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Hardware frustration

Ever need to buy a single piece of cabinet hardware that typically comes in a set? Do you hate doing that as much as I do?

The variety of cabinet hardware available to woodworkers today is astounding. Go back even a decade or two and the possibilities were far fewer than now. And if you’re doing an entire kitchen or series of built-ins, it’s easy to find things like pulls, hinges and knobs in lots of 10, 20, 50 or 100. So, what do you do if you have 11 drawers or 13 cabinet doors that need matching hardware?

Well, you either spend unnecessary money on lots of pieces you’ll never use, or you pay a lot higher per-piece amount to get just the number you need – if you can even buy them singly, which you often can’t.

This isn’t as much a problem for hinges, most of which in modern cabinets are pretty much hidden on the inside. If there’s a slight mismatch in color or style it’s not that big a problem if the functionality is the same, as it usually is with European and adjustable hinges. But for most visible hinges, and for all knobs and pulls, a mismatch is unacceptable.

I figure that if I ever want to start a new career, I think I might start a special hardware company that only sells single items. The market is there because every woodworker needs small quantities of these items from time to time, so finding customers shouldn’t be a problem. And I also figure that creating stock would be easy – I’d just institute a buy-back policy for all the extras left over from all those 100-packs.

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