2018 Wood Diamond Award
Northland Woodworks (Blaine, MN)
Main Category: Kitchen
Sub Category: European
Dollar Amount: Under $25,000
Briefly describe your business and the type of products manufactured.
Northland Woodworks is a custom cabinet shop that produces a wide range of products for new homes and remodels, from traditional face frame styles to frameless modern.
What materials/species were used in this project/item?
UltraMatte acrylic panels from Premier EuroCase in white and stone colors, along with matching hot air edgebanding.
Describe, in detail, the project/item's construction
We used our Highflex 1650 hot air edgebander from Stiles Machinery to manufacture parts in-house to our specifications and create truly custom assemblies. This helped us provide high-quality solutions, including a thin storage area next to the oven cabinet. It uses touch latch mechanisms and concealed hinges to basically hide common kitchen items — yet they're within easy reach. This is one of our favorite aspects of cabinetmaking: utilizing space wisely. The frameless cabinet construction itself also boosted functionality. Slabs can look out of place in traditional face frame designs; if that would have been the choice, the extra inches next to the ovens could very well have been wasted. With European-style cabinets, however, we were able to provide maximum storage space as well as a nice aesthetic.
What is the most unusual aspect or outstanding characteristic of this entry?
The open bookcase at the end of the island is an uncommon feature in kitchens, especially ones with a modern design. Providing this storage space for games and other items for a young family was relatively easy because of Premier EuroCase's two-sided panels. Those products, along with zero-glue line edgebanding, allowed us to combine a sleek, modern look with playful practicality. The clients were looking for durability and longevity with a timeless design. We believe this job hit that mark. It's also a testament to how modern design can work well outside major downtown areas, or in typical "loft-living" situations where those looks are more common.
List any items that were outsourced.
We used Blum drawer guides and door hinges, along with Aventos lift-up mechanisms in the adjoining pantry. The Premier EuroCase products came to us as panel stock and rolls of banding. We pride ourselves on manufacturing as much as we can in-house, which improves turnaround times, helps us maintain exacting tolerances and provides superior customer service.
How has being a member of the CMA benefited you and/or your business?
Our membership is at the core of our business. One year of CMA membership is akin to 25 years of experience alone, in terms of internal improvements. Being a member speeds up the learning curve for new processes and products. Membership is priceless when it comes to hiring, management, selecting big equipment and dealing with day-to-day questions. We often receive quick, simple solutions we would miss without the CMA. Membership has helped reshape our company and made it exponentially more profitable.