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How We Do It

We build commercial store fixtures and commercial casework to order. All projects start with your order in our office. Our order processing software is JobBoss? Shop drawings are generated on Microvellum?an AutoCAD?based program. Microvellum?uses a solids based design system so that all parts and cabinets are defined in 3D and part files can be used, modified and saved for reuse. Part lists (in Excel format), part label information, bill-of-materials and g-code for the CNC router are automatically generated. Nested part patterns can be generated to cut full sheets into the required parts. All of the part lists are figured from these drawings and become part of the shop work order. Data for panel parts to be sawn is transferred from Excel?to our optimizing software where it is converted into patterns for the control of the panel saw. This information is then transferred by wire to the saw to automate parts cutting and to generate part labels. JobBOSS software helps track our production, time and costs. Employees have job information available on shop terminals.

At L. K. Schweitzer, Inc., our design and engineering department covers a full range of services. We can engineer the production of work for which you have complete drawings and specifications. We can work together with you to refine the functional and production aspects of an idea.

Our planning department can assist in developing a design with coherent visual and functional strategy.

To aid in presentation or visualization of the results, we can produce photo-realistic renderings of single items or complete environments.

Shop drawings are produced in AutoCAD? allowing electronic exchange of information and rapid, accurate implementation of modifications.

Our design and engineering department is closely integrated with production. This insures that what we develop together can be built as designed, as well as being functional, long lasting, and visually pleasing.

Sample Renderings

EnRoute

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EnRoute allows us to use our router to its full potential. We can create custom 3-D shapes, lettering and designs using it with our router. EnRoute is step above traditional CAD/CAM applications in that it is centered around 3-D objects. It generates code that our router uses to produce very detailed 3-D designs. With EnRoute we can create nearly any 3-D designs limited only by your imagination. Below are some examples we have created using EnRoute to demonstrate its capabilities.

              

 

The Schelling panel saw has a graphic display that can show the downloaded parts information or allow the operator to program at the saw controller. The blade can be programmed to come up into the panel at any point and stop it’s cut at any point so L shape or window cuts can be made. The saw is also capable of automated kerfing to make flexible panels. Whenever possible we cut more than one sheet at a time to the same pattern so sheets can be stacked. As sheets are cut the operator labels and stacks them on the conveyors destined for the next operation.

 

The IDM-58 edgebander uses hotmelt (EVA) adhesive to apply; PVC or ABS plastic, high-pressure laminate, veneer or wood strips up to ¾” thick, to the edges of panels.  It has a 4 motor contour end trimming station to automatically corner round 2mm or 3mm PVC banding.   A Brandt KTD72 contour edgebander is used for the edges of curved parts.

 

The Komo CNC router/machining center details most of our panels. It is equipped with three working units: 12-hp. router, with an 8 tool automatic changer, a vertical boring unit and 4-way horizontal boring - The programs are stored on the office server and accessed at the router with a PC over our local area network (LAN). Maximum panel size is 5?x 10?

 

Edge boring and doweling is done on our Koch Sprint CNC bore & insert machine. It will take panels up to 8?long. The processing cycle drills a hole, blows the dust out, injects glue, drives an 8mm dowel and moves to the next location ?all in about one second per hole. It has a 2nd drill for Confirmat fasteners and a vertical drilling unit for Ready-To-Assemble fasteners. Bar coding is used to access the program stored on the server in the office.

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The Castle pocket screw machine is used to prepare panels (and lumber) for assembly, both panel edge to edge or at 90 degree (face to edge.) Sometimes this serves as clamping method for dowel or biscuit joints.

Our laminating area uses water-borne adhesive pumped through a hose to an HVLP spray gun. There is a stationary heat bar and a portable heat bar for bending the laminate around curves. Commercial laminating work often involves a lot of curved surfaces. We can kerf bend (after laminating). There is a 60?press roll to aid in doing flat work. Kerfing for bending already laminated sheets is done on the panel saw using an automatic program. Kerfed panels are also used with our vacuum bags or 5?x 10? frame press to form arched jambs and curved doors.

