Methods of design

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Jeff Blewitt
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Methods of design

Postby Jeff Blewitt » Wed, Feb 14 2007, 12:02PM

I'd like to start a discussion on Methods of working with e-Cabs. I think this would be extremely helpful for newbies like myself & at least suggests different efficiencies for sage old gurus. For example, do you draw the room 1st, or the cabinets. Do you design cabs & save to customer specific directories? Do you design \"lines\" of Cabs and then modify them to specific jobs? Or, do you design all your display items & tools, then room, then cabs etc. More or less, an over view of how your shop goes about the design process from a-z (minus the more obvious how-to details). This software is so versitile it's difficult to know the best way to attack a different project sometimes.

Thanks,
-Jeff

Michael S Murray
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Postby Michael S Murray » Wed, Feb 14 2007, 1:22PM

Hi Jeff,
Real quick overview of how I have organized my method.
I start out with a seed cabinet of different types of cabinetry, say commercial type plastic laminate on corestock. I get this the way I want to build this type of cabinet and then build the rest of the same type of this seed, say wall cabinets and base cabinets, I keep them seperate so that I do not have to look through base cabinets to find a wall cabinet.Same thing goes for frameless residential and framed residetial. Then I will build a library out of this type of material covering everything in that categorie that I can think of. Then if I need something different, I pull up the seed for that style/material and build it. If is is something similar to what I have already, I will just alter the closest thing and save it as the new cabinet. Afetr a while you will have built pretty much everything you will come across, or have something close you can alter.
I have different directorys for the different types of construction and different types of cabinets of each. Then I simply draw the room and pull up the appropriate cabinet, resize it if needeed and then insert it into the room. In the last 6 months i have even been taking my laptop to the job and drawing the room right there, placing any doors/obstructions in the drawings right there instead of trying to interpet notes after the fact. I save this right to a memory stick plugged into my laptop and then put this on my desktop when I get back to office, then place cabinets and such. Check it over really well and send it to the router! My way, maybe not the right way..
Mike Murray
Versatile Cabinet & Solid Surface
mike@versatilecabinet.com
http://www.versatilecabinet.com

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DanEpps
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Re:

Postby DanEpps » Wed, Feb 14 2007, 2:37PM

Michael S Murray wrote:...My way, maybe not the right way..


Your way is the right way, as is the way anyone chooses to approach it :wink:

In a nutshell (in my opinion), create the seed cabinets that you KNOW you will need. Don't worry about trying to think of every little variation, just the most common cabinets you use often. Then as you create jobs (rooms or batches) use these seed cabinets. When you run across something that is so different it qualifies as a new cabinet design, save it as a new seed cabinet. Over time you will have built up a library of useful seed cabinets that has few rarely/never used cabinets in it.

I even suggest using generic materials for all of your seeds. You can easily define a material as needed and change the cabinet to that material in the room layout. This prevents using a material with an outdated price to generate an estimate because you forgot to update the materials prices.

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Postby Roger Kirkpatrick » Wed, Feb 14 2007, 4:17PM

Jeff,
That's a big question.
I would also like to see how other do it.

I mostly do the following -

Start with good seed cabinets. Types, rough sizes, framed or not, etc.
I measure the job, walls, windows, scribble a floor plan and elevations.
Take this back to the computer in the office or at home and layout the room.
Start plugging in cabinets and appliances, size as I go, modify a seed for something different, add or remove a drawer, etc.
Then I go back and change material for exposed ends. I use 2 sided stock to build with. Then globally change material, oak to alder, white mel to maple mel, etc. ( I have doors on all the seed cabinets)
Run a nest, then print my material cost sheet, (if you don't run a nest first the cost sheet is wrong for sheet stock)
Take these numbers and put them into a spread sheet I have developed and been using for several years. This gives me my sell price. I don't use the estimating in e-cabinets at all, only the door square footage and sheet and board stcok pricing.
I type up the quote on another developed form, set an appointment with the cutomer and SELL. I show them what the cabinets will look like and present the proposal.
If I get a deposit I confirm my measurements the same trip.
I go back to the computer and twick anything, measuremnts, changes, etc.
E-mail off the file to get cut by another shop.
The WoodCrafter

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Postby DaleKern » Wed, Feb 14 2007, 5:56PM

Jeff,

Great question, already an interesting thread with the variety of responses.

I work from prints supplied by a kitchen designer, so I don't layout my cabinets in rooms for presentation view. My PC also lack the horsepower to properly support presentation views - but anyway...

I don't use ecabs for pricing. I price by the foot based on cabinet style, material and finish type. I do depend on ecabs for cutlist accuracy - hence I'm still running build 10.

I develop or recycle seed cabinets and create each cabinet per the design layout. I have worked hard to develop standard materials and construction techniques. For example, ALL cabinet boxes (except those with glass doors) will be fab'd with 3/4\" UV1S Maple plywood; all 3/4\". I'm working on a job now to prove in a method of building inset door cabinets with frameless cabinet boxes - my intent is to always build the cabinet as a frameless cabinet and vary door insets and add faceframes (display boards) as required. This simplifies ecab design and construction.

I may create a few assemblies to verify complex designs. Each cabinet is named to correspond with the nomenclature used on the designers' print and saved in a directory named after the customer.

When I have all the cabinets done I will create one or more batch jobs and ship the files off to my new best friend: Production sharing member Michael Murray at versatilecabinets.com. God bless the production sharing participants - there is nothing better than picking up 1000 lbs of plywood already cut up - no panel wrestlling in my small shop!! When the panels are ready, I'll pick them up and start assembly.

