million dollar man, 500+ custom cabinet drawings per year
build to suit restaurants, up to 10,000 square feet, 3 kitchens, and an elevator
TurboCAD, MegaCAD, SilverScreen Solid Modeler, CabinetVision Solid
Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, FrontPage, Custom Style Sheets (css)
Custom Kitchen Cabinets...
Tharp Cabinets is a large, regional, cabinet manufacturer. They build everything on face-frame using woods:
oak, alder, cherry, ash, and hickory. There are 7 standard finishes, plus paint, paint rubout, glaze, tone,
and two levels of distress. Besides cabinets they sell solid surface tops of Corian and granite. Everything
is built to measure with the customer involved in all aspects of the process.
I was hired to draw from field measurements a basic draft, and then meet with clients to finalize the design
of their cabinets. What I did was facilitate decision making by showing them design options and guiding the
customer towards a choice based on their expectations. The job was easy for me because I could honestly say
that I worked in the customer's best interest.
Qualifications, the best of both worlds...
Being a carpenter, having read blueprints, followed spec-sheets, laid out commercial kitchens, and installed
cabinets; I know what goes where and how it all fits together. Moreover, being on job sites gave me a feeling
for space. This dovetailed nicely with the CAD experience that I already had and that Tharp Cabinets had moved
from hand drawn plan view drawings to CAD and needed someone literate in it to design their cabinets. What made
it all work for me is that I have the practical and technical skills to bring it to realization. The reason I
was hired to work at Tharp Cabinets.
A typical day...
Tharp Cabinets has one person who typically field measures up to six jobs a day. When I was there that work was
divided between two designers, Dave Tharp and myself. Dave's job was split between being a designer and plant
manager that left me with the bulk of drawing. My output reflected his added responsibilities meaning that I did
2/3 of the custom drawings, over 500 per year and 2 customer meetings per day. Morning meetings usually began
between 9 and 10 and an afternoon session usually starting between 1 and 2. Any free time between was spent
working on drawings or conversations with clients.
I enjoyed working for Tharp Cabinets. I had a great relationship with Dave Tharp and my fellow workers. Growth
was phenomenal. His company was consistently in the Mercury 100. Unfortunately for me, Dave had sold the business
and the new owner and I could only agreed to disagree. My employment ended at my choice about the same time as Dave's
service contract expired.