Thomas P. Gafgen Cabinetmakers

Robbinsville, NJ

Project: Old World Kitchen

Year Established: 1985

Shop size: 1,800 square feet

No. of employees: 3

Specialty: Custom pieces using hardwood solids and veneers

Project Notes: Thomas P. Gafgen used a glazed finish to highlight cabinet details.

Kitchen/Bath Cabinets:

Old World Elegance

This kitchen captures the essence of the "Old World" with its detailed appearance, yet it is fully functional for entertaining today's guests.

By Michaelle Bradford

The goal of this project, as mandated by the client, was to achieve an "elegant look with no areas of the cabinets left plain or uninteresting." In the end, not only was the client thrilled with the results, but also with the detailed look of this "Old World" kitchen. It also caught the eyes of Design Portfolio Award judges as well, and Thomas P. Gafgen Cabinetmakers' "Old World" kitchen was named winner in the kitchen/bath category.

Regarding the materials used for the winning cabinets, the boxes are frameless and made from Panolam MCP, says Thomas Gafgen, proprietor. "The hinges are full overlay Blum clip-style. The full-extension drawer slides and pocket door hardware are from Accuride. The maple raised panel doors and drawer fronts are from Walzcraft, and the carved corner posts are from Art for Everyday. Raymond K. Enkeboll Designs supplied the carved corbels, and the finish is custom mix precatalyzed paint, a custom mix glaze and a precatalyzed clear topcoat, all by Valspar," he says.

According to Gafgen, KCDw software was used to prepare the drawings. Production cutlists were made with the software. Gafgen says that, "parts were cut using a Holz-Her panel saw and a Delta table saw and were edgebanded on a Casadei edgebander. Shelf pinholes were bored with an M.E.G. boring guide, and other parts were machined using a Grizzly planer and shaper, a Lamello biscuit joiner and Porter-Cable routers.


A glazed finish was selected to highlight the detail of the mouldings without appearing "sloppy or dirty."

Gafgen also says that parts were sanded using a Sunhill widebelt sander and a Fein random orbital sander.

Using the KCDw software, Gafgen was able to use his laptop at meetings with the client to make changes to the design as she watched, he says. "This enabled us to fine-tune the cabinets to just what she envisioned the kitchen to look like," he notes. "We then spent a lot of time developing a finish that blended with some of the other pieces of furniture in the client's house."

A glazed finish was chosen because it would highlight all of the detail "without looking dirty or sloppy," Gafgen adds.

Thomas P. Gafgen is a small custom cabinet shop that builds residential and commercial case goods, including vanities, kitchen cabinets, wall units, entertainment centers and reception desks. "We do our own design, finishing and installation," Gafgen adds.


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