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Outsourcing options

While Shaker profiles and natural tones are trending, suppliers of cabinet and furniture components have a range of products to help shops save time and money

There can be a lot of upside to outsourcing. It lets a cabinet shop fill orders on schedule, expand its catalog of offerings, and keep labor costs under control. But letting a factory carry a large part of the load only works if the woodshop also does its own part in providing exceptional design, sales, and installation. And while choosing a supplier is often based on location and shipping costs, there is a far more important criterion – a woodshop’s reputation will depend in large part of the quality of the work done by its supplier.

Good design includes matching a client’s space and taste to available products, and for that to happen the woodshop needs to stay on top of trends and technology. Since 2019, a couple of strong design traits have surfaced in this market. Customers crave the comfort of warm earth tones and the ordered sanctuary of clean, minimalistic spaces.

Emily LaPointe is the marketing manager at Alvic USA (, an outsourcing supplier with European roots and a manufacturing plant in Florida. LaPointe notes an accelerated rise in organic and natural style, and she suggests that trend will dominate kitchens and baths over the next three years. In response, her company has released new finishes this year that are inspired by earth tones. While there is no doubt that the market will eventually return to more traditional characteristics, for now cabinet and furniture components are still heavily weighted toward monochromatic doors and fronts with clean lines and hygienic, easily cleaned surfaces.

A good example is the slab design of Alvic’s Plano doors, which the company describes as the perfect way to show off striking colors and finishes. One of the more dramatic effects is a copper-colored laminate (Cuzco) in a Luxe finish that can be ordered with or without minimalist hardware. And responding to that wavering line between solid color and wood tones, Alvic has introduced a door called Corfu that lies somewhere between its plain slab and five-part Shaker profiles. This is essentially a center panel with a pair of stiles (no rails), and beyond monotones it can be ordered with warm wood grain running laterally on the panel and vertically on the stiles for a breadboard effect.

In keeping with the design trend, Elias Woodwork ( in Manitoba recently added nine new organic hues to its solid color sprayed lacquer options. The standard sheen is 10 degrees, and the coating is machine sprayed and then oven dried. The spraying is done horizontally to achieve high solids with a no-sag, no-run finish and the doors are then machine transferred directly into flash off ovens to prevent airborne particle contamination. The result is a coat that measures approximately 3.2 mils thick. Various glaze techniques can be added to the solid colors, and custom color formulations or matches are possible, too.

One aspect of the clean and simple look is a trend toward inset rather than overlay doors. They’re a bit more of a challenge to fit, but the cabinetmakers at Pennsylvania-based Keystone Wood Specialties ( have a new resource to tackle that. Keystone added a Bacci edge profiling CNC which delivers perfectly sized and perfectly square doors. It trims the four outside edges after assembly and before finishing, and lets woodshops achieve clean lines and extremely accurate door spacing on inset and frameless jobs, without needing to make a lot of adjustments on site. The new machine can hold tolerances within 1/64” and it can accommodate components up to 98″ long. With the exception of a few mitered door designs and slab drawer fronts, all of Keystone’s doors and drawer fronts are now processed through the Bacci.

In keeping with the organic theme, the designers at WalzCraft in Wisconsin ( have added three new Super Matte color options to their 3D Laminate/RTF cabinet door selection. The new colors are Beach Glass, Celadon Green and Fjord Green. The Super Matte finish has a low sheen and a durable, easy-to-clean surface. And to address the simplicity design trend, WalzCraft has added six new Signature Series door and drawer front designs including S981 Palmetto, S982 Delray, S983 Biscayne, S984 Grace, S985 Haven, and S986 Faith. These are one-piece 3D laminate (RTF, or rigid thermofoil) components that require very little attention, where a mild detergent such as dish soap mixed with warm water is the recommended solution for cleaning.

Decore-ative Specialties ( offers 22 colors that are aligned with the organic and natural trend. The company allows customers to order products finished with paint, primer, clearcoat, or Spray-to-Color stains. After a woodshop places an order, the factory sends a sample for approval.

