Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Occupy. . .

If you haven't given the old occupy a try, you should.  I set up my tent, and camped out down the street at the "other" cabinet shop for a few months to throw my hat into the occupy ring.  It worked well.  They got so fed up with me hanging around like a turd that they started giving me stuff.  We ended up with a brand new edge-bander, some nice drills, a new computer with a fancy cad program and a printer, a few bottles of glue, some clients, a used trailer to haul cabinets, a lightly used hammer, lots of sand paper and then they finally let me take over their whole building.  It worked!  You should give it a shot.

So Deep Creek hit it big with all the newly occupied equipment and a new building.  I like the new office so much, I think I will hang out more often and get back to blogging more. 

I have always wanted to try flying, maybe I will occupy the airport next week.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Form following function

I hate taking baths. I think it goes back to Mama Jo making me take a bath after playing in the ditch when I was a kid. Yeah, I played in the ditch.

I wish I could take credit for this tub, but we just touched it up with some block feet to sit on and a bit of trim. The boys at Diamond Spas in Colorado get the credit for the fashion on this one.

We attached the feet to the floor, the plumbers came after and set the tub on the feet, and we trimmed it on site with pre-finished parts. Leslie spent the time to make it look right, and it's a looker.

I don't think I could fit it in my yard, but I still wouldn't take a bath if I owned one. I hate taking baths. I'm partial to ditches.

"Hey, but it sure looks good on you!"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's so simple.

Tasty burgers. I would rather eat a delicious homemade hamburger with all the fixins than a delicious steak. I love burgers. But I am pretty picky about my burgers, and simple doesn't do it for me.

I was having the burger chat with a good friend and we debated over the simple burger with that "special sauce". Makes me want to blow chunks. I'm talking about In N Out (as opposed to up n down).

The Utah County folk love their fads. They will do ANYTHING that is cool, as long as it is cheap. Not inexpensive, cheap. Even if it tastes or looks like crap. So after much lobbying and many long trips to 'Cali' for a burger run, the yummy simple burgers from Back N Forth made their way to Utah County to appease the masses. Don't be fooled by those other red and yellow imposters, they sure couldn't make a burger as simple. I'm talking Out N About.

My friend, bless him, is one to wait with all the other Ut. County patrons in the drive thru line, car idling and NOT contributing to Climate Change (formerly Global Warming) for that oh so simple burger.

But, we do agree that simple can be so good. This little betty ended up being one of my flavorite pieces in the whole home. And it is just a simple little cabinet, tucked away in a far off corner.

Quarter-sawn white oak, fumed in the makeshift tanning bed in the shop. I love this cabinet.

How 'bout that hardware.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

This one "goes"

I had a roommate for several years that I would even call a friend. Every now and then, he would stop in to my room and ask me "does this go?" referring to a shirt and pants, or a tie or shoes, or something else he was wanting to wear to church or a date. I always wanted to know where they were supposed to go. But now I understand.

Leslie would have been the one to ask, cause she knows where things are supposed to go. And the colors here, sure go.

The first post for this blog was this little number and it sure turned out lovely. We just needed about a thousand years to get some color to it. This was one of the first pieces that Leslie gave us to do. It sat unfinished in the corner for a few. I posted too, about the doors, which turned out flawless and fit well. Now it is done and fully functional. The granite rocks and the curve is matched to fit the vessel sink.

Quartered African Mahogany is the wood choice. The legs are not glue-ups but mitered 4/4 to give it that "thick and chunky" look we all come to expect from Leslie.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Grinding my nose on the stone.

I spent a few weeks cleaning the sawdust from my nose in el Gran Canon. Every year we meet up on a chartered canoe trip supported by Tour West and herd the canoes down the Colorado. These folks are amazing, running open canoes thru some burly whitewater. Canoeist legends Bob Foote and Karen Knight put this trip together and after 30 yrs this could have been their last. Here's a few pics to whet your whistle.

Simon the Canuck. Dude rocks it in an open boat thru Granite. He was given 1 in 10 chance and hiked up 2 more times to do it again.

I am getting paid for this...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I would have gotten away if it weren't for those meddling kids.

I'm not gonna lie, I am shaking in my boots.

For 2 years now we have had this next project on the drawing board (honest, it didn't take 2 years to build). I have seen them on tv since I was old enough to watch Bugs and Wiley E.

