As cabinet shop owners, we are always looking to push our business into the future. A common topic people like to talk about with me is the future of cabinetry. In many other industries, it’s easy to see advancement like new features on cars or a more efficient kitchen appliance. But when we apply that same thinking to the cabinetry world it's almost like uncharted territory, a new frontier.
I believe the future of the cabinet industry is just that. We are in a time where technology is opening the minds of creative people in the industry and we are starting to see the advent of things like Lockdowel technology for assembling cabinets which is replacing the traditional dowel and confirmat methods.
And then you're seeing things like AllMoxy with online ordering platforms that make the ordering of specialty products like cabinet doors or cabinet components easier, more efficient, and more intuitive for the customer using them. That’s what I think the future of our industry is, making products easier to access for customers.
While the future of cabinetry is unknown we can at least look at the current trends to see where it it going. If you do, I believe you’ll agree with me that the future of cabinetry looks like more specialized businesses in our specific fields. Most importantly, for Ultimate Cabinet Components we believe that the future of the cabinet industry lies in a product called Lockdowel.
Everything You Need to Know About Lockdowel
What do you know about Lockdowel?
Perhaps you’ve heard the term, but you’re curious about why it stands out from all the other methods out there. I want to tell you about what makes it work, the general way to set it up, and the features and assembly time using the Lockdowel method. But first let me tell you about our journey to finding Lockdowel.
Our company has a long history of experimenting with different cabinet assembly methods. Originally, we tried a blind dado cabinet construction which, as a starter, was honestly a decent solution for how we assembled cabinets at the time. The hardest part was training someone to build blind dado cabinets quickly and consistently.
Our next move was more of a confirmat screw cabinet, definitely a strong cabinet and easy to assemble. The confirmat screw cabinet was easy to run through the machines, it was milled quickly because it didn't have any extra operations on it. Outside of Lockdowel that was our favorite construction method.
However, what both of those methods lacked was the opportunity to pre-laminate your finished ends. At the time we were doing some contract work for a national distributor and there were quite a lot of finished ends. That’s when we discovered Lockdowel, which was also a great fit for our flat pack ready-to-assemble cabinets.
We started using Lockdowel about two years ago. We were on a mission to find a different kind of fastener that would go with our component company and make it much easier for cabinet makers or people to assemble flat pack cabinets and without needing specialized machinery. While there were several options out there, Lockdowel seemed to be the best for us.
WHAT IS LOCKDOWEL?
Lockdowel is a fastening system that provides a glue-less and tool-less assembly. Its utilizes metal spring pins and a green U shaped fastener, coupled with a channel that the CNC routes on the boards. You slide the green fastener in the channel and it locks the parts together. It’s a very slick, very unique system, but it’s also very new. If you look at the traditional system of doweling or even confirmat screws, Lockdowel is a complete 180 from those systems.
We had very high expectations when looking into switching everything to Lockdowel. Our goal as a component cutting company was to be able to double a cabinet shop’s capacity with no further capital investment. And that is a big ask. The only way we could do that was to make sure we could cut cabinet makers assembly times way down and also not have to add any machinery to their overhead. After a couple trips to Lockdowel’s office in California and several rounds of sample parts, we finally decided to make the leap into Lockdowel.
LOCKDOWEL- OUR KEY TO EFFICIENCY
Now that you have a bit of a base knowledge of Lockdowel, let’s contextualize the example to how it worked for us. After having several talks with Lockdowel and looking at their kits in order to find the right fastener for us, we chose the E-clip channel lock fastener, which is basically a slide and lock fastener which means it doesn’t require any tools to assemble and can all be done on the CNC machine. I had a few main things that I looked for in cabinet manufacturing and Lockdowel fulfilled all of those things:
1. Easy to mill
2. Easy to train for assembly
4. Had to make a very strong cabinet.
Lockdowel checked all the boxes and we soon ordered a demo machine that did all the horizontal boring, measured the parts, and inserted the lockdowel. We have recently ordered a new machine that is a bit more robust than the prototype machine. But we still use lockdowel to this day and will continue to.
If you would like to experience the system for yourself, just log-in, create an account, order a sample kit and you can witness first-hand all that Lockdowel has to offer!
The Benefits of Outsourcing with Lockdowel
Because of reasons listed above, our company’s only construction method is Lockdowel. We currently do not provide a dowel or confirmat system. Lockdowel is is our only choice because we believe in the product 100%.
The reason for only using Lockdowel is because we feel it doesn’t have the drawbacks of other methods, it offers all the benefits of the other component systems, plus 2 other added strengths. The first added benefit of the Lockdowel method is that it doesn’t require any additional capital investment into equipment, presses, or any specialized machines to assemble. Secondly, Lockdowel construction method cuts assembly time down, making things much quicker and easier on the building side.
Start building immediately
The greatest thing about buying Lockdowel cabinet component parts is that when you get a pallet of cabinet parts you can start building immediately. There’s zero prep to do on the cabinets themselves. You can literally take the first cabinet off the stack and start building right there. And that is huge. With Lockdowel you don’t have to worry about ordering materials, waiting for materials, staging materials, cutting materials, prepping for assembly, edge banding, everything else that goes with getting a part ready for build. So when you’re buying components, you are essentially instantly buying capacity. Lockdowel components fulfills our goal of doubling our customers’ capacity without investing any further capital investment. Depending on your shop’s efficiency in assembly, I believe you could more than double your capacity with no further capital investment.
Get started with lockdowel today
In summary, outsourcing your Lockdowel components can be a huge win for your shop, not just in the short term, but in the long term. You can dedicate more time to selling, you can keep your capital in your business to work harder for you rather than investing in really expensive equipment, and it can provide you as an owner to start working ON your business, rather than just IN it. As owners, we all really want to be able to work on our business to make it a better place for ourselves, our employees, and our customers.