Hickory Creek is my premier level custom cabinetry. Which also makes it the most expensive product and the highest quality cabinetry I design kitchens with. Your wood selection, finish quality, box construction, and customization are all a cut above Brighton Cabinetry. Which occupies the price and quality mark just below Hickory Creek.

It is sometimes hard to distinguish between quality levels of cabinetry with words. Ideally you are able to compare side by side and see the differences in finish quality and the cabinet box construction. One way to describe quality in custom cabinets is to discuss capabilities, processes, and options. Where words fail I’m more than happy to show you samples side by side of different grades and prices of cabinetry so you can make the best decision for your kitchen remodel budget and quality expectations.

Hickory Creek builds using 3 different construction methods. And below is a quick overview.

Framed Frameless

  • The cabinet box is made from 3/4” thick domestic Maple veneer plywood.

  • The 3/4” floors and 1/2” back are dadoed into the cabinet sides.

  • Shelves are made from 3/4” domestic veneer plywood with either a veneer edge or a solid wood edge

  • The bottom of the wall and base cabinets show no reveals

  • Left and right sides show 1/16” reveals. This creates a 1/8” space between doors and drawers when the cabinets are installed for a frameless appearance

  • This type of cabinet can be fitted with a contemporary or traditional door and drawer fronts.

Framed Flush Inset

  • The cabinet box is made from 3/4” domestic Maple Veneer plywood.

  • The 3/4” floors and 1/2” back are dadoed into the cabinet sides.

  • The frame dimension is 3/4” x 1 1/2” stiles and rails before the frame is assembled together. With inset cabinetry you see the frame of the cabinet box.

  • Flush inset cabinet means that there is no bead on the face frame of the cabinetry. And that doors and drawer fronts sit flush in the frame. As compared to Framed Frameless doors that sit on the cabinet frame.

  • Combining cabinets is important to getting the best possible look with inset cabinetry and Hickory Creek Cabinetry combines cabinets up to eight feet at no extra charge.

Framed Beaded Inset with 1/4” or 3/8” wide bead

  • The cabinet box is made from 3/4” domestic Maple Veneer Plywood

  • The 3/4” floors and 1/2” back are dadoed into the cabinet sides

  • The frame dimension is 3/4” x 1 1/2” with the 1/4” or 3/8” bead machined into the stiles and rails before the frame is assembled together

  • Beaded inset cabinetry means that there is a 1/4” or 3/8” bead on the face frame of the cabinetry. And that doors and drawer fronts sit flush in the frame. As compared to Framed Frameless doors that sit on the cabinet frame.

  • Combining cabinets is important to getting the best possible look with inset cabinetry and we combine cabinets up to eight feet at no extra charge.

***Both types of inset have the tightest possible reveals between the doors and frames. Hickory Creek’s reveals are 3/32” on all four sides of the doors.

Hickory Creek Cabinetry has developed its processes with the demands of the custom cabinetry customer in mind. This doesn’t simply mean they are built to last beyond your lifetime, but also that they will great for decades and beyond.

Custom Cabinetry cost what it does, because each step of the manufacturing process needs to be done better to put out an exceptional product. That means modern machinery and then careful craftsmanship by hand to pick up where the machinery lets off.

In cheaper types of cabinetry compromises are made to increase the speed of production, increase yields from material, and reduce labor costs. While these areas are important to control in any manufacturing process the cost of custom cabinets reflects more care throughout the process. Maybe the best way to put it is that efficiency doesn’t compromise quality.

How Hickory Creek stays a cut above

Wood Selection

Wood that doesn’t have the correct level of moisture will move. When wood moves cracks occur at the joints and your finish can show stress lines at the joint. One way to prevent this is by moisture level. The ideal moisture level is 7-8%, which is the level Hickory Creek requires from their vendors.

In this area of transitional design and painted cabinetry this is a siginifcant, because when the proper moisture levels are followed painted cabinetry doesn’t develop cracks at joints.

Wood selection has different visual standards for different species. Our suppliers adhere to strict selection standards. And we reinforce these standards in our shop as a 2nd review process. For instance, Cherry produces a depth of color that is distinct compared to most wood species when stained or finished natural and allowed to age. But cherry wood doesn’t look great if there is too much sap wood. Our Rift and Quarter Sawn White Oak feature incredible straight grain pattern uniquely different from standard White Oak. We select so you get highest quality figure. Figure is the appearance of the wood grain. Quality paint grade maple with a blend of hard and soft maple wood is selected as a fantastic material for painted cabinetry.

