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The Mind of a Mill Man Who Works for a Cabinet Company

What’s it like the have the mind of a cabinet mill man? There are several things that professional cabinetry parts cutters do differently than your average Joe who is running a table saw and building kitchens in a two car garage cabinet shop.

The main man responsible for making everything go smoothly for everyone else in the production facility is the guy cutting all of the cabinet parts. Here are a few things that they do differently than the armatures.


  • Speed-The mind of a mill man allows him to work quickly. This is usually because he has familiarized himself with the entire job prior to turning the saw on. He has made cultists for drawers, kitchen, bathroom and laundry room cabinet parts, toe bases, and countertops. He knows exactly what every angle is that needs to be cut and understands exactly how this cupboard puzzle must be put together on the job site in order for it to work.
  • Check and Double Check-The cabinet shop mill person understands how costly mistakes can be. If he was trained correctly he will double check his cut lists to make sure that all of the dimensions are correct prior to cutting. He will also encourage the people who will be assembling the parts to check and double check what he has done before they assemble the parts.
  • Thinking Ahead- Because the mill man has studied the job, if he is cutting all of the kitchen parts, but he knows in his mind what the vanity parts are that need to be cut, he may set a few parts aside that will work with the vanities even though he is focusing mainly on milling all of the components for the kitchen. He is always thinking ahead rather than being so focused on whatever the task is at hand.
  • Materials are Cut From Largest to Smallest-A good cabinet mill man will almost always start cutting the largest parts first. If the materials that he is using are limited he may even draw pictures of the 4’ x 8’ sheets and plan exactly how he needs to cut each one in order to get the most efficient use from the materials.
  • Operating Equipment & Power Tools-Changing saw blades, waxing tables, cutting parts in a way so there is no possibility of them binding and setting the measuring scale to perfect accuracy are just a few of the things that separate a good mill man from a bad one. He knows how to operate many different hand power tools and machines within the cabinet shop because sometimes it is required that a particular piece of material be cut using something other than the table saw.
  • Templates and Jigs-The mill man’s mind can look at difficult to manufacture cabinetry designs and come up with templates and jigs that will help aid in manufacturing the parts.
  • He is the Head of the Team-If the mill man has several assemblers that he is supplying cabinet parts to for assembly, he keeps a close eye on the flow of things, making sure that no one runs out of something to do. If Bill assembles drawers all day long and begins to run low on drawers to assemble a good mill man will make sure that Bill doesn’t run out of work to do.
  • Cabinet Installer-He understands the importance of supplying the cabinet installer with many additional little items such as wall cleats, small precut blocks of wood they may need and pre cut angled parts that get attached on the job site.

It takes several years of apprenticeship for a cabinet shop mill man to become really good at all of the things that I have listed. The way he thinks, over time becomes conditioned so much so that being efficient is second nature. His mind just works in a very effective manner that benefits all of the people on the team. He works fast, makes few mistakes, gets the most yields out of the materials the kitchen is being fabricated from and supplies several other people with work, making sure they are never without something to do.

Categories: Cabinet Making
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