Versatile Cabinet Mixes Technology and Traditional Craftsmen Skills
Versatile Cabinet & Solid Surface Thermwood

Photo By Versatile Cabinet & Solid Surface

Versatile is an apt name for Indiana-based Versatile Cabinet & Solid Surface Inc. “It says a lot about our approach to business,” says Owner Mike Murray. “We are a custom shop that uses a mix of modern technology and traditional craftsman skills. We create a wide range of residential and commercial cabinetry and countertops.”Murray founded Versatile Cabinet & Solid Surface in 1993. He opened the Logansport, IN-based company after completing a four-year trade school program and gaining practical, on-the-job work experience.

“I worked in the building trades for several years, mostly running commercial projects, including business, health care and school projects,” Murray says.

A mix of high technology and traditional woodcraft skills are used for creating the custom cabinetry, millwork and fixtures

He put that experience to use and today, Murray says, “We currently produce millwork, cabinets and countertops for both commercial and residential projects. We typically serve clients within a 100-mile radius of our plant, but we have shipped kitchens to as far away as Canada and school projects to the Cayman Islands. We also do a limited amount of military work on a nearby base, but also have sent projects to other bases, including Walter Reed Hospital.”

Custom Production

Versatile Cabinet & Solid Surface employs four people, along with a part-time bookkeeper, at the 14,000-square-foot production facility. A mix of high technology and traditional woodcraft skills are used for creating the custom cabinetry, millwork and fixtures.

To manufacture the products, the company relies on a few key pieces of equipment, including a Thermwood CS 45 CNC router which Murray refers to as “the anchor machine where most of our work starts.”

Versatile uses a Thermwood CS 45 CNC router to manufacture cabinet parts.

“I bought the CNC router from Thermwood [eight] years ago and cannot imagine being in business without it,” Murray says.

“A year or so ago we had a minor problem that required a part be overnighted to us and the machine was down for a day. We had cabs that had to go out on a deadline and one of the guys came up to me and asked why we didn’t just cut them up on a saw and get them out. I actually laughed out loud at the thought of such a thing,” he continues.

Other key equipment at the shop includes a Cehisa edgebander and a spray booth. “We also have all the other ‘usual suspects’ for fabricating sheet goods, solid wood and solid surface. Our plant layout is basically raw materials in one end and finished product out the other end,” Murray explains.

Owner Mike Murray says attention to detail is what separates the company from its competition.

Although Versatile Cabinet & Solid Surface outsources most of its wood doors and some of its carvings and mouldings, “We produce all of our drawers and laminate doors in-house and also cut parts on our Thermwood for other cabinet shops and sign companies, along with a few other projects for fun that the occasional inventor or specialty fabricator might ask us to help with,” Murray says.

“We use several different materials to produce our products from the typical sheet goods, hardwoods, specialty plastics such as Lumicore, solid surface, quartz and of course, plastic laminate,” he adds.

Attention to Detail

When asked what separates Versatile Cabinet & Solid Surface from its competitors, Murray explains that it’s a combination of factors.

“I believe attention to detail, doing what I say, when I say I will do it, and for the amount quoted, is one key to our success,” he says.

“We sweat the small stuff and we always do a little more than the client is expecting. We also do commercial and residential work and I will use my many years of experience in building to help an inexperienced home or business owner get through their projects.”

He continues, “We also like to exceed our clients’ expectations. We find this keeps us very busy and as we do not advertise, our leads come primarily from referrals and past relationships. This provides a much more qualified lead.”



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About the author
Jo-Ann Kaiser

Jo-Ann Kaiser has been covering the woodworking industry for 31+ years. She is a contributing editor for the Woodworking Network and has been writing the Wood of the Month column since its inception in 1986.