Usually with less expensive products the cabinet manufacturers don’t do as much additional selection and they have slightly lower requirements to start. This isn’t bad, but it is a difference you can see. And it is part of matching your budget with your quality expectations.

Cabinet Face Frames

Only kiln dried hardwood is used to build doors, drawer fronts and face frames for maximum stability. Color and grain are carefully selected and matched for a uniform look.

Pieces for frames are cut to size using a 4-head carbide-tipped moulder to achieve dimensions that are within accuracy of +/- .005”.

Cut pieces get mortised for a splined Tenon that allows glue to travel through the joint and not get pushed away like traditional flat tendons.

After the face frame has been glued and assembled, it goes into a clamping square where each joint is pressure clamped until the glue sets.

When glue is dry, frame gets run through a twin wide-belt sander to achieve a clean, flat frame.

Face frame dimensions: 3/4” thick x 1-1/2”W solid stock

Cabinet Box Construction

Hickory Creek’s cabinet box is a tank. They are constructed from 3/4” North American Maple veneer core plywood. Tops and bottoms are 3/4” plywood, backs are 1/2”. Sides, backs and bottoms are cut on a Striebig panel saw, then machined to lock together.

After cabinet is assembled, the face frame is glued and firmly pressed onto the cabinet with aluminum clamps to create a finished end with no visible seam line after finishing. With less expensive cabinetry you will see a seam. This part of the discussion we have when discussing cabinet quality and your budget, because these little touches are part of distinguishing premier level custom cabinets from less expensive cabinetry. And whether a difference like this is important to you related to the overall cost of your kitchen remodeling budget.

The back slides into dados, then is mechanically fastened to cabinet floor so the cabinet has a nice, clean, obstruction-free interior.

But those features produce an even more important benefit. A cabinet box that doesn’t bow or twist is cabinet that maintains a beautiful finish, because it eliminates the potential for stress cracks where joints come together.


Hickory Creek Cabinetry is proud to offer a wide variety of door and drawer head styles. We are very selective in the material used to achieve an exceptional finished product. Double refined MDF panels are used for center panels of painted doors and drawer fronts. MDF’s center panels minimize movement and prevent joint cracks on the door. When customers insist Hickory Creek will use solid wood center panels for painted, but that isn’t their preference for the long term durability of painted cabinetry.

However, solid wood center panels are used for stained cabinetry unless the uniqueness of the species dictates otherwise. An example of where a veneered MDF core center panel is used when rift or quarter sawn oak is specified.

To keep strict tolerances and stay to schedule, all doors, wainscot panels and custom end panels are made in house.

Several framing bead details, center panel raises and edge profiles are available in 5-piece cope & stick and haunched door series.

All 5-piece doors are made with a special tapered tongue that allows the glue to stay in place while the door is automatically squared and clamped in the pneumatic rotator press.

Stain-grade flat panel doors have a 3/8” MDF core veneered center panel.

All door center panels are either pre-stained or primed to ensure that a raw wood line is never visible if a slight panel movement occurs from humidity changes throughout the year.


Hickory Creek Cabinetry finishing details will exceed your every expectation. In addition to a finish that you will immediately recognize as superior we constantly meet customers’ expectations with color matching either to paints or stains. In today’s market paints dominate so we pride ourselves in quick and accurate matching to your paint choice.

To get a great finish prep work is very important.

When all cabinet parts have been thoroughly sanded to the desired sanding grit, they enter the finishing department where the cabinet is either stained or primed for paint.

Hand-wiped stained finishes: Sher-Wood F3 Kemvar Varnish is a formaldehyde-free conversion clear varnish that provides excellent protection over oil base stain or natural wood.

Painted finishes: Sher-Wood V84WH5 is a pigmented, low formaldehyde varnish. Applied over primer, this high quality finish is available in both Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore color palettes.

Spraying is done in an automotive booth that provides a clean environment and superior lighting. This ensures the finish is free from dust particles

After each step of finishing, cabinets get returned to a ventilated drying room where they cure for the next application.

Final Steps

After finishing, cabinets get hardware installed, quality inspected, then blanked wrapped, shipped and delivered. Hickory Creek offers tailgate delivery or inside delivery. And to give you an idea of how seriously we approach quality inspection our goal is to never have a cabinet returned, because we failed to build it to your high standards.