The Phoenix has landed!

A good sign. The truck with our CNC arrives from Michigan under a rainbow

A good sign. The truck with our CNC arrives from Michigan under a rainbow

Rivendell opens a new chapter in our constant efforts to improve our product and service, as we received delivery of our new CNC router equipment last week. The CNC (“Computer Numeric Control”) router automates production, connecting to our computer generated cabinet cut lists and allowing for swift and accurate automated cutouts and component processing. This gives our team more time to concentrate on the finer artistic touches to our work while leaving the basic cutouts to automation.

This week Jeremy and Nandi, who anchor our computer aided design (CAD) work, are training on use of the CNC at the manufacturer’s west coast center in Los Angeles, and next week the manufacturer’s technician will complete the set up and training for our team here at our shop. The following week we will dig into our new and refined mode of production!

So, in the corner of our shop where we experienced a fire 2 months ago, we have turned, as the saying goes, “lemons into lemonaide” by cleaning that space out, acquiring and installing the machinery that brings us into the 21st century. Thus, rising from the ashes, we have our Phoenix!

 

Carefully forklifting the 7,000 pounds of delicate equipment

Carefully forklifting the 7,000 pounds of delicate equipment

Successfully lifted, our CNC hovers as the truck moves out

Successfully lifted, our CNC hovers as the truck moves out

Three determined workers and a forklift gently push it into the shop

Three determined workers and a forklift gently push it into the shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple final nudges gets our new CNC into position

A couple final nudges gets our new CNC into position

The Phoenix has landed! In place and awaiting final hookups

The Phoenix has landed! In place and awaiting final hookups

Jeremy and Nandi pause at the computer console before leaving to Los Angeles for 1 week of instruction on the CNC

Jeremy and Nandi pause at the computer console before leaving to Los Angeles for 1 week of instruction on the CNC

 

 

 

 

 

Wood Diamond Awards

The Cabinet Makers Association Wood Diamond Awards program promotes excellence in woodworking and cabinetry and creates a mean for members to be recognized by their peers. They are presented annually at either the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta or the Association of Woodworking and Furnishings Suppliers Fair in Las Vegas. This year, Rivendell Woodworks was recognized with two Honorable Mentions, one for European Kitchens over 25K category, the other for Face Frame Kitchens over 25K.

The East Coast dominated the competition. Kanda noticed that of all 47 awards, only seven went to shops west of the Mississippi. The West Coast received just three awards, two of which were won by Rivendell.

“While we weren’t top winners in our categories, we were the only winners from California,” Kanda noted. “If only the photographs could have been captured in a 360 degree swing, the full scope of the very large jobs could have been appreciated, and I believe, gotten greater recognition.”

This isn’t the first time Rivendell has been recognized by the Wood Diamond Awards. Last year, we won first place for our website.

“We’ve always strived to provide our clients with the best products possible, but until the website was developed, we didn’t have a place to showcase our work,” Nandi said at the time. “For the last few years we’ve focused on integrating design and manufacturing software into the shop. Combining technology with traditional woodworking has given us the ability to craft custom pieces more promptly and precisely.”

We’re already looking forward to participating in next year’s competition and hope to be honored again!

Cover Story

The men of Rivendell can now add “Cover Model” to their resumes after appearing on the front of PROFILES magazine, a publication of the Cabinet Makers Association. We’re honored to be one of the top stories with only three issues being published this year. And while husbands and wives have made headlines before, we’re the first full-fledged family to be featured. The article focuses on our shop’s unique history, from Kanda’s humble beginning as a toy maker to President of the high-end custom cabinetry business he operates with his sons today.

Kanda’s kids have been helping him in the shop since they were little. In addition to being rocking horse test pilots, Nandi and Jeremy remember their first “job” making matchbox cars, gluing wooden wheels on to axles for a penny apiece. Nandi, now Chief Executive Officer, is in charge of customer relations and installation, and Jeremy, the Chief Operations Officer, manages drafting and production. Their younger brother, Kendiah, is the Shop Foreman. The business truly is a family affair with Nandi’s wife Kim working in the office and myself, Jeremy’s wife, Nicole, contributing to the website.

In addition to addressing all that is relative, the article also examines the company itself. It discusses the tools and materials used in projects as well as location and market share. It talks about the challenges that Rivendell faced during a difficult economy and delves into our hopes for the future.

I asked the men of Rivendell to share their thoughts about seeing themselves on the cover of a magazine.
“It’s inspiring,” said Kendiah, “Knowing how many other shops were considered and ours got the spotlight.”
“It’s fun to see our company in print,” Nandi said, “It feels like we’ve arrived.”
Kanda said, “I’m proud of my family.”
Unlike the others, Jeremy just wondered “Do I look fat?”

Kanda was so excited about Rivendell being chosen as a PROFILES cover story that he hired fellow Toastmaster and Business Networking International member, Gurpreet Kaur, proprietor of Kaur Photography, to take some professional portraits.

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