Flexible options

One growing trend in cabinetry is to use shelves or panels on walls, rather than hanging upper cabinets all around the room. That has led to some interesting designs, where the base cabinets are taller than traditional countertops and appliances can be set up of the floor. When it comes to odd sizes and unusual dimensions, one of the more flexible suppliers is Colorado-based CabParts ( The company specializes in full access or frameless boxes and closet components, and a woodshop can order just what they need rather than a full kit. That might include only the drawer boxes, or doors and drawer fronts, or hardware, and the factory will work in almost any available material, which has provided an opportunity for some striking designs.

While the monotone slab design has gained significant traction, being creative with the five-piece concept is also popular. Earlier this year, Conestoga Wood Specialties ( introduced a frame-only option for its Savoy composite doors. This is just the stiles and rails with no panel, and the manufacturer has just expanded the option to include its Astoria design. The idea builds on the traditional concept that shops can insert their own glass by offering the opportunity to also add other materials as a panel, including metal or perhaps translucent plastic. The frames are routed to accept 1/8” thick inserts and they include a retainer molding to conceal exposed areas of the composite substrate. Both versions of the frame-only door are manufactured from composite core plywood panels and will accept finish in a similar fashion. The doors feature 3”-wide vertical grain stiles and rails with doweled construction, and an option for horizontal grain on the frames.

Nowhere is the shift to simplicity more obvious than in the catalog of ACS (Atlanta Cabinet Shop, online at The company offers five-piece Shaker doors and slab doors. That’s it. Billing itself as “a manufacturer of contemporary cabinet fronts”, ACS offers thermally fused laminate (TFL) doors with options that include textured wood grains, patterns and solid colors, or acrylic doors in high gloss and matte textures. Some of the options, such as the Slate Gloss, incorporate all the current trends including earth tones, simplicity, hygiene, and high drama. The company has 1mm edge banding technology that creates flawless corners, and ACS notes that its TFL panels are a cut above common melamine.

Most of the larger suppliers offer different price/quality options that give a woodshop some leeway when trying to match a client’s funds. There might be a premier line in the kitchen, and then cabinets with a similar look but fewer upgrades and features in a walk-in pantry, bath or office. For example, the NorthPoint Cabinetry catalog from Hardware Resources ( offers a Premier cabinet line with upgrades such as soft-close doors and drawers, and an Essentials line that still delivers on style but trims the budget. These are in-stock items that are warehoused across the country, so they are already built, and they ship quickly too. The Premier cabinets have full overlay doors and a choice of two door styles (Shaker and traditional) while the Essential line has Shaker doors. Both options are all-wood cabinetry with premium dovetail drawer boxes. There’s also the option to mix and match colors within each group, to add a little drama.

Canary Closets & Cabinetry in New Jersey ( also offers both traditional and Shaker style doors and drawer fronts, and the company has added a third option called Transitional that sort of combines the two. It’s a no-nonsense five-piece flat panel door with a coved profile on the inside edge of each stile and rail.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry ( builds the traditional face frame Crestwood line, and the frameless Bria line. Both come in a multitude of design choices, and as the company also deals directly with the public, the designers are used to explaining different construction methods, materials, and the wide array of design and budget options. Among the latest offerings is something we’ve seen across the spectrum this past year or so, a ‘shallow’ Shaker door and front called Parker that has softly raised stiles and rails. Instead of centering the panel on the stiles and rails, it is offset to the front so the edge of the frame above the panel is quite thin.

Northern Contours ( offers a huge range of cabinet choices and several other services such as membrane pressing, miter folding, laminating, edgebanding, machining, routing, and refacing. Among its offerings is a 3D laminate that is combined with a Shaker slim profile, which is shown on the company’s website as “Shades of Green”.

Tiered solutions

Color and door style aren’t the only concerns when ordering cabinet or furniture components. Speed of delivery, a range of price points and customer service are all part of the puzzle. Ordering from a small local manufacturer offers the chance to meet the builders in person, and perhaps address quality issues in a most timely manner. But small suppliers generally have small catalogs, and that can defeat the whole purpose of outsourcing which is being able to present several budget and design options.

