Technical, one-of-a-kind pieces are a hallmark for furniture maker Rick Cantwell.

His shop, R.Cantwell Woodworking, is a full-service custom woodworking studio located in New Bedford, MA, producing highend cabinetry and handmade furniture with high-quality craftsmanship, blending old world style with modern touches.

While his shop is not high-tech it is setup with sliding table saws and routers and European style work benches allowing workers to focus on traditional techniques and skills.

Cantwell says his projects run the gamut from traditional to modern like the master walnut suite pictured above. This recently completed Boston-area project consists of an office, master bedroom and bath with free standing pieces and a wall hung vanity, paneling, millwork, water closet and integrated pulls. No hardware was used for cabinetry, so custom recessed pulls were fabricated for cabinet doors and drawers.

Curved Cabinetry Captivates
Cantwell’s website features several custom projects in all production stages from design to installation. Some of the more unique work includes curved pieces such as a carved wenge bar cabinet and a curved stair cabinet.

“I’m kind of known for doing high-end, technical, curved work,” Cantwell says. “A lot of shops don’t have the skill. There are not a ton of people that do this type of work at the level that we do here.”

Several of these jobs, like the elliptical cabinet, are subcontracted from local shops that know his work, so they feed him the challenging overflow projects that are better suited for his abilities.

Although the business can be challenging at times, Cantwell says he didn’t go into woodworking to be rich; it is the love of the job and the ability to work with his hands. “You get a lot of satisfaction out of that,” he says.

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