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Where

Crestview Woodworking – Shipshewana

 

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Custom Craftsmanship

Duane Miller Creates Custom Cabinets and More at Crestview Woodworking 

Writer / Lois Tomaszewski
Photography Provided

Crestview WoodworkingA hobby often evolves into a business, and Duane Miller’s endeavor is an example of this. After 21 years working in factories and a desire to work from home, Miller turned his 17-year woodworking hobby into a thriving custom cabinet business. 

“I decided there was more to life than working in factories,” he says.

Miller balances many responsibilities. He was recently ordained as a minister in addition to his roles as a husband and father. 

He opened Crestview Woodworking in January of 2010 at his family’s home near Shipshewana. He and his wife Mary raised six sons, ranging in age from 9 to 22, and one daughter. His operation at his home is, in his words, “a one-man shop,” although his older boys help with the installation of the cabinets.

 

Inside the shop are the equipment and supplies Miller needs to do his work. It is a shop filled with woodworking equipment and the tell-tale fragrance of wood. In this shop, Miller specializes in making kitchen and bathroom cabinets to customer specifications. On occasion you might find Miller working on other custom pieces like a bookshelf, bookcase or rolltop desk.

A rolltop desk was a special project completed for a customer. By definition, it is a writing desk with a sliding cover made from parallel slats fastened to a flexible backing. Miller recalls that it was a unique request and an unusually large piece – about 10’ wide and 8’ tall. 

“The customer was happy with the piece,” he says, “That’s what we want – happy customers.”

When a customer needs cabinets or even a shelf or two, Miller will go out and take measurements of the specific location. He then consults with the customer on choice of wood, door and trim designs, and other components needed to complete the look the customer wants. A design is then sketched and presented to the customer for approval. 

“Customer satisfaction is our main goal,” he says.

Crestview WoodworkingThis consultation is usually with the women of the house, and Miller says they typically have a good idea of what they want in design and function.

People often want custom cabinets because this option gives them exactly what they want, Miller says. It may take longer to complete the order, but the upside is that the customer does not have to settle for ordinary cabinets. 

“The most satisfying part of my work is seeing the smile on the woman’s face when she gets what she wanted,” Miller says.

Custom work is not something that many shops take on anymore, he says. Wholesale is easier to do, but that leaves little variety for homeowners or builders. Some people want to have unique features in their home, including functional pieces like kitchen cabinets. It was this information passed on from local builders that prompted Miller to focus on custom work.

An average order takes between two and four weeks to complete in Miller’s shop. The more elaborate the design, the longer it takes. After the cabinets are assembled, the pieces are sent out to be finished.

He works with a variety of wood species, from local woods to more exotic species. His shop can handle cabinets and orders of all sizes. He recently completed 50 cabinets of the same design for a pet shop installation. He can also manufacture cabinets out of plastic – often a wise option for storage in basements or garages.

He also offers trim packages that include baseboards and window trim for new construction.

Miller offers some tips for homeowners to ensure that wood cabinets are cared for properly. First, avoid putting wood cabinets in high-moisture areas. Keep them clean, but avoid using harsh chemicals to clean the finish.

Anyone interested in finding out more, and those interested in having custom cabinets built, can call Miller at 260-768-4707. Inquiries may also be faxed to 260-768-4933. His shop is located at 6510 West 450 North in Shipshewana. Miller says those planning on coming to the shop should call first.

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