Did You Hear the one About the Pig Farmer who Makes Cabinet Doors?

Tim Bond’s humble beginnings as a cabinet door maker is part luck, part skill and part being at the right place at the right time. Living in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Tim started his career in pig farming – a far cry from woodworking. But in 1993 fate had a different calling for him when his brother-in-law, who owned his own shop, called KD Cabinets, lost his main supplier.

Tim, realizing the future in pig farming was less than lucrative, stepped in as requested, bought the machinery from the shuttered supplier and started making doors for just this one client under the name of CDI or Cabinet Development Industries. All this, with some training from his brother-in-law and just a few high school wood shop classes under his belt.

Initially, Tim’s involvement and shop was essentially a branch of the KD Cabinets business until about 2002 when the operation burnt down from an electrical fire. At that point, Tim and his brother, Arden, took over the business and started fresh. “By this time KD Cabinets was gone,” notes Tim, “and my brother-in-law started another business, and was no longer interested in building it up again.”

Between 1993 and 2002, Tim says his part of the business had branched out and was no longer reliant on one shop. “We had gone out and gotten other customers, so basically we started back up with the same customers that we had. It was a bit of a tough time because we had customers that were relying on doors from us,” he adds. “We went to a competitor in Saskatoon to help and they agreed to do doors so that we could keep most of our customers.”

Between April 2002 and August 2002, Tim and his brother rebuilt the operation and started up again – only a four month hiatus – under the new name of Cutting Edge.

“Most of the customers that had gone elsewhere, we were able to phone them up and they came back to us again.” Once things got going in full force, the company started to increase the sales and marketing arm of the business. Territories were expanded, there was more face time with clients, but still careful attention was paid not to tread on the competitor that had helped them out.

They hired more people as part of the effort and during its rebuild, bought state-of-the-art equipment and changed the pre-fire operation.

In the old days, most of the company’s territory was into Alberta and Saskatchewan with a sprinkling of clients in Manitoba and interior BC. As time passed, territory was increased into Manitoba and all the way west to Vancouver Island, and even into the US.

In terms of sales, just after the shop re-opened, the company was making between $1.5  and $2 million per year versus more than $6 million in 2023. Also, when they started up again, there was a staff of 18, which has now grown to 35.

Originally, sales would have come from a focus on wood doors, notes Tim. “We always told our customers: ‘if we can get the wood we can build the doors.’”

As the market changed, the company expanded into MDF. In 2006 they bought a used CNC router and converted for doing outside profiles on wood doors. Last year they installed a “Rover B” router made by Italian company Biesse who helped them install the best machine for their operation. These days Cutting Edge is doing about a 50/50 split of business between MDF and wood doors.

They’ve also branched out into door boxes and mouldings for clients, and about 10 years ago when Nexgen came out – profile wrapped style mouldings – they started doing that product as well.

Tim says maple is the most common wood they use at the shop. “The wood I really like to work with is Walnut, although we don’t work with that much anymore. However, it machines super nice and when you put a clear lacquer coat on the wood it just seems to shimmer.”

He adds that: “The satisfaction of seeing a raw board machined into a finished product in a kitchen, where someone can walk into their kitchen and feel that their dreams have been fulfilled. To be able to help them realize that dream and make it come true is what fuels [me].”

Most business is conducted with contractors but some DIYers show up as well, which the company also serves.

In July of 2022, Tim and his sons bought out his brother’s part of the business. As the business grows, Tim says he wants Cutting Edge to be a one-stop-shop for customers. “It’s our goal: Whatever they need we want to supply.”

Joel Kranc is an experienced and award-winning editor,
writer and communications professional. With more than
26 years of experience, Joel has covered a variety of topics
in the finance and B2B space.

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