Date: Wednesday, August 22nd from 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Session Code: BMG30
Sponsored by: KCD Software
Presented by: Cabinet Makers Association - CMA
• Leland Thomasset, Owner: Taghkanic Woodworking
• Matt Krig, President: Northland Woodworks
• Chris Dehmer, Managing Partner: Darkhorse Woodworks
• Matt Wehner, Co-Owner: Cabinet Concepts by Design
This session will feature a lively discussion among four small shop owners who will tell their stories of taking the leap and buying $50-$250k machines. They’ll share what they’ve learned, what they wish they had known and what they'd do differently if they had to do it again. This session will cover it all – selection, negotiation, financing, moving, set-up, processes, compressed air, power, dust collection, tooling, the learning curve and all of the surprises that come with integrating a big machine into your shop.
About the Speakers:
In June of 1989 Leland started his business Fine Line Design where he produced both custom cabinetry and custom furniture for the residential markets in the NY metro area. He moved from his garage in the following spring to a 4000 sf shop. In May of 2008 Leland joined the Cabinet Makers Association where he has been an active member on both the forum and with the speaker’s bureau. He also has served as a CMA Board of Directors member since 2014, and is currently the Vice President. Leland has been a speaker AWFS and IWF, talking about automation for the small cabinet shop, CNC for custom furniture makers and diversification strategies for cabinet shops. Leland has hosted several CMA events which included day long seminars in CNC automation, outsourcing, and CAD/CAM software use.
In Oct. of 2004 Leland partnered with M. Benko Construction and formed Taghkanic Woodworking LLC. Leland’s clientele has diversified to include both residential and commercial clients as well as customers that he provides CNC outsourcing to.
Leland and his wife Gina have two children in college. Leland spends time in the garden, playing a bad golf game (just learning) but having fun and camping on his property on a lake upstate NY.
LWood-working is inChris Dehmer’sDNA. His great-grandfather was a German wood-worker who immigrated to the United States late in the 19th century. Wood-working has been a lifelong passion for Chris, stretching all the way back to childhood, when he spent hours with his grandfather in his workshop. (For a 5-year-old, filing a piece of scrap wood into a pile of sawdust was truly exciting.)
Chris, a native of Fayetteville, NC, built commissioned pieces for nearly 25 years, moonlighting while working day jobs in the technology and construction management industries.
Then, nearly a decade ago, he decided it was time for a change and turned his wood-working side line into a full-time endeavor: Dark Horse Woodworks opened in 2007 in the Metropolitan Business and Arts District, a historic warehouse complex that has been transformed into a thriving center for art studios, galleries and workshops.
The company has come a long way since its beginning in a 220-square-foot home garage; after several moves to increasingly larger spaces, Dark Horse is now headquartered in a 7,000-square-foot space – something that seemed unimaginable back in those early garage days.
Dark Horse specializes in the design and hand-crafting of custom cabinetry and one-of-a-kind furniture for some of the most creative and discerning clients in the Southeast. Chris and his team have extensive experience crafting many styles, but most of their work is focused on contemporary and modern designs for kitchens, living areas, bathrooms, libraries and beyond.
The company’s collaborations with innovative design and architecture firms have led to awards as well as coverage in national publications such as Dwell magazine and The New York Times. A number of the homes Dark Horse has worked on have been featured on the Modern Atlanta tour in recent years.
Chris’s past experience project-managing commercial construction projects and working in the Internet/technology sector have had a major influence on the way that he runs his business. For example, he has made several major strategic decisions to invest in S2M software and equipment that would enable Dark Horse to work more efficiently and maintain its commitment to quality and old-school workmanship.
Chris is committed to staying ahead of the curve to meet the expectations of the ever-modernizing design and building fields; in August 2015, Dark Horse acquired Zero-Edge Technology to produce cabinetry and furniture components with seamless edges – a game-changer for the company and the industry as a whole.
Matt Wehner co-owns and has operated Cabinet Concepts by Design for the last 10 years with his wife Shelley Wehner. Matt attributes his success to always improving the processes, taking care of his employees and above all, taking care of the customer.
After earning a BS in math education from Missouri Southern University, Matt started his professional career as a math teacher and coached football and wrestling in Kansas City. After the first year, he knew teaching was not something he wanted to do long term. So, he moved on and joined Edward Jones as an investment advisor, as he enjoyed investing and wanted to help others plan for retirement. Even though his first two career choices were not in the long term plan, the experiences gave him a huge advantage in owning and growing Cabinet Concepts by Design.
In 10 years, Matt has grown his company from 4 employees, $292,000 in sales in a 5,400 square foot building to 29 employees, over 2 million in sales in a 30,000 square foot shop. He has added many pieces of equipment over the years including a 5x12 CNC, an edgebander, RF gluer and a 3 head wide belt sander to name a few.
BMG25 - Working with Architects and Designers
BMG26 - Building a Valuable Business
BMG27 - The Art of Pricing Profitably
BMG29 - The Power of Leadership: Keeping Employees Inspired for the Long Run
MFG14 - Robots in the Small to Medium-Sized Shop
MFG15 - Acing that Modern Job
MFG16 - Transitioning to In-House Finishing – Profitably
MFG17 - LEAN Strategies for Small Shops