Sunday, December 21, 2014

Knowing when to pick your battles...

You know that line about the cobbler's children having no shoes? Or the tailor without clothes? I've been without a proper dresser in my bedroom for a few years. Long story, I won't bore you. But I'm getting tired of being without one.  

It's not like I've been sitting around, doing nothing. I started building one about a year ago and all I have to show for it is the carcase. 

And the longer it sits around the shop, the more likely it is to have stuff piled on top of it. Or to get damaged. So I made up my mind that I would try to get it finished this year. I have ten days left to accomplish that, and a chest cold that is probably going to preclude my efforts. 

There isn't a lot to do - finish up the drawers and doors and oil it. In a perfect world, I would have all the time I need to carve something cool on the back piece - hopefully to match the headboard I made a few years back. 

But I can do without the carving for now - I just want the dresser, dammit! My socks need a home!

That's when I remembered Cimarron Drawer, a local company that makes fantastic drawers. Don't call me a cheater or corner cutter - I just have to pick and choose my battles, and frankly - I don't have anything to prove by making my own drawers. If the quality is there, I can live with someone else's drawers. 

I met Lana and Scott about eight years ago at the AWFS show - they had a booth with some samples on display. I was impressed. That's all they do - drawers. You need something different, like a scooped face, or predrilled fronts, or even a notch for undercount slides - no problem. 

So I filled out their form for a quote - and as my friend Nikki says - BAM! I had a quote and a delivery date.

Now here's the thing - I mentioned quality - and their drawers are fantastic! Dovetailed, lacquered and ready to hang. Sign me up. They actually bought their own building this year, and recently moved - good for them!  I took the opportunity to visit their new production center and get a tour. 

The material comes in the back door and gets loaded on pallet racking, until it's processed. 

It's automated and optimized, by the time they're done with it, all that's left is little strips. 

It moves through a variety of machinery - planing, thickness sanding if necessary, cutting to length - 

until it ends up at the dovetailer. 

Sheer perfection!

If they're using melamine panel stock for drawers, the edge-bander comes into play, 

and the corners joints are doweled. 

All of the bottom panel material is then cut to size 

on their giant panel saw. They really have this down to a science. 

I'm not sure how many drawers can be glued up at once on their glue rack, but it's a lot. 

These drawers were notched for undermount slides, which will save someone a hell of a lot of time! 

Next up – the spray booth, for some lacquer. Their spray booth is bigger than my living room! 

And I'm pretty sure I could slide down their exhaust duct. Once the boxes leave the spray booth, they're ready to be picked up.

  Here is Scott bundling my order up - he makes it look effortless, but they put their heart and soul into each drawer order.

And all that's left is a stack of finished drawers  and a pile of sawdust... lots of sawdust. 

Their giant dust collector sucks out the waste right into their trash bin - once again - automating their process from board to finished drawer to dust. It's remarkably efficient. 

So that next time you are 80% of the way through a project that you can't seem to get the motivation to complete  - I highly recommend calling Lana to give you a quote. 

Honestly, they're one of the best kept woodworking secrets in Las Vegas!

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