Taking the Plunge

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Taking the Plunge
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Dan Mosheim's woodworking career started out as many do — in a crowded garage. But the owner of Dorset Custom Furniture in Dorset, Vt., aggressively pursued his passion, and now owns a six-man shop complete with CNC capability.

Mosheim graduated from Penn State with a degree in business logistics. With no desire to pursue that route, he worked as a carpenter from 1974 to 1980 before moving to Vermont. There he started his garage shop and hasn't left the Green Mountain State since.

"I was pretty small until 2001," Mosheim said. "I started out alone for about a year, had one employee around 1987 and since 2001 I've had at least four full-time workers."

Early on, Mosheim made the decision that he wasn't going to build kitchens. Instead, he's focused on custom furniture, specifically dining tables, sideboards, occasional and game tables, seating, desks, beds and case pieces.

Flair for design
Mosheim managed to develop a knack for design, which remains a large part of his business today.

"I'm a collaborator," he says. "I design, in collaboration with my clients, to what they want and it is really just seeing how many of my clients have ideas that I never would have come up with on my own. I listen to people and go back and forth, and I also do this a lot with the guys in the shop. I ask what they think and sometimes you get to these amazing places that you would never get to if you were just left in a room with a drawing board."

The second floor of his shop serves as an office, design center and home for his 50" x 100" MultiCam 1000 Series CNC. Mosheim is not a software fanatic, but does use Autosketch by Autodesk and Enroute tool-pathing software.

As the years have passed, Mosheim has included an increased amount of inlay work in his furniture. So he was intrigued with a friend's sign business that featured a CNC router. Mosheim performed a cost analysis and decided to follow suit.