I am wondering, has anyone had any experience in purchasing pre-cut components? Also, was it good, bad, and what was the cost comparison? Also, does anyone have any recommendations for sources? Any help is appreciated.
From contributor B:
When my partner and I were setting up our business, we seriously considered outsourcing all panel processing, to keep our initial machinery investment as low as possible. We ran financial projections outsourcing our panels, and doing them in-house, and it looked much more profitable to do it in-house. Plus you have more direct control over your finished product.
I've done one project where we outsourced our panel fabrication, and it was ok. All the parts came in unlabeled, so we spent a day figuring out which parts went where. Some parts were not correct, but this most likely stemmed from errors in communication with the fabricator.
If you are doing custom stuff, as we were, I would be very leery, mainly because of the difficulties in specifying non-standard sizes and boring locations to the fabricator. If on the other hand you are doing rather straightforward kitchen cabinets, then it may be a good route to go. I highly recommend doing realistic financial projections to see if it works with your business model.
I would suggest finding someone local if you can. Thermwood and eCabinet Systems lists shops around the country that will machine parts. Call your software reps (Cabinet Vision, etc) for a list of shops that will fabricate for you. Even Walzcraft is offering machined parts now.
There is a variety of drawer options and a large selection of doors and drawer fronts to choose from finished or unfinished. I sometimes do some of a kitchen in components and build those pieces that require more of a custom touch. Sometimes the customer wants a fancy island or china hutch, which we will build here and do the basic base and wall cabinets from components.
Comment from contributor R:
I get my RTA components from Northern Granite and Cabinetry. It is less expensive for me to outsource this, than to spend my time making parts. All I have to do is the assembly and installation which is the most important part of the job.