Saturday morning with a blanket and a big pillow in tow, Scooby Doo was at the top of the list for me. Somehow Scooby and Shaggy always found a secret passage thru a bookcase that moves revealing a hidden treasure and some dude dressed up as a ghoul or swamp thing. And we are on the brink of our own bookcase that opens into a secret room, and I'm sweating it, having never actually built one. This one has stretched me, and I am at a breaking point.

We spent the past few days in the finish room and will spend the next few days on site to see if all our math adds up to a doorway that even Scooby can't find.

The house is all but wrapped up. After a few details and a big bookcase, I should have some great pics in the next week or so. Check them out. Wish me luck, I might need it.

And, speaking of Scooby, what ever happened to Velma? She was a real hip lady.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Everybody's Favorite Excuse

We made two orders in 5 months. They were both custom orders and set us back a hefty sum. They were simple orders, and small, the first being a flat crown mold for the Glenwild home in Park City, about 150 feet of quarter-sawn African Mahogany with funky angles on each edge. The second was a large American Walnut traditional crown for a home in Provo. Wood costs alone per board foot is around the $5 range, and then the special order and knife grinding costs added to the price per foot.

The Mahogany showed up with knife marks along every foot of each piece. I was not happy. I put our $10 an hour guy on it for a few hours anyway and moved on. When the second order showed up in January, I was fed up with suppliers in this "economy".

What a great excuse for any business: "With this economy, we have had to cut back," or "With this economy, we don't offer those options any more," or "With this economy, we let our best guy go." Good idea, nice.

So the quality of craftsmanship and customer service has strait up gone to hell. Our main parts, hardware and finish supplier has toasted any chance of recovery just from their terrible customer service with us and every shop that I know. They couldn't get our stain colors right over and over and told us that is just the way it is. "Just tone it in, it will be okay." Over and over the wrong orders would show up and somehow it is our fault. And, when I found out an order was delivered to another shop, they let me know I could pick it up there. Thanks!

My wife and I visited a restaurant for our 4th year anniversary last week. This particular restaurant was a staple up until now. Done. Never going back. Service was lame, and I couldn't even get black olives on my pasta. I was offended and I even consider myself a faithful patron.

When the trust in the great American economy went south, pops and I decided that we would step it up a little. All we could have going for us is quality. We definitely can't compete with price; the dude in his basement or garage, farming everything out and has no overhead. And, we can't get things done faster than the big guys, it's just a few of us. That's where we are at now, try and keep them pumped on what we send out the door, and maybe they will come back. Or a referral. Or at least a pat on the back.

There is one reason, and one alone we shop the crown from this particular business. Usually, when it shows up, it needs no attention at all and goes straight to the finish room. These folks are more expensive, and 1 hour further away from the closest supplier (who is 2 minutes down the road, literally). These guys have earned their reputation.

After two bad runs in a row, and other suppliers giving us the run-around, I was fed up and made a call. With the manager on the other end, I explained and told him I was at the end of my rope. He asked how long I would be in the shop and if he could come down to sand the crown. I stammered a bit. "Uh, yeah, if you want."

I thought he was driving an hour in his fancy pick-up just to spite me and tell me his crown was just fine, that if I was so picky, that he would take time out of his busy schedule as a top exec and spend 3 to 4 hours to prove that I was an idiot and didn't know anything about how hard it is to mill crown molding, and all you had to do was spend a bit to sand it.

Nope. Dude shows up with his own sand paper dressed in his Patagonia jacket and apologizing profusely about the lack of quality. He couldn't understand how we ended up with 2 orders of junk. Then, he spent the next hour and a half sanding just like I did when I was 14 years old, helping at the shop.

I asked how business was, and he explained how it had hit them like a ton of bricks. I asked if maybe they had let the good guys go and the scrubs had let the crown out of the mill looking like this. Turns out, they let all the scrubs go to compensate and left all the high dollar guys in the shop to ensure quality. He still isn't sure how we ended up with two bad runs, and never offered up excuses. Crown turned out like a gem.

I did not expect this. Kudos to Bringard Mill and their attitude. This attitude may not save Deep Creek, or Bringard or anyone else who might be putting in the long hours doing the scrub work, but at least they can stand up tall and look people in the eye reflecting the integrity and hard work that actually put this nation on it's own two feet.

God bless all those who actually give a crap.