Our lumber processing starts with the preparation of the tooling for the molder. Many of our jobs require moldings that are made to the designer’s specifications or are made to match older, obsolete patterns. We have over 600 sets of knives in stock but still many jobs require new knives. All of our molding patterns are stored in a computer database. We can use these DXF files to program the CNC router to make the templates for the profile grinder. The knife blanks are cut from bars of molder tool steel, balanced, and then mounted in a molder head. The profile grinder is used in a process similar to making a key; only it’s slower grinding tool steel than key blanks. Radial and side clearances are done by adjusting the grinder, and then a last fine grind is done. The head is next measured on a stand then placed on one of the Weinig molder’s spindles and adjusted using the digital readouts. This process may need to be repeated three more times for the rest of the adjustable spindles. The first spindle is never changed (except when the carbide inserts need to be replaced) because it always does the same function; provides a flat bottom on the board for a reference surface.

Lumber is prepared by a Straight-line-rip-saw, ripping to ¼” over the width of the molding, & cutting out defects that may harm the molder knives. A Baker band re-saw is used to prepare thin strips for laminating. There is a 12?clamp rack with 4 rows of 36?opening clamps for panel glue up. Glued-up panels are either planed or widebelt sanded to final thickness. They are then sized on either the panel saw or our SCMI sliding table saw. The sliding table saw can cut compound miters up to 10?long and is used for the many odd cuts that are required in store fixture work. We also have jigs for the Schelling panel saw to allow it to cut diagonally across a panel, but it can’t tilt it’s blade like the sliding table saw can. Jigs are often attached to the sliding table of the SCMI saw to do precise repetitive cuts.

In the next area there are smaller stationary tools for detailing parts. There are several shapers (sliding table, tilting spindle, heavy duty and light duty), some of the shapers have molding heads installed on them so we can make custom knives to do panel edges or curved profile work. Power feeds are used whenever possible on the shapers. There is a Stegherr Arched Molding Shaper for face profiling curves and a glue rack for making curved molding blanks. Other tools include the widebelt sander, stroke sander, oscillating edge sander, spindle sander, table routers, shape sanders, table saw, drill presses, miter saws, dovetail machine, Hoffmann dovetail key machine and a mortising machine. We use a 5 x 10?vacuum frame press for large sheet glue-ups and for shallow curved panels, deep curves are laminated in 4 x 8? or 1 x 16?vacuum bags.

Through all this machining of parts we try to get the right collection of parts to come together on the conveyors to the assembler’s (hydraulic) benches. This may also include some parts making a trip through the laminating area to get pre-lam done. Some projects may get partly assembled, go to laminating, get some plastic there, then come back for more assembly.

The case-clamp allows us to clamp dowel cases together with even pressure and very squarely. We strive for constant improvement. We use Confirmat screws for complex assembly.

Items that will get paint or finishes applied, go to our sanders, they use random orbit air sanders and an air powered Fein detail sander over a down-draft bench to do the most important step in finishing. In our finishing booth we use Graco HVLP guns supplied by air driven pumps that take the Sherwin Williams finish directly from the 55-gallon drums. We blend our own stains and paint colors. Dyes are used for much of the staining now; they give a deeper more transparent look than pigmented stains. All of our finishes are water borne. Typical high end finishing steps are: sand to 150 grit, wash coat, (grain fill open pore woods, sand), dye stain, seal coat, scuff sand, pigment stain, seal coat, scuff sand, top coat, shade or tone coat, top coat & (rub out).

The last area of the shop does final assembly, builds the drawers, and installs the hinges, doors, electrical, glass etc. then packs for shipping. Most of the hinges we use are the European cup hinges inserted with a semi-automatic drill and air-press machine. We are set-up to produce metal-sided drawers from Grass/Zargen.

We like to have a one-on-one approach with our customers. This gives us a chance to find any design flaws before the items go into production, saving you time and money.





Copyright 2007-2017 L.K. Schweitzer, Inc.