The term “full service” doesn’t wholly describe the range of products and capabilities offered by Palm Brothers Remodeling Inc., a turnkey renovation firm based in Naples, Florida. Specializing in commercial interiors and custom woodworking, the company designed, built and installed what is considered to be the country’s first funeral home wine cellar, enabling the Naples funeral provider to offer an alternative form of memorial gathering. The 2015 wine cellar project was profiled on television and in print for its unique setting.
That’s just one of the many accolades for Palm Brothers (PalmBrothersRemodeling.com), which was founded in 2002 by brothers Brandon and Marcus Palm. The remodeling firm also has been named a Best of Houzz favorite for 2014 and 2016 for its customer service.
From its inception, Palm Brothers’ ability to provide a variety of services has been key, says Brandon, who learned the business from his stepfather, a builder. “What set us apart during the slowdown was that we had experience in so many areas. We were able to offer turnkey capabilities in remodeling,” including moulding and millwork, cabinet manufacturing and installation. “We also had the experience to offer cutting edge lighting that was completely integrated.”
Brandon adds, “Our reputation for customer service also stems from the fact that we keep the customer informed from the planning stage through the final installation. We provide a primer on our website of what happens in the various stages.
“Most of the jobs we do are for homes that cost $1 million and up, and some of our clients hire us to work on their second, third or fourth homes. In this area, clients tend to spend a lot of money on renovations,” he says.
The company’s showroom highlights Palm Brothers’ capabilities and past work. In addition, it has a 3,300-square-foot facility for woodworking, with eight “great employees,” Palm says, including two full-time cabinetmakers. Palm also credits Mark Barbour, who runs the shop. “He is a professionally trained woodworker and he knows how to make anything. Having him in our company has been a blessing. We are poised to enjoy the upturn in business.”
Technology also plays an integral role in Palm Brothers’ turnkey abilities and success. The company recently purchased five key pieces of machinery from Laguna Tools, including: a customized 5 x 10-foot SmartShop IV CNC router with automatic tool changer, a 4/3 Bandit single-sided automatic edgebander, dovetail machine, several 3-HP mobile dust collectors, and a hollow chisel mortiser.
“The CNC machine has been a game changer,” Palm says. “We use it every day.” In addition to the training provided, Palm praises Laguna for its quick response and customer service.
“When you purchase this type of machinery for our kind of fast-paced business you have to make sure the manufacturer is ready at all times to diagnose all issues. Service is just as important as the machinery itself, or it really is just a piece of metal. I tell people to find out what kind of support you have with the machinery manufacturer. If you are spending $80,000-$100,000 for example, for a piece of machinery, make sure you are getting support or you are throwing your money away. Laguna Tools has a lot of employees to help with diagnosing any problems.”
Palm also has high praise for the dovetail machine, which he says is easy to operate and provides flawless work. “It is a great machine that cost us $10,000. We use it for our dovetail drawers and it is much more convenient to be able to make our own, rather than outsource.”
Equally critical is the edgebander, which Palm calls “one of the most important machines in our shop,” and the mobile dust collection. “It works fantastically,” he says of the dust system. “We can use it anywhere in the shop but typically we use with the CNC and the edgebander. It is powerful enough to handle both at once.”
And while the hollow chisel mortiser from Laguna Tools isn’t something Palm Brothers uses often, “When you need it, it is fantastic. It gives you the ability to cut a square hole,” Palm says.
Palm Brothers’ investment in Laguna Tools machinery totals around $100,000. “It’s been a wise investment both for the equipment we use daily and pieces that are used less often. We are in an area where people spend a lot of money on renovations. We have been able to easily pay for the investment for all the machinery with work.”
Palm estimates he’s already completed 80 to 100 jobs with the CNC machine alone. “Every remodel project we’ve done has ended up with us making most or all of the cabinetry. The CNC is used for making two main parts of all boxes. With it we can make a superior cabinet with a much faster turnaround. It does boring holes for adjustments quickly and saves major man-hours. We also use it to manufacture tons of closet parts. We set the program up, and it is done quickly and correctly,” says Palm.
The company uses Laguna software partners Mozaik Software and Vectric Ltd.’s Aspire pro- grams. “We put the information in and use [Mozaik] to make cabinet boxes and closets. We also use Aspire’s 3D modeling software to cut any part. If you want an arch valance or moulding, you simply draw it, send to the CNC and it cuts the part. It is perfect for cutting curved parts. Be- fore we did that by hand and it could take days. The same job now can be done in minutes.”
Palm adds, “We have a good relationship with Laguna Tools. The machinery is fantastic and they back their products. Laguna has helped us with the learning curves along the way.
“Anyone making this kind of investment needs to do so with a manufacturer who offers fast repairs. Service is just as important as the machinery.”
Technology is integral for achieving the consistency, quality and fast turnaround often required for today’s custom commercial and residential renovations, something Palm Brothers Remodeling will attest to. To enhance its capabilities and improve the production process, the Naples, Florida-based company recently invested in a number of key pieces of equipment from Laguna Tools, including an automatic single- sided edgebander, dovetail machine, mortiser, mobile dust collectors and a customized SmartShop CNC router.
“The CNC machine has been a game changer,” says co-owner Brandon Palm. “We use it every day.”
Supplying quality equipment is nothing new for Laguna Tools, which celebrates 31 years of success this year. Founded by Torben Helshoj and based in Irvine, California, the company offers a wide range of CNC and standard machines for solid wood and panel processing. Among the offerings are: CNC routers, lathes, and multi-spindle machines, edgebanders, panel saws, boring machines, sanders, planers, mortisers, bandsaws, shapers and dust collectors. The company has also pioneered new technology, including the highly-regarded DriftMaster Fence system.
In addition to providing quality wood- working equipment, Laguna Tools has become renown for its efforts in giving back to the community, by supporting outreach programs for students and adults, including injured war veterans, with the products and knowledge needed to become skilled woodworkers. For more information on Laguna Tools’ products or services, visit LagunaTools.com