Cuttin' it up European style
By ABBY BELDEN
HILL CITY -- Nine years ago, Jason Davis decided the sound of farm equipment and farming just wasn't enough.
So, he added a European sliding table saw to the mix with the plan to build cabinets, and Cutting Edge Cabinetry & Woodworking was created.
"It started with when I got my European machine ... I saw it at a show when I went to Vegas," he said. "What you could do with that saw compared to what you could do with a traditional American saw was just mind blowing. Basically it does so many things and it does them accurately, and safely and that's the main thing."
Davis said he selected the European Sliding table saw over a traditional American saw due to its multiple functions and precision. He said the European saw's sliding table supports and secures the wooden piece with clamps, allowing no air or movement, resulting in an accurate cut.
Davis, who found his enjoyment of woodworking in high school shop classes, began creating cabinets. But the style evolved as he was influenced by European catalogs.
Davis began researching and implementing European designs and even began using dowels to hold his cabinets together, adding some of the only screws used are to attach the necessary hardware and placing the cabinets on the wall.
But Davis didn't stop there.
He later added a Felder IV78 Window tooling set to his shop equipment with the goal of adding a few new products to CECW's line.
"You just start expanding off all that," Davis said. "You have the tooling, you can make a window; you can take that tooling and adapt it to make a door."
So that is exactly what he did. CECW began offering European Tilt and Turn windows and European style doors about four years ago.
Davis said a second European saw, the Profile 45, which was purchased in 2011, handles the larger shaping components for the windows and doors, while his first saw now is used for cutting wood and smaller tasks.
The wood CECW uses for the windows and doors are Accoya, Cambia, Red Grandis or Spanish Cedar.
The woods Davis uses for the windows and its frames are known for their toughness and longevity, especially if the wood is maintained and nourished with a brush applied finish.
After the wood is selected, Davis uses the saws in his workshop and approximately 14 different cutters to complete the sash and window frame.
Normally Davis creates the products alone, but his wife Trish lends a helping hand when able.
"I help him somewhat, but I am limited to what I can do," Trish said. "We usually come out here, and whatever little areas I can help I do. The entire window is created by hand, and we order in European parts so they come from over-seas."
Davis also has altered the design for the windows as new European hardware has been produced.
"Another feature from this window that has been upgraded is these have visible hinges," he said. "Now I don't have visible hinges, so you don't see any of this. It's all mounted inside where you wouldn't see it."
Davis said the windows could last up to 60 years with small maintenance.
"That's one of the things I noticed that the Europeans really do, nothing really wears out," he said. "Everything is made to last, and that's something I don't see over here ... That's what really attracts me to the European stuff; they seem to engineer it really well."
The windows also are more efficient than the standard windows that can be purchased from a local hardware store.
"The efficiency would probably be twice as efficient as a standard window that you'd pick at your home center," he said. "They are also going to be a lot quieter, and that's for several reasons: One, that is just the thickness of the frames and the wood absorbs all that sound ... and another part of that factor is the glass that I use."
The glass CECW uses in the windows are custom made for Davis' specifications and triple paned, while a standard window comes with two panes.
While dimensions or wood used for projects change one from project to the next, Davis stresses the importance of precision, and also aims to deliver a beautiful product.
"There's the vinyl windows or PVC windows, and you see those and you're like, 'boring'. There is no character to them," he said. "When you go into someone's house and you see a window that looks like this, they are basically like a piece of furniture. They look so nice. You might as well be looking at a nice window when you're looking out of it."
For more information about Cutting Edge Cabinetry & Woodworking, visit eurowoodworks.com.