When Phill Crabtree founded Phill’s Custom Cabinets in 1971, he probably didn’t envision his Owensboro, KY, firm would lead to Cabinotch, a patent-pending wood product that would clinch a Challengers Award at IWF 2010.

Cabinotch cabinets assemble from slide-together, lock-in-place wood components, ordered online, each flat piece precisely cut and drilled on CNC machining centers, then labeled and boxed for shipping in about five days. A sample Cabinotch order: all-wood upper corner cabinet in walnut, 24 inches by 24 inches wide by 30-inches tall for $75.41.

Custom cabinetmakers enter cabinet height, width and depth specifications at cabinotch.com. The order system’s software automatically programs equipment in the shop to cut the cabinet elements to exact specifications.

Components are glued and assembled. Average assembly time is five minutes per cabinet box. Cabinotch says part of its appeal is that it provides just in time inventory even for small operations, and it lets skilled craftsmen concentrate on more complex jobs.

The interlocking design that lets cabinetmakers form the cases in minutes is demonstrated on videos at cabinotch.com. Customers include 70-employee Tedd Wood Fine Cabinetry, Thomsontown, PA, which finishes Cabinotch components flat, then customizes them with doors and internally built drawers.

"At IWF I saw how easy it went together, but I had reservations,” says Tedd Wood president Ted Pannebaker. “Once I got the product in here we were totally surprised. You put glue in the grooves, then you put on top and bottom. Once that glue is dry you can’t get it apart.” Pannebaker says Cabinotch means he can postpone investing in machines.

“We have been talking about replacing our panel saw and CNC routers; we have two of each and we were going to upgrade because we were outgrowing the CNC equipment.” Bringing in already machined components takes the pressure off.

“It is just an awesome system,” says Pannebaker, who plans a roll-out this month. “It is going to be such a boost for our company.”

More at teddwood.com, cabinotch.com and woodworkingnetwork.com/iwf

Precision pre-cut cabinet components slide together with an innovative notching technique. 

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