard box, hang them...the only cutting is with the wood tops, crown and furniture base or any other dressing depending on how fancy.

Today many manufactures are putting cherry stains on maple to save the customer money cause everyone likes shades of cherry right? And maple is cheaper then cherry.

Think of the time planning, drawing, building, ordering pieces and parts from various suppliers.......just to build these things. The smarter alternative is to buy whole units already made, already finished, all the bells and whistles already added.........just figure out the height and width and place your order. If your supplier says more then 3 weeks then walk to the next place. A local Merillat dealer for example will get you anything in the catalog in 5 business days in Chicago. I know this for a fact. Home Depot by comparison tells the consumer that cabinets take 8 to 10 weeks when the truth is 10 to 14 weeks. No one knows why it takes them 3 months to get Kraftmaid when any other dealer gets them in 3 weeks. They are lying criminals.

I am sure you are very skilled in woodworking but it just don't make sense to build them when you can buy them finished and be done with it, take your smaller profit and move to the next one.
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Old 09-30-2010, 10:18 PM   #10
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


Jimmy, it depends on the customer. Sometimes it cause for to custom build them.
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:46 PM   #11
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


Quote:
Originally Posted by llpcas View Post
Here is another approach, one of the companies I work with and buy doors from will also send me the matching stain, and veneers. Get all the doors and drawer fronts prefinished, then use the veneers and stain to finish up the job.


This might be a good approach.
Who is your vendor? do they sell in the Chicago area?

thanks.
Metro wood products, you have to set up a wholesale account, etc.... If you need a # let me know, GMOD
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:14 AM   #12
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Cabinet View Post
I will say it again despite it pizzing some people off. Why waste time building them when you can buy them complete and just install the boxes. Sure you will make less money but for almost no work and no fuss. Plus using products from a major manufacturer you can give your customer a lifetime product warranty and in most cases brag that the product is KCMA certified. The finish and quality will be consistent from box 1 to box 1 million. You just can not achieve this with home made boxes.

Price. You are afraid the dealer you bought from is too high and there will be no room for you to markup for a reasonable profit. Then you are buying from the wrong guy. As a remodeler you should develop a relationship with some one who will offer you at least 60% off list and more if you buy frequently. You mentioned the big orange who only wants your little green. They charge full list price on cabinets. That's as stupid as paying MSRP sticker price for a new car. Who the hell would do that?

I have in the past posted some of my libraries and home offices in our picture thread here. They are masterpieces and all built from parts right out the catalog. No finishing, no building. Take them out of the cardboard box, hang them...the only cutting is with the wood tops, crown and furniture base or any other dressing depending on how fancy.

Today many manufactures are putting cherry stains on maple to save the customer money cause everyone likes shades of cherry right? And maple is cheaper then cherry.

Think of the time planning, drawing, building, ordering pieces and parts from various suppliers.......just to build these things. The smarter alternative is to buy whole units already made, already finished, all the bells and whistles already added.........just figure out the height and width and place your order. If your supplier says more then 3 weeks then walk to the next place. A local Merillat dealer for example will get you anything in the catalog in 5 business days in Chicago. I know this for a fact. Home Depot by comparison tells the consumer that cabinets take 8 to 10 weeks when the truth is 10 to 14 weeks. No one knows why it takes them 3 months to get Kraftmaid when any other dealer gets them in 3 weeks. They are lying criminals.

I am sure you are very skilled in woodworking but it just don't make sense to build them when you can buy them finished and be done with it, take your smaller profit and move to the next one.

Here's a link to an article in FHB that supports Jimmy's suggestion. It's got some links to some suppliers as well:

http://www.finehomebuilding.com/PDF/Free/021159076.pdf
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:46 PM   #13
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


Talked to Metro Wood Products this a.m. They said they'd call back with a supplier in Chicago. Thanks for the lead.

And I am in perfect agreement with you guys on the virtue of not building your own. I'm not a cabinet maker I'm a finish carpenter/GC. I have total repsect for these great cabinet makers but in reality most of my clients just don't want to pay for that kind of superior craftsmanship, they want a box (lots of them don't even care if it's particle board) and they want a nice door.

I worked with Merrilat for my 1st spec house back in 2000. Kitchen actually looked pretty good. We used Amera cabinets they gave us a 55% discount.
Might check them out again. What line do you like of theirs?

Next stop that link from finehomebuilding.

thanks
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:19 PM   #14
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


Jimmy is right, if you are not setup to build, better off being a parts assembler. Here is the rub, in order the be good at doing the assembly thing (like Jimmy) you need to have full and complete understanding of the line that you are working with, often those catalouges with all the parts pieces and accessories can get pretty overwhelming if you have not done it before. To take an existing space and make stock cabinets appear to be custom is not something you master your first time out. Additionally, your profit goes way down, but so does your overall job time. GMOD
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:19 PM   #15
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


Great article in finehomebuilding - thanks. checked out the suppliers online and will be calling around.
Have any of you ordered from any of them: Conestoga, Hutchinson Products, Meridian, Porta Door, Real Wood, Scherr's
I think this is the way to go for this small project.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:43 PM   #16
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


Just wanted to follow-up on the cherry built-in and thank you guys for sending me in the right direction.
I ended up reading that fine home building article knighton suggested.
And going in that direction.
Used Meridian for the components and built it (or should I say assembled it myself). Client had an architect's drawing.
Job was profitable for me and the customer was very satisfied.
Really appreciate all of your input.
Here's a photo:
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:38 PM   #17
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


Thanks for the update. Lots of questions get asked and answered here with no follow up. They look good.

I am starting to agree with Jimmy on some projects, especially with entire kitchens. Soft close doors and drawers is where I seem to get beat up.

Something as simple as those I probably would have been inclined to build them depending on what I could get them for. But I have a shop to do them in.

Would you mind sending me a PM with the cost.
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:35 PM   #18
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


very nice! glad to hear you made money too!!
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:45 AM   #19
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Re: Cherry Built-in Bookshelves


Quote:
Originally Posted by llpcas View Post
Just wanted to follow-up on the cherry built-in and thank you guys for sending me in the right direction.
I ended up reading that fine home building article knighton suggested.
And going in that direction.
Used Meridian for the components and built it (or should I say assembled it myself). Client had an architect's drawing.
Job was profitable for me and the customer was very satisfied.
Really appreciate all of your input.
Here's a photo:
Thanks for the update those cabinets looks nice.

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