It’s been almost 16 years since a devastating fire tore through Georgia-based American Door and Drawer Inc., changing the course of the cabinetry components manufacturer.

“We suffered a complete loss with the fire,” said Jason Vining, sales manager at the family-owned and operated firm. “With the help of companies like Stiles Machinery we were able to re-equip quickly and start production back up in less than four months.”

Since the fire at the Metter facility, American Door and Drawer has moved to a larger location in Swainsboro. The 48,000-square-foot facility has 34 full-time employees.

Founded in March 1988, American Door and Drawer is headed by Jason’s parents Rodney and Bo Vining. In addition to Jason, who handles in-store sales and purchasing, his brother Josh manages the shipping department and brother-in-law T.J. Stephens handles outside sales.  

The firm specializes in the manufacture of custom cabinetry components and accessories, produced to specification from designs in its catalog, on its website “or from designs created by our customers,” Jason Vining said.

“We don’t do complete cabinetry as such —  we provide cabinet components,” he added. “We manufacture cabinet doors, drawer fronts, drawer boxes and moulding to match doors.”

Also offered are veneer panel and primed doors, MDF and thermofoil components, as well as stiles and rails.  The components firm primarily sells its products to cabinet shops — typically Mom and Pop operations — along the East Coast, including Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.   

An employee checks the quality and consistency of the solid wood doors as they exit the Heesemann orbital sander.  Since acquiring the machine, American Door and Drawer says its sanding production has increased by 30 percent. 

Overcoming Disaster
The 2000 fire likely started in the insulation of the building, said Vining. “It burned the entire top of the structure, some 30,000 square feet. It was considered a complete loss —  we were only able to save two major pieces of machinery.“
Vining credits the company’s suppliers for helping American Door and Drawer return to business, bigger and better than ever.

“Stiles Machinery was one of the companies that helped us resume business. They have been good partners and are leaders in the industry,” he said. “The salesman from Stiles was knowledgeable and helped us tremendously. He came from the cabinet world; he listened and worked with us to get us what we needed for our situation.”

Prior to the fire, American Door and Drawer had been in the first stages of a planned expansion. Getting the company back up and running was of extreme importance in order to ensure its customers’ businesses would not be impacted.

Then, as well as now, “We feel a sort of partnership with our customers,” Vining noted. “We feel we are an extension of our customers’ business and try to accommodate them to the best of our ability. Our quality products and quick turnaround time help us to be very competitive in today’s fast-paced market.”

Aiding manufacturing is the recently acquired Heesemann MFA 10 sander, which can be used for calibrating solid wood panels or sanding high gloss surfaces. Capable of top and bottom sanding, it can be equipped with up to six calibrating, sanding and brush units.

“Purchased in April of 2015, the Heesemann has increased our sanding production at least 30 percent and given us a finish on our wood doors and drawer fronts that is second to none,” Vining said.  “All we do after running our cope-and-stick doors through our Buetfering four-head widebelt sander is send them — one pass front and back — through our Heesemann orbital sander for unsurpassed results.  All crossgrain scratches are removed without swirl marks or burnishing.”

He added, “A person can’t do by hand what the machine can do. From our rough mill to our finished product, we feel machinery such as this —  with such advanced technology —  has aided us to create and maintain a great quality product for our customers.

“Not only has it helped us in consistency of quality, but the machinery helps us maintain one of the fastest turnaround times in the industry,” Vining said.