Blog Cabin 2012: A Trip to Knickerbocker Cabinetry Shop

The design firm responsible for the renovation of Blog Cabin 2012 specializes in custom cabinetry.

A visitor to the offices of Knickerbocker Group might at first overlook the unassuming structure that stands on the edge of the company’s parking lot. But when the giant barn-style door opens, it becomes clear custom cabinetmaking starts and ends here.

Depending on the day, one might see a load of hardwood planks, moldings and plywood being delivered through the loading dock or see those same materials leaving in the form of completed cabinetry, paneling and other woodwork. Here, at its workshop, Knickerbocker Group fashions custom libraries, mudrooms, wine cellars, master bathroom and kitchen cabinetry, and custom closets for its own remodeling and homebuilding projects, as well as projects commissioned by area contractors and architects.

Hiring Knickerbocker Group or a similar shop to custom-build kitchen cabinetry typically costs at least 50 to 75 percent more than the price of semi-custom cabinets crafted by a major manufacturer. So why do it? There are some clear advantages for the homeowner launching a major kitchen remodeling project.

One-of-a-Kind Look

Semi-custom cabinetry is offered in a set menu of finishes, materials and styles. A custom shop, on the other hand, can offer customers a nearly infinite number of choices. Knickerbocker Group works with virtually any wood species, offers unique woodworking details and can finish a piece in any stain or paint color and clad in any knobs or pulls the customer requests.

One-Piece Face Frames

Modular in design, manufactured cabinets stand like a series of boxes, each with its own one- to two-inch-wide face frame. Wherever two boxes join, the vertical strip is double-width, one piece on each box with a seam running down the middle. For a more fitted, sophisticated look, a bank of custom cabinets can be built as a single unit, trimmed in a uniform, one-piece face frame.

A Perfect Fit

Semi-custom cabinet boxes are built in 3-inch increments; if a box is smaller than the available opening, gaps will be closed with filler material. Wood shops, on the other hand, can build custom cabinet boxes to match a space within a sixteenth of an inch — and maximize every available piece of real estate in your kitchen.

Overall Quality

Some major manufacturers offer optional quality upgrades, such as plywood instead of fiberboard construction, paneled instead of molded doors and premium-grade hinges and drawer glides. Specialty wood shops do these things, and much more, as a matter of course. For example, Knickerbocker uses both 1/2-inch-thick plywood and 3/4-inch-thick stock to craft cabinets, 1-inch-thick doors set flush with face frames and dovetails — the strongest possible wood joint — to assemble all drawers.

Blog Cabin 2012: Front Door Facelift Blog Cabin 2012: Front Door Facelift

Formal and utilitarian entrances are combined to create a unique hybrid that leads into an inviting foyer/mudroom.

Blog Cabin 2012: First-Floor Focus Blog Cabin 2012: First-Floor Focus

Blog Cabin 2012, originally a rabbit warren of small, boxy rooms, is opened up to accommodate the needs of a modern family.

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