Dale
I have no business being in this business...

http://www.dalekern.com

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Kerry Fullington
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Postby Kerry Fullington » Wed, Feb 14 2007, 8:19PM

Jeff,
I take my notebook to the job site and draw the walls and put in all of the doors, windows, pipes and wall plugs that are necessary like Michael so I don't have to interpret my notes. I take this floor plan and transfer it to my desktop to design the rest of the job.

I start by placing all of the appliances and cabinets such as the sink under a window that has to be centered. I then start filing in the rest of the kitchen.
I used to place empty boxes in the room to fit them and then add the doors and drawers later. I now think it is better to use a library of cabinets.

I use generic materials for my face frame stock but use actual sheet stock because I often have two or more types of sheet stock in the same boxes. I am trying to develop extensive libraries of every cabinet that I need so most of the time the only modification I need is to change size. I want a library of standard boxes and I want a library with radius and clipped corners so I can just Drag and Drop them into a room. This is the way that programs like KCDW and 20/20 work and it seems to make the design process go much faster. I am even thinking about adding the front moldings on all uppers to save time there also. After the room is designed I use global changes for doors, pulls and drawers.The only problem with this scenario is that many times when eCabinets releases new versions it is necessary to completely re-build the libraries.

I use the cut list and material list to transfer my materials and other information such as number of doors and drawers to a spread sheet that adds labor to every component used. More sheets used more labor, more doors more labor, more corbels, Lazy Susan's, pull-outs, moldings, corners, legs etc., more labor gets added. I can add labor for finishing or not.

I then take the total from this spread sheet and put it into eCabinets as a fixed markup.It then is subject to the overhead and profit calculations. This gives me the cost I charge the customer. I then run the proposal in eCabinets, copy that to Word so I can add pictures and edit the text and print the whole thing for the customer. I do .jpgs of the drawings and use Adobe PhotoShop to create a slide show that I can place on the INTERNET for the customer to look at. I also place that slide show on the notebook to take and show the customer.

Kerry

Paul Huff
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Postby Paul Huff » Wed, Feb 14 2007, 8:34PM

I make a seed cabinet and with all of my settings including both types of self and partition settings, door and drawer selections, moldings and hardware. I make an upper, a base cabinet and a tall cabinet if needed. If I need to layout a complex wall of cabinets such as a sink centered below a window. I usally do a quick layout in a cad program then take the measurments to eCabinets. I make a new cabinet folder for each job. (When this gets too full I backup and remove the older jobs.) At this point I make every cabinet for the job from my seed cabinets. If it is for presentation I add the doors and moldings. After that I make the room and place the cabinets into the room. I would go about this a little different if we did more batch jobs. But we mostly do custom layouts.

I learned most of this after making my first job and spending hours adjusting settings again and again to get everything right. (Real easy to overlook something this way.) I like everything set up in that seed cabinet so that I don't have to worry over it again.

Michael S Murray
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Postby Michael S Murray » Thu, Feb 15 2007, 8:24AM

Thanks Dale, thats funny as when I was a young lad and doing commercial construction, we had a superintindent who would just wait for some one to bring in doughnuts, this person would be (HIS NEW BEST FRIEND) at least till break was over! And, I did not even have to buy you doughnuts.In fact I think you bought lunch!!!
Hope everything is going your way.
Mike Murray

Versatile Cabinet & Solid Surface

mike@versatilecabinet.com

http://www.versatilecabinet.com

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Jody Wilmes
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Postby Jody Wilmes » Thu, Feb 15 2007, 9:13AM

Although I don't do exactly what you all do, here are some things I always practice. Hopefully it can help someone.

I always start out with a standard seed cabinet, not anything else from a different project. This prevents problems from carrying over from one cabinet to another.
**************
As I'm designing, I save in increments. Such as Brittany1...Brittany2...etc. This helps out if you run into a snag or an issue with something you did. It also helps our software guys in diagnosing problems, should they occur. If it works on one, but not the next one...send them both. Once I'm done, I delete all but the final one.
**************
All folders for a project have the same name with a version number behind it. Example would be having a folder under 'cabinets' called 'Brittany Credenza V5'...and the same folder name for Assemblies, Display Objects, etc. The version number just helps me keep track when newer versions of the software come out. Gotta make sure they import OK!
**************
Once the cabinets are done, then I'll create an Assembly if needed. I don't use the room layout a whole lot except for quick renderings and such.
**************
When naming materials, I try to use the same name as the project, if I can....or an abbreviation. Material list may get a little long doing this though.
**************
Oh and Save, Save, Save!

I practice this same method to an extent with all software I use.
Image

Jeff Blewitt
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Postby Jeff Blewitt » Sat, Feb 17 2007, 8:37AM

Everyones method has stight differences, but what I'm hearing as an overall method is

1 layout the room (in e-cab or by the builder)
2 develop a seed library (if not done already)
3 place cabs in layout
4 modify cabs 1 by 1 where needed
5 Use global settings in room layout for door/drawer/texture
6 place display (end) panels
7 Print or export reports & pictures
8 present to customer

Did I miss anthing?
-Jeff

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DanEpps
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Re:

Postby DanEpps » Sat, Feb 17 2007, 9:01AM

Jeff Blewitt wrote:Everyones method has stight differences, but what I'm hearing as an overall method is

1 layout the room (in e-cab or by the builder)
2 develop a seed library (if not done already)
3 place cabs in layout
4 modify cabs 1 by 1 where needed
5 Use global settings in room layout for door/drawer/texture
6 place display (end) panels
7 Print or export reports & pictures
8 present to customer

Did I miss anthing?


The only thing is reverse numbers 1 & 2. Every job will have a layout but you will develop the library for use by all jobs.


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