Cabinets Quick! is an outsourcing supplier based in California ( that offers various price points. The company specializes in semi-custom, built-to-order cabinetry from high-end residential work using plywood and veneers to commercial projects using laminates, and has recently introduced a new Shaker door program with American laminate patterns that run the gamut from real wood to fine furniture finishes.

Rugby Architectural Building Products ( has 30 locations across the U.S. and offers kitchen and bath cabinet products from sources such as BHK of America, Kitchen Kompact, and Kitchen Cabinet Distributors. This is more of a factory than a custom solution, but the product selection is wide, and the prices address most budgets.

Ohio’s Stratton Creek Wood Works ( is a provider of custom cabinetry and architectural millwork for both residential and commercial projects. The company also supplies architectural elements fabricated in Versatex (a cellular PVC that is a durable and relatively maintenance-free alternative to wood), dovetailed drawer boxes, custom moldings, and a CNC routing service.

Woodshops that are comfortable making doors and drawers in-house might want to look at the Cabinotch system (, which provides face frame and frameless cabinet boxes made with formaldehyde-free PureBond hardwood plywood. The system involves a patented interlocking joint that makes quick work of assembling from a flat pack, and it can help cabinet shops reduce costs and improve productivity. The Kentucky-based company supplies completely custom unfinished face frames, sides, backs, bottoms, tops, and shelves that are made to spec with no filler strips required, and the woodshop then supplies the doors, drawers, finishes and hardware.

Door and drawer options

For shops that build their own casework – or order cases from Cabinotch – there are several top-quality door manufacturers that can provide trending colors and styles in materials to match the boxes.

Among those is Arkansas Wood Doors (, which also sells ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets. AWD takes that concept to the next level by making RTA drawer boxes that have simplified joinery and can be assembled on site with pocket screws. These drawers are less expensive to buy and cheaper to ship than fully assembled drawers. If the budget allows, AWD also makes pre-assembled dovetailed drawers in UV plywood, with the hardware included. The catalog includes five-piece cope-and-stick doors, mitered frame doors, 3DL doors and veneered panels.

Campana Technology, or CamTech (, makes five-piece and one-piece thermofoil doors in 20 colors at its Georgia factory.

With showrooms in New Jersey and Arizona, Outwater Plastics & Architectural Products ( provides smooth and textured five-piece doors along with a variety of drawer parts and matching moldings. The doors are MDF cores with polyester wrap in Tafisa and Uniboard colors. Two versions of Shaker-style door and drawer fronts are available, called Small and Large, with the difference being the width of the stiles and rails (2-1/4” and 3”, respectively).

The millwork and cabinetry division of REHAU Industries ( supplies a wide range of cabinet and furniture components. Among them is the Rauvisio ferro metallic PET surface line that was launched in 2021. The company waxes eloquent when it describes Rauvisio: “Drawing from the elemental mysteries of fire and the smoldering beauty of metal forged in the flames, Rauvisio ferro is a luxurious, metal-inspired surface that adds a touch of timeless elegance and a spark of sophistication to any home”.

Deep in the heart of Texas (well, just north of Austin), TaylorCraft Cabinet Door Co. ( builds custom, unfinished wood cabinet doors and drawer fronts in nine hardwood choices.

A new offering is a triple-step inside edge cabinet door, called the IE13. It looks stunning when paired with a 1/4″ or 3/8″ flat panel, or a raised panel.  

More sources to explore

Amish Country Woodworx
CCF Industries
Drawer Box Specialties (DBS)
Drawer Connection
New England Drawer
Timbercraft Drawers
Top Drawer Components

Drawers & Organizers
Häfele America

KenCraft Co.

Frank Paxton Lumber
L.L. Johnson Lumber Mfg. Co.

Parts & Accessories
Adams Wood Products
Artisans of the Valley
Barker Metalcraft
Century Components
Designs of Distinction
Excel Dowel & Wood Products
Hall’s Edge
Osborne Wood Products
The Wood & Shop

Shelf Systems
Sawtooth Shelf System
Stronghold Brackets

Josef’s Art Woodturning & Son
Kings Corner Wood Turning

This article was originally published in the October 2022 issue.

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