able to learn a great deal about what we may want to change
and what we were doing right, and Matt and Chris were able
to take away a few tips for their operations. We have already
changed some parts of our operational procedures (starting
the Monday after Matt and Chris left!). We went from process-
ing 3-4 sheets an hour on one job to 6+ sheets per hour.”
They also suggested lowering the shop’s assembly benches,
Thomasset says, which they found to be a big improvement.
The funny thing, he adds, is that the benches were adjustable
height all along, but it had’nt occurred to lower them.
When Krig posted about the visit on the CMA forum, his
point wasn’t just to tell a nice story.
He and Dehmer had shared their experience with the
CMA board and there was unanimous agreement: They wanted to figure out how to help create more of these intimate,
hands-on experiences where a few CMA members can gather
to offer constructive criticism of workflow, operations and any
other observations and take away some great lessons.
“We are looking for feedback, interest and even [whether]
Writing the next chapter
people want to offer to set up some times and places to try it
out,” he said in his post. “This is going to be very self-driven
and organized by those hosting, but we’ll be happy to offer
advice based on our experience. We had a truly fun time and
simply asked a lot of ‘Why this way?’ and ‘What happens if
you do this?’ kinds of questions. Everything was positive and
spoken from the heart because we care and want to improve
ourselves and others.”
Even outside of any informal visits the CMA helps facili-
tate, there’s “no reason a few local members cannot self-orga-
nize something within reasonable driving distance and bring
lunches or something to grill,” he added. “My hope in sharing
this is that you will offer to host a small group of members in
your shop in the next twelve months.”
It’s clear that the experiment in New York brought more than
just work takeaways for the three cabinet makers. There was
plenty of camaraderie, and that’s an important part of the
story for them as well.
“I am grateful to these two guys for the experience and
The shop involved sharing tricks and tips and gave the out-of-state
shop owners a chance to see how another shop does things. This
saw blade caddy is an example.
Leland Thomasset hosted the event at his shop, Taghkanic
Woodworking in Pawling, NY.
Here’s the view of the Taghkanic Woodworking shop from the