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HIS BUSINESS SUCCESS SECRET? Thrift and 2 Woodmaster Molder/Planers

Published on August 14, 2014

HIS BUSINESS SUCCESS SECRET? Thrift and 2 Woodmaster Molder/Planers

Gene Vickers’ Woodmaster equipment is a key part of his success strategy. “I’m frugal and make my own molding with my Woodmaster. In the recent past, other shops bought molding and are out of business. It’s just simple economics.” 

Gene Vickers & his Woodmasters

Gene Vickers’ success strategy is simple: work hard, do quality work, and control costs. His two Woodmasters play a big part in helping him succeeed. When he needs molding, he makes it himself with his Woodmaster Molder/Planers.

 Thrift…frugality…good decision-making…and hard work: that’s what has helped business-savvy woodworkers like Gene Vickers make a success of his cabinetry business.

His Woodmaster Molder/Planers are an important part of Gene’s success plan. His two machines have helped him control costs and increase profit margins. Gene spent money to make money, and his wise investments in quality equipment paid for themselves fast and earned him thousands of dollars more.

“I started as an interior trim carpenter and moved into building and installing cabinets. Today, I own a small cabinet company in south Georgia. I build commercial, industrial, and residential cabinetry. Before I got my Woodmasters, I had to outsource all my moldings. I’d buy from a lumberyard and end up short a piece, or there’d be a knot, and I’d have to wait for another shipment to get more.

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I bought a Woodmaster 12” Woodmaster Molder/Planer and used it as a planer and to make face frames. Then I got the 25” Woodmaster and I put a molding head on it. With a 25” head, I can have four or five sets of pattern knives, different patterns, side by side. I can make up to five molding patterns with one setup — I can make crown moldings or chair rail and so on without having to change knives.

4 profiles with 1 setup

Gene’s 25″ Woodmaster 725 Molder/Planer can actually accommodate four or five different setups at the same time. He runs the molding he needs, as he needs it, with no changeovers. Big time saver!

Woodmaster has really benefited my business. Now, when I need a piece of molding, I can just make it on the spot. It saves me time and energy. And it lets me get the job done so I can get paid. And that’s what I’m in business for, to make a dollar. I order my pattern knives from Woodmaster. I use a lot of stock pattern knives but it’s nice that Woodmaster can make custom knives, too. I call and order them and I have them within two or three days.

Managing expenses increases profitability

My business weathered the storm of the bad economy by managing our expenses. There were once a lot of cabinet shops in my neighborhood; many are no longer in business. I was frugal and made my own molding — others bought molding and are out of business. It’s just simple economics.

I paid for my Woodmaster equipment when I bought it. I got a Woodmaster Spiral Cutterhead. It’s not cheap; you’re talking about $1,200. But I’ve earned many thousands of dollars with it. It’s a very worthwhile investment. Plus, it’s quieter and does a better job than planer knives.

I do think the economy is getting better. We had a tough winter but it’s picking up this spring and summer. We’re going to have a very productive fall season. Of course, nobody can tell the future but if you do good quality work, with good molding, and do what you say you’re going to do, you have a good advantage in the marketplace. As the economy continues to get better, and we stay busy, I’ll probably get another Woodmaster Molder/Planer.

2 motors – separate power to cutterhead and feed rate

I had a Williams & Hussey planer. It had just one speed controlling both the cutterhead and the feed rate. It worked fine on poplar but not on hickory. To run hardwoods, I’d have to slow the feed rate down. When I did that, it slowed down the cutterhead, too. The Woodmaster is set up differently to get the best possible results in any wood: you have two motors, one powering the cutterhead and the other powering the feed rate. Cutterhead speed is constant; you can dial the feed rate from 0 to 16 feet per minute.  This allows you to feed all woods at the speed you need to get best results.

Gene's shop

Gene says he builds and installs a set of cabinets every week. That’s a lot of cabinets. His Woodmasters help make this possible by helping him work at maximum efficiency.

“Proven design, affordable, best thing for a small shop like mine.”

The reason I chose Woodmaster was its proven design. I had friends who showed me what it could do and the machine really sold itself. I think I’ve sold two machines by showing mine to others. It sells itself; it’s a good design.

Woodmaster advertises, manufactures, sells, and services a good product. I pick up the phone and they always have good follow through. I like that it’s affordable. It’s the best thing for a small shop like mine. My shop is about 8,000 square feet and we build and install a set of cabinets every week. I have to make payroll, have to pay bills. We’re two hours from a lumberyard! I must be able to make my own materials when I need them. When I need molding, for example, I need it right now.

Which Woodmaster model’s best? Gene compares all 3

If you run a small shop and are thinking about getting a Woodmaster, you may be satisfied with the 12” machine. The mid-size model gives you bigger capacity. But if you can afford the 25” Woodmaster, get it. You can have multiple setups at the same time. You can put a planer, molder, rip saw, or drum sander head in it.

Our Woodmasters paid for themselves in the first year, probably in the first six months. You can buy cheaper machines but you get what you pay for. If you want to make good products, get good machinery. Woodmaster competes with the best equipment. We use some of the best woodworking equipment on the market; put them side by side with the Woodmaster and Woodmaster’s every bit as good quality.

I do very little advertising; it’s mostly by word of mouth. I’ve got no website, no Facebook page, and I have all the work I can stand. I appreciate the opportunities to tell others about Woodmaster.”

— Gene Vickers, Alma, Georgia — Woodmaster Molder/Planer Owner

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