A couple of years ago, I was seriously considering moving on from my then employer. I had been Drafting and CNC Programming Commercial Casework for a little over ten-years and felt like it was time for a change.
I was put in touch with the Production Manager of a Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturer here in Pennsylvania. After my initial interview, I asked for a Shop Tour so that I could see first hand what I would be getting myself into.
While walking around, I noticed a small group of guys that appeared to be grinding away on cabinet doors with a wire wheel. While I’ve used a wire wheel to clean up surface rust a number of times, I had never used one on wood.
I was curious and felt compelled to ask what was going on. The Production Manager looked at me quizzically and said “Oh, we do that fairly regularly – let me show you our Wire Brushed Finish”.
The process involved using what looked like an Angle Grinder fitted with a standard Wire Wheel. The tool would be used to grind the wood – with great care being taken to ensure that the texture was distributed evenly throughout the part.
That was my first time seeing such a finish and, to be completely honest, I was dumbfounded at what I saw. Someone actually wanted to pay a premium for Butternut Cabinets and then pay even more for the beautiful wood to be marred?
In my time with the company, I learned that Wire Brushing was one of many Non-Traditional finishes that were being applied to modern Kitchen Cabinetry. Over time, seeing the finish applied to a variety of woods, it began to grow on me.
While I don’t know that I would ever have such a finish in my modest kitchen, it is impressive in a large setting where the cabinets are spread out.
The finish seems to be fairly popular and is available on select door styles from a number of Cabinet Door Manufacturers. Most often the finish is applied to Shaker Style Doors (Flat Panel with a Square Framing Bead).
Just in case you were curious what the back of the door looks like (without wire brushing), that photo is down below.
This simple position lead to choosing Cabinetmaking as a Career Path in High School.
With more than twenty years of combined experience as both a Cabinetmaker and Draftsman - he now uses his skills to Engineer and Produce Millwork Shop Drawings.